Thrilling Cobb is star in a dramatic season's finale
Wayne White's glance to the fine leg boundary earned Leicestershire victory over Gloucestershire at Grace Road yesterday and ended an afternoon that had become ridiculously tense.
Chasing a far-from-easy 236 for their third win of the season, County were on the brink of victory after a blistering innings from Josh Cobb, backed by Ned Eckersley's resolve.
But having reached 205-3, the loss of Cobb sparked a near-calamitous collapse as Leicestershire plummeted to 218-8. White, though, held his nerve and steered County home by two wickets.
At the same time, Leicestershire avoided a second-consecutive wooden spoon as they finished in seventh in the nine-team Second Division.
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A testing run chase looked like being the order of the day after Jonathan Batty and Liam Norwell defied the home bowlers for 80 minutes on the final morning to take their side from 254-9 to 296 before Matthew Hoggard bowled Norwell.
County's reply started in encouraging fashion as Greg Smith and Michael Thornely hit 42 brisk runs before lunch to put their side in control.
Smith fell at 45 and Thornely at 81 so, when Matt Boyce was third man out with the total on 106, Leicestershire badly needed a partnership to re-establish their victory hopes.
Nobody was quite anticipating what was to follow as Cobb decided putting bat to ball was the way forward.
In a display of thrilling strokeplay, which was calculated and never reckless, he raced to 50 from just 33 balls which included nine boundaries and a huge hooked six.
Eckersley was content to compile at the other end and, quite frankly, that was all that was required with Cobb in overdrive. In all, 155 runs flowed from the 32 overs sent down in the post-lunch session and the game was there for the taking at tea with County 197-3.
Eckersley immediately took the score past 200 and completed his half-century to keep matters moving along nicely – then all of a sudden Leicestershire were reeling like a heavyweight fighter who had walked on to a sucker-punch.
Cobb's innings ended at 65 when he was lbw wandering across his stumps, Shiv Thakor falling in precisely the same way for five. Jigar Naik became another lbw victim before Eckersley, who had batted so well for his 63, gave it away when he edged down the legside.
When Claude Henderson was bowled without scoring, it was the visitors who scented an incredible victory. Three boundaries from White, though, gave the game its final twist.
It was fitting, too, that White should hit the runs which gave Leicestershire their slender, but deserved, win as he was presented with his County cap at the conclusion of an enthralling match.