Metro Bank One-Day Cup final: Leicestershire eye first one-day title in 38 years as they take on Hampshire | Cricket news


Leicestershire are one win away from winning a first one-day title in 38 years as they prepare to face Hampshire in the Metro Bank One-Day Cup final at Trent Bridge on Saturday. Live on Sky Sports Cricket From 10.30 am.

The Foxes, three-time domestic T20 champions, have failed to mirror that success in List A cricket in recent years – let alone the County Championship – with this their first final in 22 years.

It represents a remarkable transformation for the province. In early July, with just two wins from 14 Vitality Blast T20 matches and reeling from the departure of head coach Paul Nixon in unexplained and acrimonious circumstances, the club looked like it was in turmoil.

Metrobank One Day Cricket Cup Live Streaming

Saturday, September 16 at 10:30 am


Somehow, though, they managed to launch their One Day Cup campaign by chasing 326 points to beat Surrey at Kia Oval, and followed that up by beating defending champions Kent by 264 points in Beckenham.

Leicestershire eventually won seven of eight matches to finish top of Group A before comfortably beating Gloucestershire by six wickets in the semi-final.

No one could be more thrilled, of course, about how players bounce back from adversity than Lewis Hill, who has captained List A Leicestershire for the past three seasons but is in his first year as club captain.

“After everything that happened, the players stuck together like glue, which is very pleasing as a captain,” he said.

Hill also praised long-time Somerset seamer Alfonso Thomas and former England batsman and selector James Taylor, who were appointed as joint interim head coaches after Nixon’s exit, for their role in the story.

“They were great,” Hill said. “They basically left it up to the players as to how we train and how we want to play our cricket and they have supported us in doing that.

“Kudos to them for stepping in amidst all the pressure and stick they were getting. It’s a testament to their character and it really shone through with the players, well done to them.”

“That first game set the tone. We knew the potential of the attacking line we had with Sol Budinger joining the likes of Rishi Patel, Colin Ackerman and Ian Mulder in the team, but to do it in that first game in Surrey, on a big ground in front of a big crowd “It made us realize what we are capable of and gave us tremendous momentum.”

Such momentum, in fact, that the next three matches saw Leicestershire return to the List A overall record twice.

Leicestershire’s road to the Metrobank Cup final

  • Leicestershire (329-5) beat Surrey (325ao) by five wickets – Kia Oval
  • Leicestershire (380-5) beat Kent (116ao) by 264 runs – Beckenham
  • Nottinghamshire (206-6) beat Leicestershire (214-9) by four wickets (DLS) – Grace Road
  • Leicestershire (411-6) beat Lancashire (316ao) by 95 points – Emirates Old Trafford
  • Leicestershire (298-6) beat Hampshire (296ao) by four wickets – The Ageas Bowl
  • Leicestershire (251-8) beat Essex (250-8) by one wicket – Kibworth
  • Leicestershire (173-5) beat Middlesex (191ao) by 23 points (DLS) – Grace Road
  • Leicestershire (186-4) beat Yorkshire (184ao) by six wickets – Grace Road
  • Semi-final: Leicestershire (126-4) beat Gloucestershire (125ao) by six wickets – Grace Road

Hampshire’s road to the Metrobank Cup final

  • Hampshire (238-5) beat Middlesex (309-7) by 18 points – The Ageas Bowl
  • Hampshire (237-6) beat Essex (236-9) by four wickets – The Ageas Bowl
  • Hampshire (254ao) beat Nottinghamshire (163ao) by four wickets (DLS) – Worsop
  • Leicestershire (298-6) beat Hampshire (296ao) by four wickets – The Ageas Bowl
  • Hampshire (234ao) beat Lancashire (223ao) by 11 points – Emirates Old Trafford
  • Hampshire (311-6) beat Yorkshire (134ao) by 177 runs – York
  • Hampshire (206-2) beat Surrey (203ao) by eight wickets – Guildford
  • Hampshire (326-7) beat Kent (325-8) by three wickets – Isle of Wight
  • Quarter-finals: Hampshire (306-9) beat Worcestershire (296-9) by 10 runs – The Ageas Bowl
  • Semi-final: Hampshire (95-1) beat Warwickshire (93ao) by nine wickets – Edgbaston

Their 380-5 win over Kent was the club’s highest List A score against a first-class county, and that was surpassed just five days later by their massive 411-6 win against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford, who batted out 406-5 against them. . Berkshire in 1996 as the county’s overall opposition record.

“The most satisfying thing for me is that our skill level was very high with the racket, ball and on the court during the competition,” Hill said. “We’ve been really clear in our plans to play aggressive cricket and play cricket that we enjoy. You play cricket better when you enjoy it.”

If the hitters grabbed the headlines, the work of the pitchers was equally important. Chris Wright (16 wickets) and South African all-rounder Mulder (12) were mainstays, supported by impressive contributions from lesser-known faces in Tom Scriven (14) and Josh Hall, the 18-year-old left-arm fast bowler who made a first-season return of 15 .

For Leicester-born Hill himself, leading Leicestershire at Trent Bridge will be a poignant moment – and proof that good things can come to those who persevere.

A product of the club’s academy pathway, Hill left the club and only impressed Leicestershire enough to win a contract after spending two seasons playing for the now-defunct Unicorns. He was 24 years old before he made his debut in 2015.

He witnessed the Foxes’ golden moments in Twenty20 as a fan and used that as a source of inspiration.

“On the wall of Bennett Bar in Grace Road are pictures of all three Leicestershire T20 Cup winning teams,” he said. “At the beginning of the season, I said to the other players, ‘I want our image to be next to them.’”

“Having seen Leicestershire win finals as a fan, to reach the final as Leicestershire FC captain makes me very proud.

“The last final I played in was for Lutterworth against Market Harborough in the County Cup in 2012, so lifting the cup for Leicestershire would be a dream come true, my best moment in cricket.”

The Benson & Hedges Cup marked Leicestershire’s last win in a one-day final when David Gower’s side defeated Graham Gooch’s Essex side at Lord’s in 1985. The Foxes have only reached one final since then, coming out on the wrong side against Somerset at Friends Provident. The cup was decided, at Lord’s, in 2001 – a game perhaps unforgettable for Scott Boswell’s nine for two in which the Leicestershire seamer suffered from stingers.

The Foxes were the only team to beat Hampshire in the group stages but having reached the final with an identical record to Leicestershire, Nick Gubbins’ side remain a major threat to Hill’s ambitions.

Watch the Metro Bank One Day Cup Final live Sky Sports Cricket From 10.30am on Saturday (11am first ball). You can also watch via free live stream on skysports.com And the Sky Sports application.



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