Norwich Union League: Somerset v Leicestershire at Taunton, 14 Aug 2001
Mark Easterbrook

Somerset innings: Innings Break,
Leicestershire innings: Somerset won by one run,


Leicestershire lost their unbeaten record in the Norwich Union League when they fell one run short of Somerset's 263-7 at Taunton.

Peter Bowler had been the mainstay of Somerset's total with 104, but Leicestershire looked on course for victory after another explosive innings from Shahid Afridi.

The Pakistan batsman, who cracked 95 against Lancashire in the C&G Trophy semi-final on Monday, struck 68 from 30 deliveries, with 12 fours and three sixes.

He was dropped on 22 and 55, but his luck ran out when Mike Burns held a deep midwicket catch off Jason Kerr at the second attempt.

Leicestershire then slumped to 145-6 before Aftab Habib and Neil Burns rebuilt their innings. Habib was caught in the deep for 44, but Burns nearly engineered an amazing win.

Sixteen were needed off the last over, bowled by Kerr, and Burns struck a four and a six off the fourth and fifth deliveries.

But he could only take two to midwicket from the last ball as their hopes of a 14th successive one-day win were dashed.

Earlier, after home skipper Jamie Cox had won the toss, Bowler and Ian Blackwell put on 163 in 26 overs for the opening wicket with some superb strokeplay.

Both players finished with 12 fours and a six and, while Blackwell fell for 86, Bowler advanced to the sixth limited overs century of his career and his second against Leicestershire this season, following his 138 not out in the CricInfo Championship match at Grace Road.

Blackwell, promoted to open, looked set for his maiden one-day hundred until he was caught behind off James Ormond.

But there was no denying Bowler, who reached his hundred with a four to fine leg off Darren Maddy.

If the C&G final between the counties is anything like this, it should be quite a contest.


Unbeaten leaders Leicestershire were set an imposing 264 for victory in the NUL game at Taunton.

In a dress rehearsal for the C & G Trophy final on September 1st, Somerset were indebted to openers Peter Bowler and Ian Blackwell for an opening stand of 163 in 26 overs after home skipper Jamie Cox had won the toss.

Both batsmen struck 12 fours and a six and, while Blackwell fell for 86 to a catch at the wicket off Jimmy Ormond, Bowler progressed to the sixth one-day century of his long career.

Bowler, a Leicestershire player in the late 1980s, finally departed for 104 when he mis-cued a drive at Shahid Afridi and was caught off a skier by Trevor Ward at mid off.

Cox made a quick 26 but no other batsman could get going as wickets tumbled in the closing overs against good bowling from Afridi and Darren Maddy.

Leicestershire's veteran all-rounder, Phil DeFreitas, left the field mid-way through his fifth over after injuring his hand while attempting to stop a drive from Bowler.

Leicestershire went into the match with the same team that beat Lancashire in the C & G semi-final, but Somerset were without Trescothick, Caddick and Richard Johnson due to the Fourth npower Test.

© CricInfo

Date-stamped : 14 Aug2001 - 18:26