Sunday, September 27, 2009

Glos blitz Notts in season finale

pro40: Gloucestershire 58-1 beat Nottinghamshire 57 by nine wickets

Gloucestershire gained only their second pro40 win of the season, as they destroyed the Nottinghamshire batting and won by nine wickets at Trent Bridge.

Bottom-placed Notts were overran to be dismissed for just 57 in the 18th over, a quite remarkable performance by the Glos attack. There was still time for another Will Porterfield failure, before Kadeer Ali waltzed the Shire home with six boundaries and the West country fans were back on the M42 by 3.30.

Fears another Glos one-day struggle were completely dispelled by Gemaal Hussain, who fired out both openers before Anthony Ireland began a remarkable spell of 8-4-10-3.

It was very pleasing to see the back-up bowlers taking wickets at first team level. It is vitally important that the club has depth, and in Ireland, Hussain and young David Payne, the Shire are developing a useful band of bowlers, with all three able to come into the side and perform competently.

The batting had an easy task chasing down just 58, and the task over the winter will be to develop the batting into a more effective unit, but a grand end to a season of competitiveness for Gloucestershire.

Official report:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Glos romp to final match Victory

LVCC: Gloucestershire 552 beat Kent 264 & 265 by an innings and 23 runs (PTS: Glos 22, Kent 4)

Gloucestershire completed a memorable win over the champions Kent inside three days at Bristol.

A huge victory margin was just reward for some excellent cricket and demonstrated what might have been this season as they picked up maximum points for the second successive home match. 22 points was not enough to gain promotion however, as Northamptonshire claimed victory to move out of reach.

The West country sunshine provided the ideal backdrop for a quality performance; the batting atoning for their feeble efforts at Beckenham to destroy the champions. But it was again the bowling today that wrapped up the win and demonstrated why it is the best attack in the division.

The wickets again spread around, it was Steve Kirby that set the ball rolling with a ripping delivery that flattened Rob Key's stumps; his 64th wicket of the season would come when castling Mat Coles later in proceedings. But pure determination from Kirby blasted away a rapid opening stand of 101.

Hamish Marshall again got amongst the wickets. The New Zealander's usefulness with the ball again on display as he produced two breakthroughs: enticing Darren Stevens into a loose drive to be caught behind, then nipping one back into Justin Kemp as he played on.

Jon Lewis and Anthony Ireland claimed two wickets each - the victims spread around demonstrating how well this attack has performed as a unit this year; Glos have claimed more bowling points than any other side in the division.

The sun sets on another championship season, but Glos can be proud of their achievements. Although the batting has struggled, they have competed in all matches and have been a pleasure to watch; this final victory a testament to how far they have come in a year and supporters can be extremely encouraged for next season.

Official report:

Franklin called up by NZ

James Franklin has been called up by New Zealand for the champions trophy & has flown out to South Africa.

He will therefore take no further part in the match & effectively retires on 104.

Under competition regulations he can be replaced. Anthony Ireland comes into the side & can take a full part in the match.

Franklin therefore ends a wonderful season with Gloucestershire. 31 championship wickets at 29.12 was an excellent contribution to an attack that was arguably the most potent in the division, and his 904 runs at 50.22 invaluable. At times he has provided a much needed lower order boost, and has shown much of his international calibre in some wonderful knocks; yesterday's 104 oozed class.

The all-rounder is in talks to return to Bristol next season, and the Glos faithful will certainly be wishing him back to the West Country.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Glos in command at Bristol

DAY 2 Close: Gloucestershire 439-5 lead Kent 264 by 175 runs (PTS: Glos 8, Kent 3)
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Gloucestershire enjoyed a wonderful day two against the champions Kent at Bristol; racking up 439-5, they have built up a commanding lead and will look to complete a maximum-points victory still with two days to play.

For the first time, the Glos line-up continually recovered from set-backs, rebuilt the innings and meaningful contributions can be found all down the card; Alex Gidman the only major failure.

Scoring above four-an-over throughout the day, Marshall's 86-ball 87 was one of four sumptuous innings in the day but he again gave it away with a loose piece of cricket, falling caught behind hanging his bat outside off stump and falling to the gentle seamers of Darren Stevens. Chris Taylor also played a poor stroke, top edging a pull stroke seven balls after tea; a hundred was there for the taking for both players.

It took the more focused mentality of James Franklin to bring three figures up. Franklin often has the awe of a higher class cricketer, and it was on show today, as he displayed admirable discipline. His patience was tested by James Tredwell regularly, but the New Zealander devised a plan to score against him and was able to work the off-spinner well, including the shot of the day - his lofted drive over extra-cover for six was truly the shot of an international player.

Steve Adshead cashed in late in the day, as Mat Coles had a championship debut to forget. 17 overs 1-121 for the 19 year-old, while Adshead made his merry well to 86 not out and will have high hopes to extend that tally, and Gloucestershire's dominance, tomorrow.

LIVE coverage continues:

Official report:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Decent opening day for Glos/Franklin set to stay

DAY 1 Close: Gloucestershire 21-0 v Kent 264 (PTS: Glos 3, Kent 2)
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Gloucestershire will be pleased with their efforts on day one of the final county championship match against Kent, as they bowled their visitors out for 264 and closed on a solid 21-0.

On a green pitch, it was a good toss to win but Rob Key & Geraint Jones played well, but Jon Lewis found some extra movement to get a breakthrough and the wickets then tumbled. Lewis swung his way to four wickets, and James Franklin also exploited useful conditions to claim 5-30.

The tiflex ball again worked it's 30-over trick, and Lewis found some extra bounce off a length to catch Rob Key's glove on the way through to Steve Adshead, before Darren Stevens and James Hockley were both out LBW to Franklin shouldering arms.

At 139-6, Glos would have fancied rolling the champions for an extremely low score, but Alex Blake played some beautiful strokes for 47 and Simon Cook thrashed his way to 60 not out from just 39 balls to push Kent to a respectable score.

The boundaries are extremely small & runs can come very quickly, therefore Kent's 264 is only a par one, & Glos will see over 300 tomorrow as a realistic target; they desperately need three batting points.

  • James Franklin looks set to return as overseas player next season after Tom Richardson declared talks were taking place and the New Zealander is keen to stay.

The all-rounder's signature will scupper the hopes of many for a world class opening batsmen; however, few will be available due to the IPL and Franklin's contributions this season cannot be disputed. It will a dabble into the domestic transfer market to attract two batsmen that this squad certainly needs.

LIVE coverage continues:

Official report:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Final week set for Drama

Gloucestershire v Kent
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Gloucestershire enter the final week of the LV county championship season as one of five teams that could claim the second promotion place into the top flight of English cricket.

All the promotion-chasing sides are in action and there will be plenty of key moments that will determine the outcome of the second division.

Essex currently hold second place by just three points, but they travel to Derbyshire who are also in the mix - an Essex win would almost certainly see them promoted; a Derbyshire win would open the door for all the other sides - particularly Glamorgan, who travel to the Oval to play a very downbeat Surrey side, and will certainly fancy their chances of picking up maximum points - a lot will depend on whether Surrey can produce a response to their recent poor performances.

Northamptonshire are in the prime position. They play last-placed Leicestershire, and will be expected to claim victory at Wantage Road - a result that would leave only Essex able to overhaul them. Therefore the betting must surely be with Northants; the chasing pack will be hoping Leicestershire's glimpses of competitive cricket this season - notably against Glos at Grace Road back in August - can hold their opponents.

Gloucestershire need to beat Kent at Bristol, probably with maximum points. They will not be facing Martin van Jaarsveld, who has flown home for personal reasons, nor Ryan MacLaren, who has also returned to South Africa.

A result wicket is likely at Bristol, therefore Glos will most probably go with the side that beat Surrey, as they will not want to provide Kent spinner James Tredwell with any encouragement and they will back themselves to out-bowl Kent in the seam department. Those tactics however, would make batting points a touch trickier to come-by, but a four-day draw cannot be risked given the circumstances.

Gloucestershire will be looking to avenge defeat at Beckenham earlier this season, where they competed well against a Kent side then below them in the table; how their respective fortunes have differred since that fixture.

The narrowest league table since the divisional split in 2000 could see any one of several very well matched teams gain promotion - who will be able to seize the opportunity in this final round?

Gloucestershire (from): W. Porterfield, K. Ali, H. Marshall, A. Gidman (c), C. Taylor, J. Franklin, S. Adshead (wkt), R. Dawson, I. Saxelby, J. Lewis, S. Kirby, A. Ireland, R. Woodman, G. Hussain

Kent (from): R. Key (c), S. Northeast, G. Jones (wkt), J. Hockley, D. Stevens, J. Kemp, A. Blake, J. Tredwell, S. Cook, A. Khan, M. Coles, F. Edwards

Follow the final round of the county championship LIVE on from 10:25 on Wednesday.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Glos battle out Cardiff Draw

LVCC: Glamorgan 410 & 171-8dec. drew with Gloucestershire 286 & 281-9 (PTS: Glam 12, Glos 9)

Gloucestershire fought hard to grind out a draw on the final day against Glamorgan to claim nine points from the match.

For a while, victory was a distinct possibility, but no batsmen could respond well enough to Will Porterfield's grafted 81 and it took a 31 ball defiance from Steve Kirby to secure the draw at the death.

Victory was very much in the Shire's sights, with Will Porterfield's painstaking progress gathering the innings along. It was an essential innings from the Ireland captain, who batted the time necessary to present a shot at the target - once again, no-one batted enough time to get Glos over the line. Hamish Marshall, Alex Gidman and Chris Taylor all came in and looked good, but failed to remain with Porterfield long enough to win the match.

It was difficult batting against the turning ball and experienced hands of Robert Croft and Dean Cosker - particularly for the left-hander - and the home side were able to chip away at the wickets to move themselves into favouritism as the final hour began. Captain Jamie Darlymple introduced himself sporadically, and broke partnerships with his three wickets - including the late dismissal of Jon Lewis, which saw a nervy final seven deliveries for the Glos final pair to survive.

Between the sides, they conjured a wonderful final day spectacle that showcased the county championship in fine style. Glos will be pleased that their promotion hopes were not killed off in the final scene, but it will take a favourable run of results for the Shire to win promotion in the final round of matches.

Gloucestershire's final match of the season will be broadcast LIVE on from 10:25 on Wednesday 23rd September.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Glos gain ground on day three

DAY 3 Close: Glamorgan 410 & 169-8 lead Gloucestershire 286 by 293 runs (PTS: Glam 8, Glos 5)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Gloucestershire came back into this county championship match at Cardiff with a spirited day three, but still face a tough ask to take a positive result.

A great effort in the field has presented a platform for the batsmen to go and win the game and propel Glos back into the promotion mix. It was a much more determined effort with the ball and greater consistency, together with a poor Glamorgan attitude to their second-innings, saw Glos run through the second-innings batting to reclaim some initiative.

Three wickets each for Steve Kirby and Jon Lewis - the latter who bowled to a precise plan of attack outside off-stump - has brought Glos back into contention and while a disciplined and measured batting effort will be required to win the game, the like not considered capable of by the current Glos line-up, the Shire do have a chance to win and they will need to grasp it to bring themselves back into the promotion shake-up.

LIVE coverage continues:

Official report:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Batting stumbles as Glam take control

DAY 2 Close: Glamorgan 410 lead Gloucestershire 251-7 by 159 runs (PTS: Glam 7, Glos 5)
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Another miserly batting display by Gloucestershire has seen their promotion chances all but disappear after day two at Cardiff.

Gloucestershire proved that their performance against Surrey was merely a brief improvement, as a lack of discipline again saw the top order fired out, and they still trail by a significant margin with just three wickets remaining.

It is games such as these that good sides convert into their favour, but Gloucestershire continually roll over under pressure. And so it proved as Will Porterfield had everybody questioning his selection with the worst shot of the season; he hung the bat outside the off stump, chipping a catch to point to record a duck and pile the pressure onto Hamish Marshall - who's nervous lack of footwork saw him again dismissed for a single figure score.

Again there were brief fightbacks; Kadeer was undone by personal frustration and was bowled by the patient seam bowling of Jim Allenby, to end a partnership of 81 with Alex Gidman - who himself then reached yards outside his off-stump & feathered a catch behind to bring another batsman's platform to a premature close.

Just when a manageable situation had been achieved, James Franklin missed a sweep and was LBW to Jamie Dalrymple to plunge Glos further into the mire.

The day had actually began well for the visitors: Richard Dawson polished off Glamorgan inside 45 minutes, but another immature batting display has left the Shire on the brink.

LIVE coverage continues:

Official report:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Glos struggle on day One

DAY 1 Close: Glamorgan 380-7 v Gloucestershire (PTS: Glam 4, Glos 2)
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Gloucestershire suffered a major setback in their promotion chances as Glamorgan enjoyed an excellent first day at Cardiff.

Sporadic fightbacks saw Glos slightly balance out the day, but the rapid progress Glamorgan have made has put them into a very advantageous position.

After being inserted, following a good first half-hour, the bowling became wayward & both spinning options were attacked well & the runs flowed in a wicketless morning session.

It was the soft dismissal of Mark Cosgrove that sparked a Glos revival. The spinners then found rhythm & a wicket each threatened to change the day, before a luckless period of play drew Glamorgan into the ascendancy.

Edges past the slips, sweeps over the 'keeper, chinese cuts & balls falling wide or short of fieldsmen were aplenty in the fifth wicket partnership of 112.

But back came Glos with the new ball and three wickets after tea has given them hope of containing the Glamorgan total tomorrow morning.

LIVE coverage continues:

Official report:

Glos set for crucial match

LVCC: Glamorgan v Gloucestershire
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Gloucestershire have picked two spinners to face Glamorgan in what is a crunch match as the LV county championship season comes to the boil.

Alex Gidman lost the toss and Glamorgan decided to bat first on what is expected to be a turning wicket - spinners dominated last week's match against Essex - and as such Glos have included both Richard Dawson and the recalled Vikram Banerjee in their line up.

It is the biggest test for Banerjee, who will be operating on a helpful pitch for the first time this season, and a fantastic chance to grab the first choice spinner's slot. Dawson has been poor ever since he wandered down the M5 and he desperately needs to find some kind of form in a match that could make or break the Shire's season.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

TV nightmare again for Glos

pro40: Yorkshire 173-2 beat Gloucestershire 172 by eight wickets

Gloucestershire took absolutely nothing out of their penultimate pro40 fixture against Yorkshire, as they were totally humiliated at Headingley.

A fairly experienced side simply produced very ordinary cricket; the atmosphere of the team was in stark contrast to that which claimed a memorable win at the same ground earlier in the season, and the cricket reflected that attitude - another television embarrassment for Glos.

The match should have been a glorified practise for next week's crucial county championship match against Glamorgan, however, confidence will have simply taken another blow in this fifth defeat from seven matches.

Richard Dawson looks set for inclusion at Cardiff, after he was picked ahead of Jack Taylor, who missed out on a first team debut; but Dawson was at his inconsistent best - batsmen are never troubled by his bowling and comfortably worked six-an-over from his stint.

Jon Lewis gained a competitive workout, and bowled tidily with 0-15 from six overs, but never fashioned anything to provide hope; Yorkshire negotiated Lewis and picked off the rest of the attack to cruise home and pile more misery on the Glos one-day batsmen.

The top order again blown away - a requisite three wickets down during the powerplay - formed the basis of another display that lacked any of the fundamental skills necessary to play one-day cricket, and was part one of night's catastrophe.

Official report:

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Glos complete best victory of the Season

LVCC: Gloucestershire 523-7dec. beat Surrey 183 & 339 by an innings and one run

All-round cricket saw Gloucestershire complete an excellent victory over Surrey at Bristol and propel themselves back into the promotion shake-up.

It was a professional job in the second innings by Glos, who remained patient with such a commanding lead, and chipped away at the wickets to complete a maximum points victory on the fourth afternoon.

There were plenty of excellent performances to take out of the game; runs for Hamish Marshall and Chris Taylor, and a return to runs for Alex Gidman after a lean spell; Anthony Ireland also took his opportunity and contributed well with the ball.

It was the way in which the Shire recognised an opportunity and brutally seized it to punish their opposition that was most impressive.

Surrey were crumbling against the swinging ball on day two, and Gidman regularly changed his bowlers to keep things fresh and ensure their was no let-up of the assault that began the dominance.

All the bowlers found a consistent length, first morning aside, and allowed their captain to confidently rotate and maintain pressure - credit must go to Stuart Barnes for preparing the best seam attack in the division.

The batting showed exactly what it is capable of. John Bracewell described how all his batsmen have shown glimpses of what they're capable of, but in this match they came right to the fore and played themselves back into form ahead of the crucial last two matches.

Official report:

Friday, September 04, 2009

Glos dominate day three to set up victory

DAY 3 Close: Gloucestershire 523-7dec. v Surrey 183 and 136-3 (PTS: Glos 8 Surrey 2)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Gloucestershire rammed home their advantage on day three against Surrey at Bristol, driving their opponents into the ground with their highest total this season.

It was wonderful stuff in the morning session as Alex Gidman, Hamish Marshall & Chris Taylor played some marvellous strokes and battered a toiling Surrey attack. Three wickets were then whipped out to give the Shire sight of victory.

With a lead of 340, patience prevailed as the bowlers nagged away, but were frustrated by a 75 opening stand. It was Marshall that continued his usefulness with the ball, producing an edge from Jon Batty to provide the breakthrough.

Alex Gidman again passed his highest first class score with a powerful 176, and shared long partnerships with Marshall & Chris Taylor.

Marshall also had a hundred at his mercy as the overnight pair continued into the morning untroubled before a ludicrous second-run saw the New Zealander run out by a Regana Herath direct hit and brought to and end a 183 stand.

Taylor was dropped on nought and made Surrey rue their error with rapid scoring. Playing shots all round the wicket, he emphasised the Glos dominance against a Surrey attack that simply lacked interest; the "star" Sri Lankan spinner Herath was completely blown away on his Surrey debut - he didn't deserve his two wickets.

In a must win game, Gloucestershire have responded with some great cricket and are on the verge of pulling themselves back up the table.

Coverage continues:

Official report:

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Day Two joy for Glos

DAY 2 Close: Gloucestershire 224-3 lead Surrey 183 by 35 runs (PTS: Glos 4 Surrey 1)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Gloucestershire brought themselves back into promotion contention on day two at Bristol against Surrey.

A magical morning in which they took 8-73 was followed up by a majestic partnership of 130 between Hamish Marshall and Alex Gidman that grabbed the match by the scruff of the neck.

It was almost as if all the Shire's wishes were answered on a very blustery but sunny day. The bowlers simply operated with far greater consistency & exploited the conditions. The key was length; Saxelby, Ireland & Franklin all bowled fuller & as such posed serious questions of the batsmen, who crumbled as Surrey were dismissed for just 183 after being 102-1.

In reply, a rare solid opening stand of 77 was ruined with three wickets going down for just 11 runs, but an even rarer batting recovery has brought Gloucestershire into the driving seat in a game they must win.

Not without the occassional false stroke, it was back to classic Marshall as he played some delightful strokes. The yardstick is his placement and at times this was sublime, as he pierced the off-side field with regularity and used his feet against Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath - one extra cover drive was the essence of footwork, timing and placement against spin bowling.

Alex Gidman was naturally more regimented in his strokemaking, but he too took total control of the bowling, and by six o' clock was pulling back-of-a-length deliveries. He played the shot of the day with a sumptuous back-foot drive as the close came at the wrong time for Glos, with Surrey completely on the ropes.

The bowling succeeded by bowling as an all-round unit, and the batting is threatening to follow suit; if over 400 can be made then the Shire will have a great chance to complete victory - tomorrow morning is crucial.

Coverage continues:

Official report:

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Rain ruins opening day at Bristol

DAY 1 Close: Surrey 96-1 v Gloucestershire
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Only 28 overs were possible on day one of Gloucestershire's county championship match against Surrey at Bristol; a major blow for Glos who need to win the match to bring themselves back into the promotion race.

They won the toss and elected to field, but bowled poorly in favourable conditions. In the absence of Jon Lewis, ruled out with a shin injury, it was Ian Saxelby that took the new ball and he disappointed for the first time.

None of the bowler's opening spells were consistent enough - indeed, Surrey were given a flying start by Jon Batty and Mike Brown. The latter was LBW to James Franklin, a wicket that changed the course of the morning.

The flow of runs stemmed & Steve Kirby worked both batsmen over before bad light & then rain forced the day's abandonment.

Coverage continues:
Official report:

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