DAY 1 Close: Gloucestershire 75-4 Leicestershire 133 (Pts: Glos 3, Leics 1)
It was another unusual day at Bristol on day one of the county championship match between Gloucestershire and Leicestershire, as 14 wickets fell in conditions that were heavily in favour of the bowler.
Leicestershire actually managed to reach 83-0, before the onslaught of wickets left the prospect of four day's play extremely unlikely, with just two-and-a-half innings remaining already, and bowler-friendly conditions set to remain.
The visiting batsmen gritted out the first session, in testing conditions. Jon Lewis in particular, bowled very economically and pressurised the batsman, who, to their credit, did not yield before lunch and made a tidy partnership that had Alex Gidman scratching his head as he continually changed the bowling with five men used before the interval.
On resumption however, eight wickets fell for just 13 runs as Anthony Ireland answered his critics (most notably yours truly) to send Leicestershire crashing with 6-31. The Zimbabwean got into a wonderful rhythm and was able to land the ball on a sixpence and the conditions did the rest.
A brief flurry from the tail pushed the total to 133, before the Shire themselves were reduced to 20-3. One wonders if the ECB ground-inspectors will be in touch, following the second consecutive four-day pitch that has not encouraged proper competitive cricket.
Alex Gidman recovered the situation and reached 34 not out at the close, but the Shire are still under pressure after losing Chris Taylor moments before.
It will be more hard work for Glos tomorrow, who will be aiming for 250 in order to take charge of the match, and much application at the crease is required if that is to happen.
Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk