Monday, July 06, 2009

Glos bowl first and lose again in semi-final

FPT Semi-Final: Sussex 326-7 beat Gloucestershire 292 by 34 runs

Gloucestershire lost their Friends Provident semi-final as they failed to chase down Sussex's 326-7 as the pressure of chasing again got the better of them.

A large westcountry contingent were treated to a beautiful day, over 600 runs and two wonderful innings that almost ended with a miraculous Glos chase, but Sussex always seemed to hold the aces and went through to play Hampshire in the final.

Having scored over 300 batting first in the rained off group match, and seeing the straw coloured pitch and bare outfield, everyone was again totally bemused by Alex Gidman's decision to bowl first.

Gidman did attempt to redeem himself with a career-best 116 in reply, as he shared a 155 partnership with Hamish Marshall, the completely avoidably runout of whom, again proved the turning point.

Marshall late cut to short-third man and set off for the run, only to be sent back by Gidman who realised the shot had travelled straight to the fieldsman. The New Zealander turned but the throw beat him and the stand that was almost winning Glos the game came to an end.

Then came the difference between the sides; whereas Sussex recovered to produce further notable stands, the Shire lost their way, wickets tumbled and the required run-rate eventually got the better of them.

However, once again, it was Gidman's unusual decision to bowl that set up the predicament. Ed Joyce and Chris Nash made hay in the powerplay - the outfield was lightning and anything past the fielders simply raced away. Wickets would have stemmed the runs but the Sussex top three rebuilt excellently after Glos made a breakthrough, as the third wicket went down at 262.

Joyce was eventually run out for 146, however, when on 91 Vikram Banerjee claimed a catch on the boundary after tossing the ball in the air as he was about to fall over the rope before reclaiming it. Joyce walked, but then halfway there was informed that a television decision was required and duly gained a reprieve from the third umpire.

Granted the correct decision was made, but Joyce was happy to accept Banerjee's appeal until he was sent back by his balcony - the incident left a bad taste in the mouths of Glos supporters and was another example of an abuse of television coverage: had Sky not been present, Joyce would have walked and the remainder of the match may well have been different.


  1. Re the abuse of television coverage, if the cameras had not been there, Banerjee would have had to tell the umpires that he was not sure whether he had touched the rope or not. He certainly didn't look confident that it was a fair catch and some members of the crowd in that location were calling for the 6 immediately.

    A 6 would still have been given and Joyce would have continued his innings.

  2. I was nearby and Bannerjee's catch was brilliant but he obviously touched the boundary markers with his foot whilst the ball was in his hands, the tossing of the ball in the air was far too late.

    Shame we fell to pieces in the last few overs, 78 to win off the last 10 overs with 6 wickets in hand looked very much on.

    On balance I think it was a reasonable decision to field first, although I was surprised.

    I will be at the final as I went to Hove with a friend from Sussex and so I offered to go with him to Lord's. It will be interesting to be a neutral as all the other finals I have attended have involved Glos (and we won all but one).

  3. When We're Bobbin'9 July 2009 at 01:39

    It disappointed me that he tried to claim the catch because, as anyone who's ever played cricket knows, you know deep down whether you've touched the rope or not (if he honestly felt he didn't then fair enough, but I suspect his reaction gave it away...)

    If Hamish could stop running himself out we might stand a chance of winning! - but personally I think we lost it a long time before that... Kirbs, Dawson and Taylor were the only people who seemed to give a shit while bowling. Kadeer was shockingly bad all day, and Franklin didn't do enough considering the interview he gave to the bbc before the game. Gutted to lose, but it kinda summed up our recent performances imo...

    unspelt - I wouldn't want to be at the final without us there to be honest (although that may just be me!) Also I think that the final v Surrey was the best in terms of atmosphere from us - there was this sort of defiance from the support that we were the best even if we were losing! ..I struggle to remember if that was the final the sea bass first made an appearance or not though!...


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