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Mark Cosgrove’s best T20 score for Leicestershire help keep their NatWest T20 Blast campaign alive with a 48-run win over champions Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

Cosgrove’s 76 from 48 balls helped Leicestershire make 193 for 5 - their highest total in the fixture - and it was defended with only Adam Rossington showing for Northants with a season’s-best 67 in 46 balls. 

Northants failed to seal a quarter-final spot and will now need to beat Yorkshire at Headingley or Durham at home to reach the last eight.

They were well beaten here and Cosgrove and Luke Ronchi did the damage. the pair shared 72 for the second wicket before Cosgrove accelerated in the final half of the innings. He struck two sixes swung down the ground off Saif Zaib’s left-arm spin and another over midwicket from Azharullah in passing fifty in 32 balls and threatened to steer Leicestershire over 200. 

They fell marginally short as Cosgrove was run out trying to keep the strike in the final over. An earlier run out chance to Steven Crook at midwicket when Cosgrove had just 3 was a moment Northants were left to rue.

Cosgrove finished the work began by Ronchi, who got the innings underway with a well-timed flick over midwicket for six and jammed out a yorker to fine leg to take 12 from the first over. He found another boundary to the final ball of the Powerplay that brought 58 runs. 

Cameron Delport also played his part with 26 in 15 balls. He punched Rory Kleinveldt for his first boundary over mid-on and then lifted two sixes over square leg and midwicket as 17 came from the fourth over of the innings. But trying to swing Ben Sanderson’s first ball down the ground, was splendidly caught by Rob Keogh running back from point, taking a whirl of a top edge over his shoulder. But it was the only wicket Northants took until the 13th over.

Outside the Powerplay, Ronchi whipped his hands to lift Crook’s first ball over deep square leg on his way to fifty in 30 balls and struck a third six over long-off as Keogh proved expensive, three overs for 30, as Leicestershire built an excellent platform at 117 for 1 after 12 overs.

Ronchi eventually fell trying to heave a Sanderson slower ball over midwicket and only found Crook running in from the fence. His 59 from 36 balls was his second half-century in the competition this year and helped set a target far beyond the reach of Northants.

The chase was knifed inside the first three overs as two cheap wickets fell - Richard Levi for just 12 top-edging a sweep off Callum Parkinson to deep midwicket and Ben Duckett lbw to Clint McKay for just 1. Rossington tried to stem the bleeding with his best effort of the season to ignite the chase, stepping to leg to take boundaries over the off-side with the field up and then sweeping Parkinson. 

Rossington’s 31-ball fifty momemtarily patched up the early wound as he and Alex Wakely added 85 for the third wicket to leave the home side in touch at 87 for 2 after 10 overs. But Delport’s crafty seamers - he finished with 3 for 19 from his four overs - proved a turning point. With the required rate climbing over 11-an-over, first Wakely holed out to midwicket for 20 and then Rossington to long-on. The damage to Northants chase proved terminal.

Mark Cosgrove said:

“We’ve been threatening the last couple of games but put it together here tonight. Luke and Cameron have been given us good starts all tounrmanet and it’s good to walk in with a good start.

“I hit the ball well considering I hadn’t batted for a week, I was a bit scratchy and found my touch about half-way through. 

“If you get 190-200, three good overs with the ball can kill the game off and we bowled well in partnerships which was fantastic.”

Alex Wakely said:

“We’ve been very poor tonight. We were poor with the ball and then never got going with the bat.

I’m happy we’ve got our bad performance out of the way now and we’ll look now at what we can change for next week because we’re still in a good position in the group.”

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