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Northamptonshire win by 5 runs

Worcs vs Northants

Friends Life t20: Levi fires Northants closer to finals day

Richard Levi: Dominant batting performance

Richard Levi blazed 70 from 43 balls as Northamptonshire closed in on a Friends Life t20 quarter-final spot with a narrow five-run win over Worcestershire at New Road.

The South African opener hit six sixes and five fours while dominating partnerships of 46 with Kyle Coetzer (11) and 56 with Cameron White (22).

The lower order failed to fire as Northamptonshire slumped back to 137-6 but that proved enough for the Midlands/Wales/West group leaders to complete an instant recovery from Saturday's defeat by Warwickshire.

Worcestershire got themselves into contention with Andre Russell's rapid 44 from 31 deliveries, but they had too much to do after David Willey's match-winning return of 3-13 in four overs.

The left-arm seamer crucially had Russell well caught on the long-off boundary by Alex Wakely and despite Daryl Mitchell's unbeaten 38, the home side could not get close to the 21 required from the last over.

Joe Leach managed a four and six off Lee Daggett and in making 14 from the six balls faced the young batsman at number eight - fresh from a maiden championship century against Gloucestershire - made a case out for a higher position in the next match.

Ultimately the result was all about Levi's ability to dominate, as he did last Tuesday in blasting an unbeaten 110 from 62 balls against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

Worcestershire were blown away when the 25-year-old launched another onslaught with three consecutive sixes off Leach when taking 22 off the fifth over.

Three other bowlers were targeted for further sixes and Worcestershire only found a way to stem the carnage when turning to Gareth Andrew for the 15th over.

The eighth bowler to be used, Andrew made the breakthrough when Levi powered his first delivery to deep square leg where Russell was almost knocked off his feet in hanging on to the chance.

There was little else to come from the Steelbacks as wickets fell to the spinners, Shaaiq Choudhry (2-21) and Moeen Ali (1-17).

The last five overs produced only 30 in a disappointingly flat finish to the innings, but it did not prove costly in the end.

Match Details

Date
21st Jul 2013
Toss
Northamptonshire won the toss and elected to bat.
Venue
New Road, Worcester
Umpires
S J O'Shaughnessy, G Sharp

worcs BATTING CARD

Batsman R
T.T. Samaraweera lbw Willey 5
M.M. Ali c Middlebrook b Azharullah 11
A.N. Kervezee b Crook 4
D.K.H. Mitchell Not out 38
A.D. Russell c Wakely b Willey 44
G.M. Andrew b Willey 5
O.B. Cox b Azharullah 3
J. Leach Not out 14
Extras 6w, 1b, 1lb 8
Total 20.0 Overs 132 - 6
Full Batting Card

northants BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
M.N.W. Spriegel 1 0 12 0
D.J. Willey 4 0 13 3
M. Azharullah 4 1 22 2
S.P. Crook 3 0 17 1
L.M. Daggett 4 0 36 0
C.L. White 2 0 14 0
J.D. Middlebrook 2 0 16 0
Full Bowling Card