sport

Group A: O'Brien fires Foxes

Niall O'Brien hit a century as Leicestershire recorded a six-wicket victory over Hampshire in a rain-hit Royal London One-Day Cup encounter at the Ageas Bowl.

O'Brien hammered seven sixes, including the winning hit off James Tomlinson, and five fours in his 105 not out to help his side chase down a revised target 186 from 25 overs.

The opening batsmen's innings lasted just 72 balls as the Foxes made it across the finish line with four balls remaining.

Hampshire had earlier made 275-9 from their 50 overs, with Michael Carberry (61) and Sean Terry (63) providing the main impetus for their innings.

The total may have been much higher if not for the efforts of Leicestershire's spinners. James Sykes (3-34), Dan Redfern and Jigar Naik between them bowlng 29 overs and taking six wickets while only conceding 130 runs.

At the close of the innings Leicestershire would have been required to score at the rate of 5.5 an over but a deluge wiped three hours from the playing time and the target was revised to more than seven an over under the Duckworth-Lewis calculations.

In effect Leicestershire had half the overs in which to score about two-thirds of Hampshire's total, but O'Brien was soon spectacularly into his stride and the new total always looked to be in sight.

Leicestershire, who were heavily beaten by Gloucestershire the previous night, required 10 from Tomlinson's last over but O'Brien made light of it by hitting the first ball for four and the second over midwicket for a maximum.

It gave the Foxes their second win in four matches, while Hampshire slumped to their third defeat and now need a dramatic turnaround in form to qualify for the latter stages.