A SECOND century of the Vitality Blast campaign by Josh Inglis denied Worcestershire Rapids a place in the quarter-finals as Leicestershire Foxes finished their North Group season with a seven-wicket victory at the Uptonsteel County Ground.

After victory for the Birmingham Bears earlier, the Rapids had to win to deny their Midlands rivals the final qualifying position but their 169 for six proved insufficient as Inglis made them pay for a dropped catch on 14 by hitting eight sixes and 10 fours in his career-best unbeaten 118 off 61 balls to see the Foxes home with 13 balls to spare.

Ed Barnard had hit 43 from 24 balls to top score for the Rapids, Jake Libby making 35 and Ross Whitely 31 but no one could go on to make the big innings that was needed.

The Foxes finish out of the quarter-final places but have the distinction of having the group stage’s top run-scorer and top wicket-taker in their ranks, Inglis totalling 531 runs and Afghanistan pace bowler Naveen-ul-Haq 26 wickets.

Having won the toss and opted to bat, the Rapids were 49 for two after the Powerplay. Jack Haynes lofted a Naveen slower ball to mid-on, Brett D’Oliveira made three off-side boundaries but clipped a Gavin Griffiths full toss to square leg.

Daryl Mitchell soon picked out long-off, his demise elevating left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson to all-time leading Foxes T20 wicket-taker on 70, overtaking Claude Henderson’s 69, and at 74 for three at halfway, the Rapids had work to do.

They suffered a blow when Libby, looking well set, was stumped, and Ben Cox was run out at the non-striker’s end as Colin Ackermann deflected a firmly-struck Ross Whiteley drive on to the stumps in his follow through. The Foxes skipper damaged a finger in the process and took no further part.

Whiteley and Barnard added 76 in seven overs before the former was brilliantly caught on the square leg boundary by Mike, Barnard picking up five fours and one extraordinary check drive for six off Griffiths.

In reply, the Foxes were level pegging with the Rapids at 49 for two in the Powerplay, although it would have been advantage to the visitors had the Inglis chance to Mitchell at short extra off Ben Dwarshuis been held.

The home side lost Lewis Hill and were only narrowly ahead at 79 for three from 10, but back-to-back sixes for Inglis off Pennington began to take the game away.

Inglis passed fifty from 33 and needed just 22 balls to move into three figures, attacking Barnard, D’Oliveira and Dwarshuis in turn to delight the home crowd before driving Morris over his head for the winning four.