IRELAND overseas batsman Gareth Delany starred to dent Yorkshire’s Vitality Blast hopes, as Leicestershire secured a thrilling chase of 189 to win by three wickets off the last ball at Grace Road.

Delany’s part-time leg-spin claimed two wickets, those of Adam Lyth for a superb 71 and Harry Brook, as the Vikings posted a commanding 188-6, which also included a thumping 19-ball 44 for Jordan Thompson.

But the efforts of Lyth and Thompson with the bat were usurped by opener Delany and Foxes captain Colin Ackermann, who both hit blistering half-centuries to advance their chase from peril at 61-2 in the eighth over.

They shared 88 inside seven overs, with 28 coming off Thompson’s seamers, including three sixes, in the 14th - 119-3 to 147-3 - as the game really swung the hosts’ way.

Ben Mike eventually hit Lyth for a straight six off the last ball of the match, with three runs needed, to seal a home win.

Delany fell for 60 off 40 balls, only for Ackermann to steer the chase with 58 off 34 as the Vikings suffered their second defeat in six matches to go with two wins and two No Results.

Lyth was left defending nine off the last over with his off-spinners.

Yorkshire are now four points behind North Group leaders Nottinghamshire with as many games to play and two behind tonight’s opponents at Emerald Headingley, Lancashire, who occupy the second automatic qualifying place for the quarter-finals.

Leicestershire leap-frogged them into third place in the table.

Speaking after the game, Lyth said: “The powerplay went well for us, but I got out in a really important part of the game.

“I think we were 15-20 runs short, which is disappointing.

“I feel really good (at the crease), but I feel like I’ve missed out on a big one, getting out with about seven overs to go. I definitely left a few out there.

“In their powerplay with the ball we were outstanding but just lost our way in the middle.

“We pegged it back right at the end with some good overs, but unfortunately I didn’t quite get it right at the end, and it disappeared out of the park.

“That’s one game we should really have won.”

After Yorkshire were invited to bat, Lyth’s 46-ball knock with three sixes represented his third fifty in four Blast innings this summer.

He shared 70 inside seven overs for the second wicket with captain David Willey (27 off 17 balls) to advance from 28-1 in the fourth over.

Their running between the wickets was a particular feature on a ground with short straight boundaries but large square.

Unfortunately, the Vikings then slipped from 98-1 in the 10th to 124-5 in the 15th as Leicester squeezed with spin - the bowled 12 overs of spin in all.

Will Fraine was run out without facing a ball, while Willey was bowled and Lyth, who had earlier reached 50 off 24 balls on the way to his highest score of the T20 summer, and Brook were both caught in the deep.

Thompson then dominated a 64-run - off 31 balls - partnership with sixth-wicket partner Jonny Tattersall (22 not out) to end the innings in style.

Dropped twice on 20 and 34, he hit four sixes, successive off left-arm spinner Callum Parkinson in the 17th over and successive again off seamer Will Davis in the 18th.

Skipper Willey and Ben Coad took the new ball for the Vikings, with Coad making his first Blast appearance in a little over three years.

But it was the man who Coad had taken the new ball off, Matthew Fisher, who made the breakthrough when Harry Dearden dragged him to long-on - 19-1 in the fourth over.

Arron Lilley got Leicester moving with two sixes in a lusty 30 before pulling a waist high full toss from Jack Shutt down Brook’s throat at deep mid-wicket in the eighth over, leaving the score at 61-2.

But that was when Delany and South African Ackermann united to change the game.

They both hit the ball strongly down the ground, with one six from Ackermann off Thompson in the 14th a huge hit over the Grace Road pavilion.

Delaney reached 50 off 32 balls and Ackermann off 29.

However, the momentum was to swing again when Delany top-edged Willey behind - 149-3 after 14.3 overs, needing 40 off 33.

Tom Taylor then departed to Coad and Fisher struck twice in the 18th over to get Lewis Hill and Harry Swindells caught (164-6).

The target later became 20 off two overs, with Willey trapping Ackermann lbw on the way to nine needed off the last (180-7) from Lyth.

Lyth started the last over in tidy fashion, only for Mike to get hold of him off the final ball.

Yorkshire are in action again tonight, when they welcome Roses rivals Lancashire to Emerald Headingley. The game starts at 6:35pm and will be televised live on Sky Sports.