Thorpe Arnold enjoyed their first Premier League win of the season as Leicester Ivanhoe were narrowly beaten.
After winning the toss, the hosts took a different approach and bowled first. Christie and Hickman bowled well, but the visitors progressed to 73-0.
The game soon changed as Starkey took three wickets in eight balls, ripping apart Ivanhoe’s top order thanks to two fine catches from Garner and one from Exton.
Ivanhoe rebuilt to 139-3 after 32 overs before chaos ensued. Clark entered the attack and removed both Twigg brothers in the same over, a stunning caught and bowled doing for Matt (61) and clean bowling Pip for four.
Gillett turned seam bowler for the day and picked up Leicester Academy player Swindall in his first over with a sharp caught and bowled. The skipper then had Durose caught by Garner before Clark removed Hunt in the next over.
Gillett wrapped up the innings with two yorkers, removing Malik and Khan as Ivanhoe lost their last seven wickets for 30.
Thorpe’s reply started poorly, losing Clark early, but Gillett and Exton put on 45. When Gillett fell for 17, Hickman made a rapid 22, while Garner (25) played an excellent, mature innings, including a rasping cover drive.
Exton continued on his merry way at the other end and reached his maiden Premier League 50 but fell a few balls later. When Randall fell without scoring, Thorpe were 136-6 and the game was in the balance.
Young Charlie Read battled hard and chipped away at the target before he was dismissed for a crucial 19 (162-7). Clark and Starkey took the hosts to within two runs of victory, but Clark and Christie fell in the space of three balls.
With one wicket in hand and two to win, Exton batted out several dot balls and Starkey got a single to tie the scores. Finally in the 52nd over, Starkey smashed one through the covers to send Thorpe into raptures.
Thorpe Arnold host Market Harborough on Saturday (12.30pm).
Bowling: Christie 7-2-24-0; Hickman 7-0-33-0; Starkey 10-0-40-3; Exton 9-1-50-0; Clark 4-0-12-3; Gillett 4-0-8-4.
Thorpe: Exton 50, Clark 4, Gillett 17, Hickman 22, Garner 25, Read 19, Randall 0, Clark 7, Starkey 9*, Christie 0, Exton 0*, Extras 20. Total: 173-9.