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Rain forced the Royal London Cup match between Leicestershire and Northamptonshire to be abandoned as a draw with only 16.5 overs having been bowled.

The result effectively ends the Foxes’ chances of qualifying for the later stages of the competition. The Steelbacks, with just one win from their previous six games, were already out of contention.

Put into bat after losing the toss, the visitors were well placed to build a formidable total after recovering  from losing a wicket in the first over of their innings. Ben Duckett, struggling for form this season after making his England debut last winter, was dismissed first ball by Dieter Klein, a sharp swinging delivery removing the left-hander’s off-stump.

The pitch was flat, however, and Richard Levi took full advantage, hitting through the line of the ball to impressive effect as he raced to 50 off 38 balls, reaching his half-century by lifting Zak Chappell over square leg for his second six, to go with seven fours.

Rob Turner, badly dropped by Tom Wells at first slip off the left-arm spin of Jamie Sykes on 13, was also scoring at a run a ball when rain caused an initial two hour delay.

Play resumed with the match reduced to 36 overs a side, but only another 3.2 overs were possible, during which Newton reached his 50, off 50 balls, before further heavy showers ended any chance of another re-start.

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