Leicestershire 169 for 3 (Kimber 55*, Ackermann 33*) beat Durham 168 for 6 (Robinson 69*, Turner 46, Hull 3-35) by seven wickets
Leicestershire Foxes ended a five-game losing run in the Vitality Blast to secure their first win of the campaign, beating Durham by seven wickets at Seat Unique Riverside.
Josh Hull was the star of the game with the ball for the Foxes, claiming three wickets for 35 in just his second game, to help limit the home side to 168 for 9 from their 20 overs. Ollie Robinson top-scored for Durham with a career-best 69 not out and was supported by 46 from Ashton Turner, but their total appeared par at best at the halfway stage.
Nick Welch and Lewis Hall provided a strong platform for the visitors to put them ahead of the rate. Durham debutant Luke Robinson threatened to drag his team back into the match with two wickets. But Louis Kimber smashed fifty from 27 balls on his way to a career-best unbeaten 55 to secure the win for Leicestershire with 12 balls to spare.
The Foxes made a solid start with the ball and limited the Durham openers to only 19 from the opening three overs. Hull then arrived into the attack and made immediate inroads, bursting through Alex Lees' defences before Graham Clark knicked off to hand the left-armer his first two T20 wickets.
Robinson countered against Hull's second over, scoring three fours in a row, to allow the hosts to move to 40 for 2 at the end of the powerplay. Michael Jones struggled for timing and in his bid to cut loose he presented Naveen-ul-Haq with his first wicket, picking out Rehan Ahmed at point.
Turner provided the foil that Robinson needed to add impetus to the Durham innings, raising the run rate, with an impressive array of shots around the ground. Turner found his range to score the first six of the match, sweeping Ahmed over mid-wicket.
The England man went wicketless as the Durham batters targeted the leg-spinner to move the hosts into a strong position heading into the closing overs. Robinson highlighted his excellent Blast form, scoring his third fifty in four innings. Turner and Robinson shared a partnership worth 80 before Hull returned to prise out the Australian lbw for a 25-ball knock of 46.
Naveen and Shah combined to halt the Durham charge beyond 170, despite a career-best from Robinson, as the final two overs cost just 14 runs.
The Foxes made a rapid start to the run chase as Hill and Nick Welch capitalised on loose bowling in the powerplay, racing to their fifty stand in the fifth over. Welch blasted 30 off 15 balls, but Wayne Parnell found his inside edge to stop the Leicestershire assault.
Debutant Luke Robinson enjoyed an immediate impact, striking with his third ball to bowl Hill for 25, offering the home side a way back into the contest. The 19-year-old notched his second wicket as Rishi Patel picked out Lees to put the pressure back on the Foxes. But, the visitors responded as skipper Ackermann used his experience to find gaps in the field to move his team back in line with the required rate.
Kimber joined his skipper and struck the ball cleanly to allow the Foxes to surge towards the victory total, reaching their fifty partnership in just 28 balls. Kimber took on the mantle to power his team over the line with his second T20 blast fifty, smashing three sixes, including a huge strike off Parnell into the pavilion, getting Leicestershire off the mark in the competition.