Leicestershire bat out final day to draw with Gloucestershire

Half-centuries from Rishi Patel, Lewis Hill, Peter Handscomb and Rehan Ahmed saw Leicestershire secure a hard-fought draw after being asked to follow on in their County Championship match against Gloucestershire at Grace Road.

Just four overs remained when the captains shook hands on the draw after an outstanding two-day effort on the part of the visitors’ weakened and largely inexperienced bowling attack.

Beginning the final day on 24-0 and needing another 311 runs to make Gloucestershire bat again, the Foxes lost three wickets in the morning session.

Opener Marcus Harris (17), his feet planted, reached for a wide delivery from Josh Shaw and bottom-edged a catch through to wicketkeeper James Bracey, young batter Louis Kimber (13) was bowled driving at a straight delivery from Beau Webster and first-innings centurion Patel (51) was well caught by Bracey pushing forward at an Ollie Price delivery.

Only one wicket fell in the afternoon, Hill and Handscomb first digging in and then beginning to play more expansively before captain Hill (54) was bowled behind his legs by Ben Middleton.

But with the hitherto largely unresponsive pitch beginning to offer turn, young spinners Middleton and Price, along with seamer Shaw, picked up a wicket apiece after tea to give Graeme van Buuren’s side hope of pulling off the victory.

Ahmed (55) charged to a half-century at almost a run a ball, but was then stumped by Bracey after being beaten going forward to Price, and when Ben Cox (18) and then Handscomb (81) departed in quick succession, Gloucestershire still had hope.

It was extinguished, however, by Ben Mike (37 not out) and Tom Scriven (25 not out), who compiled a chanceless unbeaten partnership of 61 for the eighth wicket.

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