Leicestershire have rare high

Warwickshire 164 and 241-8 Leicestershire 353-8 dec Match drawn
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The Independent Online
Not many Leicestershire teams have suffered from vertigo in recent summers but this one, under James Whitaker's captaincy, might just become accustomed to peering down dizzily from the top of the table.

They outplayed Warwickshire, partly through Adrian Pierson's 5 for 68, but simply lacked the time, rather than the resources, in a rain-affected match to inflict the champions' second successive defeat.

Challenged to make 189 to save the game, Warwickshire endured a protracted struggle, squeezing a few runs beyond their objective with only two wickets intact.

Typically, they relied on a trusty journeyman, Dougie Brown, to sustain them with a half-century from 123 balls. Brown, from Stirling, took guard at 57 for 3 and batted staunchly for two and threequarter hours before being caught in the gully.

Keith Piper and Ashley Giles batted Warwickshire to safety with an unbroken ninth-wicket partnership of 45, but only after Giles had been dropped second ball off Pierson, who otherwise enjoyed another productive match against his former county. When Maddy fumbled the chance at short-leg, 13 overs remained and Warwickshire were only 11 runs ahead.

Pierson, a gangling left-arm spinner, returned a career-best 8 for 42 for Leicestershire at Edgbaston two years ago after being released by Warwickshire. This time, he extracted turn once again and emphasised that the pitch was more responsive to Leicestershire's attack than to that of the champions.

Brown apart, Warwickshire's batting bordered on the abject as a fourth defeat in five games in all competitions confronted a team who appear to have undergone a confidence bypass during the winter.

Warwickshire remain the team to beat, as Glamorgan, today's Benson and Hedges Cup quarter-final opponents know. Apart from delaying Warwickshire's journey, Leicestershire also cut into their title-winning credibility by a smooth acceleration to a morning declaration.

In 50 minutes, Leicestershire plundered 64 runs with Phil Simmons adding 43 from only 31 balls to his Saturday century.