Umar Akmal guides Leicestershire to victory at Notts

Umar Akmal showed his experience to guide Leicestershire Foxes to a six-wicket victory in their NatWest T20 Blast match against Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge.

The Pakistan international, on his Foxes’ debut, made an unbeaten 76 as the match ended in slightly controversial circumstances.

After Akmal had plundered his third six of a Luke Fletcher over, the 19th of the innings, the umpires intervened and announced that they had imposed a further six penalty runs against the home side, as they would be unable to start their final over in time.

Akmal scored his runs from 49 balls, hitting four fours and five sixes as the Foxes ended a bleak series of results in Nottingham, that has seen them lose on six of their previous seven visits.

The home side, including England’s Stuart Broad in their T20 side for the first time since Finals Day in 2010, had made 148 for seven for after being inserted, with Alex Hales top scoring with 54.

Clint McKay shone with the ball for the Foxes, finishing with figures of four for 24 in front of a crowd of 11,057.

Leicestershire’s reply appeared to hit the buffers from an early stage, with Jake Ball removing three batsmen with his first 14 deliveries.

Ball, who had claimed career-best first class figures of six for 49 earlier in the week, had Ned Eckersley taken at point in the first over of the chase, before clean bowling Ben Raine and Mark Cosgrove on his way to finishing with figures of three for 42.

Andrea Agathangelou hit Broad straight to Samit Patel at midwicket but the expected romp to an easy victory was put on the back boiler as the Foxes fought back through Akmal and Matthew Boyce, who put on an unbroken 99 together for the fifth wicket.

Earlier, Hales and Brendan Taylor had laid a foundation for the Outlaws’ eventual total with a third-wicket partnership of 71, after Riki Wessels had fallen for 18 and Steven Mullaney for just 4.

Hales’ second half century in just three innings in this season’s Blast competition was reached with a huge six over midwicket, off Robert Taylor, his third maximum of the evening.

Once the England one-day specialist had miscued Jigar Naik high to long on, shortly afterwards, the innings fell away alarmingly.

Brendan Taylor, although making his highest score in this season’s competition, was far from his fluent best in making 47 from 39 balls on his 100th T20 appearance.

The former Zimbabwe captain had made an indifferent start to this season’s Blast competition, failing to get beyond 12 in his three previous matches but he looked to be on course for a maiden 50 before being given out lbw to McKay.

Incredibly, that was the first of a three wickets in three balls spell to end the innings, with two former Leicestershire players both being dismissed without scoring.

James Taylor, batting at number seven in the order, perished first ball as his attempted reverse slog ballooned high before falling into the gloves of wicketkeeper Ned Eckersley.

McKay was denied a hat-trick but the next delivery did produce a wicket, nevertheless, as Broad was run out without facing, trying to steal a bye to Eckersley.