Foxes show bite thanks to Rishi Patel's maiden T20 hundred

Rishi Patel muscles one leg side Getty Images

Leicestershire 174 for 4 (Patel 104, Hill 54) beat Durham 172 for 4 (Turner 60*) by six wickets

A maiden T20 century by Rishi Patel powered Leicestershire Foxes to an impressive six-wicket Vitality Blast victory over Durham at the Uptonsteel County Ground, Grace Road.

The 24-year-old right-hand bat - dropped on 38 - struck 103 from 49 balls with 12 fours and four sixes as the Foxes cruised home with 14 balls to spare with comfortably their most emphatic performances of an otherwise dismal season to date, Lewis Hill hitting the winning runs to finish on an unbeaten 54 from 41 balls.

It was Durham's second defeat by Leicestershire in six days although the Foxes remain bottom of the North Group table, having lost their other six games.

Aussie Ashton Turner's unbeaten 60 from 38 balls lifted Durham's total to a challenging 172 for 4 against a makeshift Foxes bowling attack from which key man Naveen ul-Haq was missing though injury. Ollie Robinson made 30 from 31 balls and Graham Clark 27 from just 14 in the powerplay but spinner Callum Parkinson (2 for 21) and teenage pace bowler Josh Hull (1 for 26) made sure that the visitors were never able to dominate.

Asked to bat first, Durham posted 59 for 2 from the opening block of six, 35 of those runs coming in two overs after the visitors went hard against the two new faces in the Foxes attack, with Matt Salisbury and Tom Scriven drafted in for their county Blast debuts after injuries to Mikey Finan and Will Davis as well as Afghan international Naveen.

Salisbury, who did not play in the Blast during his four years at Durham but made eight appearances for Essex in 2014, took a wicket with his fifth ball against his ex-team-mates when Alex Lees swung optimistically and was bowled, but took some punishment in his second over as Clark and Michael Jones plundered 17 runs, the pair having taken 18 off Scriven in the previous over, although Clark survived a difficult chance to point on four.

Hull finished the powerplay well for the Foxes as Jones miscued to mid-on and when left-arm spinner Parkinson produced a fine, full delivery to trap Clark in the crease in the next over, Durham were 61 for 3. At halfway, with Colin Ackermann and Rehan Ahmed applying the squeeze, they were 80 for 3, advancing to 112 for 4 from 15 overs after Parkinson made another big breakthrough, bowling Robinson to register his 100th Blast wicket for the county.

The Foxes would have been disappointed not to claim more wickets in the last five, which saw Turner and Bas de Leede swell the total by 62 runs, both clearing the ropes of Rehan's legspin, but Hull, the 18-year-old left-arm quick of whom they have high hopes, produced an impressive final over costing just eight runs to finish with 1 for 26.

Needing to score at 8.65 runs per over, the home side suffered an immediate setback, losing Nick Welch to the fifth ball of their reply as he missed an attempted sweep against left-arm spinner Liam Trevaskis, but recovered well, with Hill pulling and scooping profitably and Patel hitting powerfully down the ground, to be 69 for 1 from six, although the latter had an escape when Ben Raine dropped what should have been a straightforward chance at wide long-on.

Back-to-back boundaries off Turner took Patel to a 21-ball half-century and two more off legspinner Nathan Sowter's next over brought the target down to 70 with 70 balls remaining.

And there was no holding the Foxes back on this occasion with Patel in destructive mood, needing just 24 more balls to reach his hundred, getting there his second six in three balls over wide long-on off Sowter, and although it all ended anticlimactically in the next over as an ill-advised decision to go for a second run to de Leede at midwicket off Wayne Parnell saw him run out.

Nonetheless, the home side went into the final five overs needing just 21 to win and though Parnell dismissed Colin Ackermann, who chopped on, and Louis Kimber, caught behind, with consecutive balls, to induce a little anxiety in the home crowd, only 14 more were needed, Hill finishing the job by pulling Sowter for his third six before driving the same bowler through extra cover for four next ball.

Leics 2nd innings Partnerships

1st2LJ HillNR Welch
2nd149LJ HillRK Patel
3rd8CN AckermannLJ Hill
4th0LJ HillLPJ Kimber
5th15LJ HillPWA Mulder