Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fifth defeat in seven for Glos

LVCC: Middlesex 342 & 273-7dec. beat Gloucestershire 210 & 225 by 180 runs (PTS: Midd 20, Glos 4)

Gloucestershire slipped to another defeat and continued their disastrous period since the Cheltenham festival began, losing five games from seven as the excellent cricket at the start of the season has been wasted.

The masters of not being able to consolidate, the Shire lost two successive wickets three times in their second innings and slid out of contention for promotion on the fourth afternoon after never looking capable of saving this match.

The failures with the batting have been well documented on this blog and their confidence now shot, one cannot see how improvement will be made in the remaining fixtures - all which would have to be won for a dramatic turnaround to win promotion.

Kadeer received another good delivery but played well for his 48 - despite many calls I do not feel he should be dropped. I would retain Rob Woodman also; he is a good young player feeling his way into first-class cricket.

It was a career-best 5-55 from Gareth Berg that saw Middlesex home. He used the slope extremely well & produced edges from Kadeer, Richard Dawson, Ian Saxelby & Jon Lewis, and produced a wonderful inswinging yorker to hand Steve Adshead a golden duck.

An all-round miserable match for the Shire who have some serious soul-searching to do if they are to compete in the last three games.

The positives were Chris Taylor's runs, Franklin's second-innings 80 not out and the fightback with the ball in the first-innings; promotion isn't out of the equation just yet.

Official report:

Glos stumbling towards defeat

DAY 3 Close: Middlesex 342 & 273-7dec. require seven further wickets to beat Gloucestershire 210 & 55-3 (PTS: Midd 6 Glos 4)

Gloucestershire lost three wickets before stumps to place them on the verge of consecutive defeats on day three at Lords.

After Middlesex declared to set 406 to win, the visitors lost Rob Woodman cheaply, before Alex Gidman recorded a pair and Hamish Marshall again failed; the top order once again crumbling with the best part of four sessions to bat to save the match.

Some big partnerships are required to save the match, something Glos have failed to produce regularly this season, and from somewhere they have to produce rearguard action that none of the remaining batsmen are accustomed to.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Miserable day two plunges Glos into despair

DAY 2 Close: Gloucestershire 196-9 trail Middlesex 342 by 146 runs (PTS: Glos 3 Midd 6)
LIVE ball-by-ball coverage on

John Bracewell gathered the Gloucestershire batsmen on the Lord's outfield before the start of play on day two, and had a serious finger-pointing conversation about their responsibilities; what unfolded totally contradicted the instructions of the director of cricket.

The batting has struggled all season, but has turned into a disgrace since the start of the Cheltenham festival; whenever the ball has swung the batsmen have got into serious difficulties through a lack of foot movement. The performances have seen the Shire playing catch-up in all their fixtures and there has been an reliance on the lower order to bail the side out.

A bail out of sorts occurred as Jon Lewis and Steve Kirby sneaked the total over the follow-on mark, but it was scant consolation for another day of hideous shot making.

Hamish Marshall and Rob Woodman fended at balls they should have left, while James Franklin and Richard Dawson played round deliveries attempting to attack instead of occupy the crease and play the situation.

Chris Taylor was the only man to show the necessary patience. He kept himself out in the middle and steadily accumulated by reverting to the under 11's batting mantra - waiting for the bad ball. He hit 13 boundaries and demonstrated that concentration is of the essence in first-class cricket.

Once again it will take a major recovery act for Gloucestershire to save this match, and with the confidence of the batsmen shattered, it is the dark days of last year rather than the possibility of promotion which is most on the mind.

Coverage continues:
Official report:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Glos fight back after tea at Lords

DAY 1 Close: Middlesex 307-6 v Gloucestershire (PTS: Midd 3 Glos 2)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Gloucestershire fought back in the evening session to bring themselves back into the game on day one at Lords.

Four wickets after tea brought the visitors back into the game after two sessions of dominance from Middlesex, who had won the toss and played well on a decent pitch, but they failed to capitalise on their position and only just shaded the opening day.

Gloucestershire operated poorly in the morning session, but improved into the afternoon, bowling some good areas and finding much better consistency, albeit with scant reward. The tea break changed the innings and two wickets for Ian Saxelby gave a much more balanced look to the scorecard.

However, it was Hamish Marshall who continued his usefulness with the ball, that created the early inroads. He bowled a nagging area and managed to nip a delivery up the slope to bowl Adam London, who had made a very comfortable 68.

Coverage continues:
Official report:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Adshead set for Worcester switch

Steve Adshead is looking at a move up the M5 to Worcestershire at the end of this season, after the Midlands county expressed their interest in the out-of-contract Gloucestershire gloveman.

Adshead will be expected to move to become the first-choice wicketkeeper at New Road, as Worcestershire are set to lose Steve Davis who has informed them he will not be signing a new contract.

His removal would see Steve Snell move back into the number one slot, enabling the young 'keepers to be given a more consistent chance at second team level and aid their development.

Neither of Gloucestershire's wicketkeepers could be described as outstanding with either bat or gloves as neither has brought any real consistency to their games in recent times; it appears that the intense competition has never brought the best out of either men, and Adshead will perhaps see a change of county as the best path to his continued development.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Glos given lesson in professionalism

pro40: Hampshire 185-7 beat Gloucestershire 184-8 by 3 wickets

A trip to the Rose Bowl was to view a county that had successfully modelled itself into a modern professional club and gave Gloucestershire a real lesson.

The Shire have struggled with the bat all season, and their hosts demonstrated how to measure an innings and played a wonderful one-day chase and matched their Friends Provident success with another second-innings triumph under the Southampton floodlights.

Glos fought only in periods and they never seemed to gain the upper hand at any stage in the contest; their fairly competitive target was easily overcome, despite the unflattering margin.

It was again the failure of the batsmen to develop partnerships and apply themselves on what was a sluggish pitch that saw the visitors post a slightly below-par total. Poor shot selection was again the culprit as simply, not enough patience was shown; Will Porterfield stepped across his stumps and was LBW after gathering the innings together with his 47 - he simply got frustrated and played a poor shot.

184 could have been defended, but the Shire wrote the match off as a practise game. The players they rested would have been ideal given the circumstances. Jon Lewis in particular would have been extremely effective; his swing and accuracy would have caused many problems - likewise James Franklin, and Steve Kirby was required to fire out a couple of early wickets because the hosts needed to be dismissed.

As it was, Gidman resorted to containing tactics and although the surprise opener Hamish Marshall bowled an excellent spell of 2-21, patience was all that was needed to move Hampshire into a position where, with the field spread outside the powerplay, runs came all too easily and although a few wickets gave Glos a sniff, the result was never really in doubt.

A side note for the Rose Bowl - what a wonderful facility. Hampshire took the plunge and moved themselves out of the small club stakes, to a clean slate of land and have created a magnificent venue that is spectacular, with facilities to make the members feel truly valued and yet still contains a compact county feel. Plans to upgrade further have secured a host of international matches and Hampshire have shown the way in the development of the modern county cricket club.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Snowy is away...

...and will not be blogging on the Leicestershire v Gloucestershire match, starting on Wednesday. will be providing LIVE ball-by-ball commentary, but there will be no podcasts this week unfortunately, so make sure you are tuned in every day from 10:55.

Hodnett & Gitsham to be released

Gloucestershire have announced that both Grant Hodnett & Matthew Gitsham will be released at the end of the season.

Both players have seen their first-team chances extremely limited and the club said in a statement they cannot see this situation changing into the future.

Hodnett's departure was almost inevitable after his outburst to the press & Gitsham has never produced any cricket to suggest he is capable of playing in the 1st X1.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Glos beaten again in Derby

pro40: Somerset 119-2 beat Glos 116 by eight wickets

Gloucestershire suffered another defeat to Somerset at Bristol this year, as their local rivals completely dominated the pro40 fixture.

The day went downhill after winning the toss, and the Shire never played with enough discipline to compete; a paltry 116 was another dreadful effort with the bat that was picked off with arrogance by Marcus Trescothick.

A good cricket wicket was exploited well by Somerset and Alfonso Thomas reduced Glos to 0-2 before shot selection totally immune to the scoreboard plunged the Shire further into trouble and at 51-7 there was no coming back.

Will Porterfield continued his miserable form by chipping a simple catch up to mid-off and Hamish Marshall had actually lead a recovery with his 23 before offering up an easy chance of his own; Chris Taylor played a one-day shot and was caught off a ball he should have left as all the batting was again exposed against the swinging ball.

Steve Adshead made 36 and shared 51 with Jon Lewis - who's hard hitting was the only bright point for the home fans on a gorgeous evening, but when Kadeer Ali spilled the simplest of chances it summed Gloucestershire's miserable cricket up in one moment.

Official report:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Kirby included in Lions squad

Gloucestershire's Steve Kirby has been selected to play for England Lions against Australia at Canterbury at the weekend.

The selection for the two-day fixture is reward for Kirby's excellent form this year - he has taken 41 wickets at 20.41 this season and has continued to work hard at his cricket.

Kirby still harbour's ambitions to play for his country and appears to tick all the boxes for international cricket. His pace and aggression are constant threats even on the flattest of pitches and the Yorkshireman continually backs himself regardless of the situation.

Although the side has been selected from players not otherwise engaged, it will be a ideal opportunity for Kirby to test himself against some of the world's best batsman and remind the selectors of his ability.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Glos suffer mauling at Horsham

pro40: Sussex 192-1 beat Gloucestershire 189 by nine wickets

Gloucestershire suffered a dreadful defeat by nine wickets against Sussex at Horsham.

The elation of Saturday's victory at Southend was quickly overshadowed by a dreadful one-day performance; the batting was blown away in two quick spell and the bowling replicated the poor effort at Hove in the Friends Provident semi-final.

Batting has been the downfall for the Shire on many occasions this season and once more a poor display set up a defeat as Glos were bowled out for just 189 - never enough on an excellent out-ground pitch with small boundaries.

A middle-order recovery provided the rapid contributions asked of it, but in order for this to yeild a big total, it requires one of the top three to guide the innings throughout and make a large score - this didn't happen, and a Yasir Arafat hat-trick fired Glos out for a well below-par total.

Luke Wright showed the Shire top order how to do it. He dealt almost exclusively in boundaries, striking the innings he is renowned for: his 95 from 62 balls soared the home side to victory with 13 overs still to be bowled.

The bowling simply had no answer to the onslaught and suffered complete humiliation with no-one able to stem the flow of runs that washed over the celebrations of the previous evening.

Official report:

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Victory to reignite Promotion Push

LVCC: Glos 498 & 40-0 bt Essex 300 & 236 by 10 wickets (PTS: Glos 21, Essex 5)

John Bracewell described Gloucestershire's county championship match against Essex as a "watershed" fixture in their season, and the team responded to tip themselves back into the promotion race.

A comprehensive 10 wicket win was achieved through a miraculous first-innings recovery and developing scoreboard pressure - something Glos have achieved in all four victories this season.

The bowling attack was perhaps at full strength, with Ian Saxelby claiming three second-innings wickets in a consistently accurate spell of reverse-swing bowling. Saxelby got the old ball to swing into the right-handers & his wicket of Ryan ten-Doescathe after lunch set the Shire up for their victory.

Richard Dawson's return to form - albeit due to encouraging conditions - has sealed his place as first-choice spinner for the time being. He kept his lengths full and posed problems for the batsmen; he had Tom Westley caught at backward-short leg early in the morning to start the ball rolling.

21 points could not have even entered many minds on the second afternoon, when at 170-6, an uphill battle ensued. It was overseas player James Franklin that showed the necessary backbone to rescue such a plight; the New Zealander fully justified his recruitment with the best innings of the season, demonstrating the discipline required to make a big innings in championship cricket - a lesson to the top order, Kadeer Ali aside.

Indeed the top order again failed which is still a major concern, they were well untruly bailed out at Southend. Poor strokes accounted for Hamish Marshall and Alex Gidman while Chris Taylor was undone by an out-of-ordinary swinging delivery.

The final word is reserved for Steve Adshead. Recognising that he had to make runs, he dug in well and solidly supported Franklin in the dramatic recovery act, before taking over as the senior batsman into the third day and worked positively with the tail to extend the Glos' lead. It was an excellent innings, one which shall allow Adshead to enjoy perhaps the remainder of the season with the gloves in four-day cricket.

Official report:

Friday, August 07, 2009

Glos within sight of victory

DAY 3 Close: Essex 300 & 75-3 trail Gloucestershire 498 by 124 runs (PTS: Essex 5 Glos 7)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

A momentous day three for Gloucestershire has seen them take total control of this county championship match at Southend.

A career-best 156 not out from Steve Adshead brought the Shire up to 498 all out, as they extended their lead to a score many could only dream about.

Adshead will be extremely pleased to have taken his chance on an excellent batting pitch, he filled his boots with measured batting and led his side to what could be a match-winning lead.

198 ahead, Glos fired out three Essex wickets to leave the possibility of a day three finish, but skipper Mark Pettini again led the fightback and a stand of 44 has delayed the Glos charge. He managed the recovery on day two and could well extend the Essex resistance, the home side probably needing to bat until at least tea to make the game safe.

Richard Dawson sent down the most threatening spell since his return to Gloucestershire, and was extremely unlucky not to have Tom Westley LBW, but he bowled with not enough attacking fielders and for large parts of his spell with a deep point which appeared a wasted exercise.

Glos have plenty of time to take the remaining wickets, but if a partnership can develop, we have seen what can be achieved, however, tomorrow's day four pitch could pose different problems.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow:
Official report:

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Record stand puts Glos ahead

DAY 2 Close: Gloucestershire 319-6 v Essex 300 (PTS: Glos 6, Essex 5)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

A record stand for any wicket at Garon Park has rescued Gloucestershire from a position of struggle into one of supremacy as James Franklin and Steve Adshead dominated the second afternoon.

James Franklin played the innings of the season as he made 92 imperious runs before confusingly walking off for bad light with a century at his mercy, but it was his control and acceleration that was impressive in hauling the Shire back into this game.

Two huge slog-swept sixes off Danish Kaneria demonstrated how Franklin asserted himself on the bowling and he provided the platform for Adshead to quietly accumulate and cash in on pitch where batsmen should be expected to fill their boots.

Hamish Marshall, Alex Gidman and Chris Taylor had all fell in dreadful fashion. They were extremely poor dismissals that demonstrated the team's recent poor form with the bat but it was fantastic rearguard action that rescued Glos.

A lead of 19 and four wickets left is a platform for the Shire to build a lead tomorrow and work themselves into a winnable position.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow:
Official report:

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Glos let Essex off hook

DAY 1 Close: Essex 300 v Gloucestershire 13-1 (PTS: Essex 3, Glos 3)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary continues on

Gloucestershire again failed to capitalise on their strong position on day one in the county championship as Essex recovered from 47-5 to make 300.

Admittedly the weather was the key factor; the early morning cloud saw extravagent swing and the Shire exploited the conditions well with two wickets apiece for James Franklin and Steve Kirby.

The afternoon was almost a completely different game, as the clouds rolled away and the sunshine created the platform from which Essex launched their comeback.

Mark Pettini eventually fell for 91 but not after he had led his team out of the abyss, sharing stands of 91 with Ryan ten Doescathe and 88 with David Masters, who enjoyed the sea air, making an Essex-best 55 and then removed Rob Woodman in the 7 overs Glos faced before the close.

The Garon Park pitch is hard and flat and without the overhead conditions, was excellent to bat on. The Shire will hold high ambitions of gaining a first innings lead into tomorrow.

Coverage continues tomorrow:
Official report:

Monday, August 03, 2009

Day Four slumps to draw

DAY 4 Close: Gloucestershire 400-9 dec. & 168-2 drew with Glamorgan 350-8 (PTS: Glos 11 Glam 11)

The expected excitement on the final day at Bristol failed to materialise as Gloucestershire settled for a draw against Glamorgan.

11 points will seem a fair return after three heavy defeats, as Glos batsmen enjoyed time at the crease, playing themselves into some kind of form with plenty of cricket remaining in the season.

It was pretty lethargic stuff at Nevil Road as the Shire continued their overnight defensive stance and played out the final day; Will Porterfield plodded his way to 31 from 106 balls and Kadeer Ali also enjoyed a glorified net with 67 before bad light curtailed proceedings.

It had been a slow, unresponsive wicket that produced a flat game; the weather preventing proper preparation of the wicket and taking three sessions out of the match. And batting was a pretty easy task as even the extra pace of Steve Kirby and Garnett Kruger, although only Alex Gidman truly capitalised and converted his start into a century.

The afternoon's cricket did bring out cricket's more frustrating side, however, as a ludicrous interruption for bad light saw a 20 minute session before the tea interval and then 20 further minutes before the players were dragged off again for light. Everyone wanted the game finished, but it took a further half-hour until the cut-off point for the game to officially be declared a draw - a quite agonising waste of time when common-sense should have prevailed.

Official report:

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Declaration leaves outside chance of result

DAY 3 Close: Gloucestershire 400-9dec. & 19-0 lead Glamorgan 350-8dec. by 68 runs (PTS: Glos 7 Glam 7)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary:

Gloucestershire toiled away throughout day three at Bristol, but failed to take maximum bowling points as Glamorgan declared on 350-8.

The flat, docile surface allowed Glamorgan to rack up 216 for the first wicket - although Will Bragg did retire hurt on 92 - and for times it seemed a wicket would never arrive, but Jon Lewis struck with three wickets in eight balls to reignite Glos' chances.

The Shire currently lead by 69 and would need to extend that to 250 in order to dangle a carrot to their visitors while remaining safely enough in front; the draw is still the banker.

South African Herschelle Gibbs provided the afternoon's entertainment, as he struck 96 from 120 balls, before falling as one of three Steve Kirby victims with the second new ball. But until the second new ball, Kirby was largely uneffective on the slow pitch; it had been Lewis that conjured something with the old ball and he picked up a five-for.

The only loser of this match could well be Steve Adshead. After failing with the bat he posted himself at the bottom of the wicketkeeping pecking order with an afternoon to forget with the gloves. Balls were dropped with unnerving regularity, including a very straightforward catch, and a simple stumping opportunity was spilled off Chris Taylor.

Coverage continues tomorrow:
Official report:

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Maximum batting points for Glos

DAY 2 Close: Gloucestershire 400-9 dec. v Glamorgan 35-0 (PTS: Glos 5 Glam 3)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Gloucestershire claimed maximum batting points for only the second time this season on a rain-affected day at Bristol.

The first two sessions were washed out leaving only 30 overs possible, but the Shire passed 400 and then declared, but couldn't claim a breakthrough as Glamorgan closed 35-0.

Glos were in danger of collapse as James Franklin, Alex Gidman and Steve Adshead departed in an all too unfamiliar brisk fashion, but Ian Saxelby, on his return, made 33 to steer the home side to five very welcome batting points.

The bowlers then found some swing under laden skies, but the visiting openers dug in and survived a very tricky 11 overs.

Coverage continues tomorrow on
Official report:
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