Friday, June 19, 2009

Glos close in on victory

DAY 2 Close: Middlesex 153 & 129-5 trail Gloucestershire 342 by 60 runs (PTS: Glos 6, Midd 4)

Gloucestershire enjoyed a wonderful second day against Middlesex at Bristol and moved to a position where victory should be achieved tomorrow.

James Franklin's 67 worked Glos to a lead of 189 and when Vikram Banerjee captured Owais Shah in the final overs of the evening, the Shire could sense victory; they lead by 60 and require five further wickets.

It was the long evening session that allowed Glos to set about making inroads into the Middlesex order and Jon Lewis responded with a fantastic spell to clean bowl both openers not offering a shot; England captain Andrew Strauss recorded a third-ball duck.

Lewis' right-hand man Steve Kirby also continued some of the best bowling of his career to claim two wickets in a consistently quick and accurate spell - he was very unlucky not to claim a third wicket with his final over of the day, as he crucially produced his hostility with regularity to cause batsman the most problems they might face in the whole division.

Banerjee was introduced and produced a mesmerising spell of cricket. He battled against Shah, who struck him down the ground, and eventually snared his man with a lovely flighted delivery that took the glove and presented Craig Spearman with a catch a slip. Banerjee bowled with much intelligence and varied his pace, length and flight and was well worth his wicket.

The pressure had been created by two partnerships. The overnight pair of Spearman and Chris Taylor put on 89 into the morning, before a David Burton five-for threatened to derail the innings, but Franklin and Lewis played some sensible cricket in a 103 stand to leave Glos two days to wrap up victory.


  1. Terrific cricket from Gloucestershire. Despite the cycnicism and doubts (including a few from me), Bracewell seems to have transformed this side. Franklin looks to have been a fantastic signing.

  2. This should be both a comfortable and a fantastic victory - didn't expect to be saying that at the start of the season - looking forward to seeing it tomorrow!


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