Foxes victory comes at a cost

13 June 2018 07:17:41 EST

Leicestershire's first back-to-back County Championship wins in eight years have come at a cost with two of their senior players facing lay-offs.

Colin Ackermann broke a finger and Mark Cosgrove sustained a suspected fractured thumb in the victory over Northamptonshire.

South African Ackermann is likely to sit out next week's home match against Middlesex as a result, while former club captain Cosgrove's immediate future will be determined in due course.

Recent results have naturally sparked thoughts of a promotion push in Paul Nixon's first season in charge and the Foxes head coach admitted: "Winning with a day to spare was a really positive win for us. There are some really confident guys moving forward."

Northamptonshire appeared to be moving into a dominant position when they were 163 runs ahead with seven wickets intact on the third morning.

But Pakistan star Mohammad Abbas struck twice in the space of six overs and Northants' tail folded to leave a run chase of 217.

"The reaction from Abbas - a world-class bowler with the best strike rate in the world at the moment - was that he came in and gave everything to every ball," Nixon added. "And Ben Raine, at the other end, backed him up brilliantly."

A 148-run partnership between captain Paul Horton and Lewis Hill, promoted to number three due to Ackermann's injury, all but sealed the result.

"It was good old-fashioned English cricket and they took the sting out of the game," Nixon added.

Leicestershire are 14/1 to win County Championship Division Two, with Kent 9/2 and Middlesex 9/1.

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