Sunday, July 19, 2009

Glos swoop to dramatic victory over Eagles

pro40: Gloucestershire 193-4 (17.3 overs) beat Essex 191-5 (18 overs) by six wickets

When Gloucestershire's pro40 match was reduced to a 20-over affair, Cheltenham College grew with fear over the county's shortcoming in the shortest form of the game, but a wonderful batting display saw the home side claim a memorable victory.

Beneath the gloom, Essex racked up 191-5 off just 18 overs after a further delay, but Will Porterfield played the innings of the season; his 97 not out steering the Shire home in the last over.

Having won the toss and fielded, Alex Gidman would have again been cursing his judgement as the visitors posted a mammoth score courtesy of Ryan ten Doeschate's 88. He played strokes all round the park and lifted six maximum's out of the college ground.

Glos would have been extremely disappointed with their efforts; David Brown and Anthony Ireland in particular, received some treatment for unintelligent bowling. Ireland has not learned from the experience against Somerset, and once more offered up consistent length bowling that ten Doeschate and Grant Flower greedily tucked into.

Cheltenham is a very difficult ground to defend on, and Porterfield exploited his opportunity, hitting 15 boundaries to bring the Shire into contention. James Franklin's promotion again worked well; the New Zealander shared 135 with the Ireland captain and his lusty hitting kept the home side up with the required rate.

Glos' supporters began to believe, but Franklin was run out and 17 required from 12 balls. Chris Wright went for the surprise bouncer and Porterfield top-edged a hook into the college lawn-end boundary and Gloucestershire waltzed home for a fabulous, morale-boosting victory.

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