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Leicestershire 329 for 5 (Kimber 89*, Mulder 67*, Handscomb 57) beat Surrey 325 (Foakes 106, Geddes 67, Steel 50, Scriven 5-66) by five wickets
Ben Foakes' maiden List A hundred could not prevent Leicestershire Foxes from kicking off their Metro Bank One-Day Cup Group A campaign with an impressive five-wicket victory against Surrey at the Kia Oval. It was their highest winning total when chasing in all one-day cricket.
Louis Kimber smashed five sixes in a brutal 89 not out off 62 balls and Wiaan Mulder struck three of his own in a 53-ball 67 not out as Leicestershire won with a comfortable 7.4 overs to spare at 329 for 5. With only two players lost to the Hundred, compared to Surrey's 13, the Foxes look a good outside bet for this year's 50-over competition.
Foakes hit two sixes and eight fours in 106 from 107 balls while Ben Geddes sprinted to 67 off just 39 balls in the closing overs of Surrey's 325 all out, in which seamer Tom Scriven finished with a one-day best of 5 for 66.
But Mulder and Kimber's unbroken stand of 146 in 18.1 overs, a Foxes List A sixth-wicket record against Surrey, swept Leicestershire home after Peter Handscomb's 54-ball 57 and an excellent 46 from 37 balls by Lewis Hill had helped to propel them to 186 for 5 at the halfway stage of their reply.
Foakes was unable to keep wicket after suffering a knee niggle when batting and Josh Blake, substituting for him behind the stumps, caught Hill off a gloved sweep at Cameron Steel.
Rishi Patel and Sol Budinger got the Foxes off to a fast start before both were caught at mid-on, for 16 and 33, off Matt Dunn and Conor McKerr respectively.
Hill and Handscomb added 79 in ten overs for the third wicket but Colin Ackermann was needlessly run out for 10, sent back after turning for a third run that was never there, and Handscomb cut a near-wide from legspinner Steel to point.
Mulder, however, was soon pulling Steel for six to bring up Leicestershire's 200 in the 27th over, punching an extra cover four and swinging a legside six off McKerr. Kimber, meanwhile, pulled McKerr for six, off drove Dan Moriarty for another maximum and virtually settled matters by taking 21 from the 36th over, bowled by Dunn, with three sixes hooked and pulled over the longer boundary.
Surrey's innings, which stuttered at first after Leicestershire had chosen to bowl, was built around Foakes' typically elegant effort and rounded off by a burst of spectacular hitting by Geddes, the promising 22-year-old batsman in at No. 7 with orders to shepherd the tail to a respectable total.
Steel, too, played his part with a quickfire 40-ball 50 that included leg-side sixes off Ackermann and Josh Hull, a 6ft 7in teenage left-arm quick making his List A debut. Steel, who came in with Surrey in a hint of bother at 129 for 4 in the 23rd over, helped Foakes to add 95 in 14 overs for the fifth wicket.
Foakes had cruised to fifty from 55 balls, having initially stabilised the innings in a partnership worth 66 with Dom Sibley, who had seen fellow opener Ryan Patel edge low to slip on 17 and skipper Rory Burns depart looking distinctly disgruntled at being adjudged caught behind for 5 from a fine ball from Chris Wright that pitched on leg stump and jagged across him.
Sibley's 34 from 40 balls ended when he nicked a flat-footed drive at Hull to the keeper and Jordan Clark hoisted Scriven for six before his cameo of 19 was cut short by an attempted back-foot force against the same bowler that he dragged down into his stumps.
Foakes began to accelerate when he clubbed Mulder's medium pace high over the short boundary on the Harleyford Road side and he then earned himself another six by just clearing deep midwicket with a pull off Hull, followed by a rasping square cut for four two balls later. He was soon past his previous List A best of 92 while Steel swung Ackermann's offbreaks over the long boundary and collected a further maximum with a whiplash pull off Hull.
Steel fell to a low catch, confirmed after an umpires' discussion and taken at the second attempt by Patel at mid-on as he dived forward to scoop up a miscue off Scriven, leaving Foakes to complete his hundred in the 39th over but then top-edged a pull at the same bowler high into the air for keeper Handscomb to claim.
Geddes began by striking Scriven way over the long-on rope but saw the innings threaten to peter out after McKerr was well caught on the boundary for a handy 13, Yousef Majid bowled for 2 and Moriarty caught at deep mid-on for a five-ball duck.
The response from Geddes was to hit three sixes from the first four balls of the final over, over extra cover, straight and to square cover before he was caught from the fifth ball attempting a repeat of his last scoring shot.
Kimber and Mulder fire Foxes chase as Foakes hundred goes in vain
Leicestershire pull off highest successful chase after Surrey rack up imposing 325