Gloucestershire 368 (O Price 85, Lamb 70, Dale 52, Wright 3-40) and 202 (Wright 4-49, Parkinson 4-63) were defeated by Leicestershire 350 (Hill 103, Patel 59, Akhter 4-33) and 221 for 5 (Ackermann 78*, Ahmed 71) by five wickets.
At the Seat Unique Stadium in Bristol, Chris Wright and Callum Parkinson combined for eight second-inning wickets as Leicestershire completed an unexpected five-wicket LV= Insurance County Championship triumph against Gloucestershire.
After building on an 18-run lead after the first inning, the home team appeared to be headed for at least a draw as they reached 132 for 2. Then, though, a collapse caused by seamer Wright (4 for 49) and left-arm spinner Parkinson (4 for 63) saw Gloucestershire score just 202 all out.
As a result, Leicestershire was left requiring 221 to win in at least 47 overs. Rehan Ahmed, an 18-year-old England Test all-rounder, set the pace with a quick 71, and Colin Ackermann added 78 runs to the total of 221 for 5, which was all they needed to win.
With their second Championship victory of the year, the visitors collected 22 points, while their opponents, who are still searching for their first victory after being demoted from Division One last season, were forced to settle for six.
In their second innings, Gloucestershire started the day with nine wins without a loss and a 27-point advantage. Ben Charlesworth received a delivery from Parkinson that spun and bounced, which he edged to Ackermann at slip with only 14 runs added.
Josh Hull’s yorker with a leg-stump caused Chris Dent to be LBW. Prior to scoring, however, Miles Hammond escaped a difficult leg-side stumping opportunity from Parkinson and seemed to be gaining enough confidence to even help his team set a difficult goal.
To reach the hundred, Tom Scriven delivered a straight six, which was followed by a four in the same over. On the other end, Ollie Price also appeared to be in good shape.
When the total was 132, Ackermann’s off-spin, which had been introduced from the Ashley Down Road conclude, bowled Hammond to conclude his thrilling 53-ball innings.
Lunchtime saw the score at 136 for 3, with Price still undefeated on 39 and Gloucestershire leading with 154. After hitting six fours in his 96-ball innings, Price was caught at backward square sweeping a delivery from Parkinson, bringing the score to 144 for 4.
When James Bracey was caught behind off Parkinson, who was also attempting a sweep, and when Graeme van Buuren, on 13, chopped Wright in the air to backward point, Gloucestershire were 162 for 6, James Bracey’s poor season with the bat continued.
After scoring eight runs, Zafar Gohar edged a drive off Wright to wicketkeeper Peter Handscombe. The quick bowler then promptly dismissed Danny Lamb for a duck with a stunning delivery that smashed off middle stump.
Before being caught at cover off Wright, Ajeet Dale only made a single contribution. Tom Price’s useful 28-run innings came to an end when he lofted a catch to long-on off Parkinson.
In fewer than 19 overs, Gloucestershire’s final eight wickets had gone for 70 runs. The pitch was a pitiful effort, despite providing turn and some seam movement.
With a barrage of aggressive strokes, Leicestershire openers Rishi Patel and Sol Budinger quickly put the condition of the pitch in perspective. Similar to the earlier innings, Patel appeared in excellent form as he hit two fours in the third ball that Gohar bowled. He and Budinger had accelerated the score to 49 from eight overs by tea, and Leicestershire needed an additional 172 from 39.
When Patel immediately conceded 24 runs in the final session by dragging a catch to deep square off Akhter, Ahmed, who had been moved up from the middle order to No. 3, took his position.
Similar to how Akhter fell, Budinger was top-edged by a pull from his fine leg. Ahmed, who had found a reliable partner in the seasoned Ackermann, who pulled a lovely four from Tom Price to bring up a half-century stand, then hit Gohar for a straight six to put the score past 100.
Ahmed reached fifty with ease off 61 deliveries, hitting eight fours and a six along the way. Ackermann followed suit, reaching fifty off 56 deliveries, assuring the outcome. When Ahmed skied a catch off Lamb with 24 to go, their thrilling partnership had grown to 141. Despite the cheap falls of Handscombe and Louis Kimber, the Leicstershire dressing room was already having a good time.