Friday, July 31, 2009

Gidman ton gives Glos day to smile at

DAY 1 Close: Gloucestershire 337-5 v Glamorgan (PTS: Glos 3 Glam 1)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Gloucestershire captain Alex Gidman struck his third championship century of the season as he led his team to three batting points on day one against Glamorgan at Bristol.

Gidman's 122 not out led perfectly from the front, and where other players got starts and failed, the skipper converted and now is set to take the Shire to maximum batting points.

In a game that is likely to only yield bonus points due to a poor forecast, it was essential that a changed Glos line up performed with much more purpose than in recent matches; Kadeer Ali set out to recify this and played some excellent strokes - particularly down the ground - in his 53, although a very poor dismissal soured his efforts.

Hamish Marshall and Chris Taylor shared good partnerships with their skipper, but both failed to capitalise on their starts and a position of dominance turned into one of only advantage with those two wickets.

Coverage continues tomorrow on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Changes for Glamorgan need to revive Glos

FRIDAY 31st JULY - MONDAY 3rd AUGUST
Gloucestershire v Glamorgan
Bristol, LVCC, 11:00
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on http://www.gloscricketradio.co.uk/


Gloucestershire have brought Steve Adshead, Ian Saxelby and Rob Woodman into the squad for the county championship match against Glamorgan at Bristol.

After three consecutive defeats, the Shire urgently require a more concerted batting effort if they are to resurrect their promotion challenge; the batting in the last three games has been the cause of defeat and, particularly at Cheltenham, nothing short of a disgrace with deplorable shot selection and basic errors being made.

The ball will swing again this weekend, with cloud forecast for the whole match, and unless the batsmen move their feet more positively in order to counter the swing, they will run into the same problems as they found at the festival.

Adshead will keep wicket in his first championship appearance of the season, in a change for Steve Snell that will come as no surprise to anyone - he has simply not scored any runs all year and thoroughly deserves to be dropped.

Bizarrely, the abandonment of the 2nd X1 match has perhaps allowed Hamish Marshall to keep his place in the side, given that he had no chance to fail.

Glamorgan are not a great side. They have a young, fragile batting line-up, and their bowling is headed up by an off-spinner well into the twilight years of his career; they are there for the taking if the Shire play proper championship cricket, and only a much improved determination with the bat will see them achieve this.


Gloucestershire from: Ali, Porterfield, Woodman, Marshall, Gidman (c), Taylor, Franklin, Adshead (wkt), Dawson, Lewis, Kirby, Saxelby, Ireland

Monday, July 27, 2009

International sports venue set for Nevil Road

Plans have been outlined for the development of Nevil Road into an international sports venue.

A 20,000 seater stadium and "world class" media centre are the integral parts of the plans to ensure international cricket stays in Bristol beyond 2011 - now while this is essential for the long-term development of Gloucestershire CCC, all that comes to mind is that such ambitious plans are fraught with danger.

Obviously, it is impossible to comment properly until one has seen the full details, but a plan such as this has to be so wonderfully thought through with much sensitivity in order to retain the identity of the Shire; no-one wants the soul to be sold, as we have seen at Glamorgan, who have been left with a football ground and many frowns from the cricketing fraternity.

One has to wonder why anyone would want to create an international sporting venue in the middle of a residential area with no parking and relative inaccessibility to major public transport routes, particularly, as has been touched on before on this blog, when generating revenue outside of sporting events plays an integral part of the profitability of sporting venues and conference and banqueting makes up a large part of this.

Tom Richardson has talked of achieving the best within the restrictions of the site, and the mention of Nevil Road being the Glos' home for the past 130 years gives a nostalgic angle for staying on in BS7; the reasoning is purely financial, given the deal with Royal & Sun Alliance on the ground and the obvious advantage that a clean slate elsewhere would bring.

Being one for history, romance and tradition, I would welcome a plan to see the Grace gates included in a plan to provide the best future for the Shire, and a deal to include student accommodation is an innovative way to help achieve that. But further innovations will be required to ensure Nevil Road retains it's county ground status and not morph into a superdome.

On a recent visit to New Road, I glanced around and admired their developments: the tasteful contemporary new pavilion and the modest Basil D'Oliveira stand and envisaged a similar development at Bristol - tasteful is the key, and I have my concerns as to how 20,000 seats can be tastefully raised.

However, I believe that with the space available to develop at Nevil Road - pavilion end aside, there is a pretty large plot to work with - a facility can be arranged that could achieve international sports venue status while maintaining some quirks that a county cricket ground deserves: a balance that must be appropriately achieved.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Poor batting again sinks Glos

pro40: Durham 206 (39.4 overs) beat Gloucestershire (39.1) by one run

Another Cheltenham thriller, but this time it was the Glos batting that saw the home supporters go home agonisingly disappointed as the Shire lost by just one run.

Steve Kirby faced Liam Plunkett's final over of the match with two required for victory, but the number eleven gloved Plunkett behind to give Durham victory; it should never have reached that scenario.

Glos bowled well to dismiss a strong batting line up for just 206 - far less than a par score for Cheltenham. Kirby bagged four wickets before falling last man in the chase.

Will Porterfield led the reply with a great controlled innings of 62, but played a very poor shot under the circumstances & was fourth man out with another 104 still required.

Another pathetic run-out sparked a Glos collapse. Porterfield unsuccessfully calling James Franklin through for the sharpest of singles to point, and the New Zealander's excellent knock of 21 came to an end.

Another run out, this time of Chris Taylor, saw the home side in a real fight. Having been cruising, at seven down the game looked up, before Jon Lewis & Richard Dawson came together to haul the Shire back into the contest.

Lewis again showed his all-rounder pedigree with some lusty hitting, and the Cheltenham masses believed again and grew in voice as the cider flowed in the sunshine, but his very soft dismissal brought the pressure onto the final pair and neither Dawson nor Kirby could support an ailing Alex Gidman to steer the Shire over the line.

A failure to consolidate and rebuild the innings cost Glos, and has done so far this season - in many Twenty20 chases the fall of a wicket has almost seen the end of the Shire's chances; in the Friends Provident semi-final, Glos never recovered from the calamotous run-out of Hamish Marshall, and so it proved in this match. From 79-1 no front-line batsman was able to take the innings forward with purpose and that cost Gloucestershire a match they should have won.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Embarrassing batting sinks Glos

DAY 3 Close: Northamptonshire 232 & 58-1 beat Gloucestershire 147 & 142 by nine wickets (PTS: Northants 18, Glos 3)

Arriving at Cheltenham college this morning was to turn back the clock 12 months, with Gloucestershire trying to play catch-up in a championship match, and eventually rolling over in defeat.

A purely deplorable batting display has seen only 289 runs scored in two innings on a great batting pitch; the Shire showing their flaws against the swinging ball & if radical changes were only threatened before this match, this result must surely bring those about.

A defeat inside two days has left Glos' supporters wondering whether the early season form that saw Gloucestershire top the table was merely a dream, as a horrendous drop in form with the bat as seen a slide down the table & promotion ambitions beginning to wane.

The Shire seem to have a plethora of bowling options: Stayt, Saxelby & Banerjee all played second team cricket this week, but the batting cupboard remains rather bare.

When looking for top order replacements, one can only really produce Grant Hodnett as a suggestion, and for his recall it would take some pride swallowing.

There are many candidates worthy of replacement. Hamish Marshall has only one notable score to his name this season; Kadeer Ali has only a one-day performance to show; Chris Taylor has scratched around all year, but first innings runs may earn him a reprieve for the visit of Glamorgan.

Steve Snell must be dropped. His low scores have come about via poor judgement and his wicket-keeping could only be termed average at best; it is time Steve Adshead got a chance in the four-day arena.

It is certainly time for change & I believe Rob Woodman, Hodnett & Adshead would provide radical enough change to try & induce more solid batting displays.

Last season the holy grail was 20 wickets: the Shire may have cracked that, but have not scored enough runs in any match this season & change must occur if improvement is to be found.

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Monday, July 20, 2009

Another batting failure leaves Glos on back foot

Close DAY 2: Gloucestershire 147 v Northamptonshire 175-6 (PTS: Glos 2 Northants 3)

No play was possible on day two due to rain

Bowled out for just 147, Gloucestershire again faced an uphill battle on day one of their county championship match against Northamptonshire at Cheltenham.

Only two teams in division two have achieved fewer batting bonus points than Gloucestershire this season, and these poor batting displays are threatening to prevent a push for promotion.

Kadeer Ali received a serious blow to the head and was forced to leave the field and this set the tone for the innings as the top order were all quickly forced to leave the field courtesy of accurate swing bowling under laden skies.

Will Porterfield replicated Andrew Strauss in following a majestic innings with a poor piece of judgement the following morning; he too shouldered arms to become the first dismissal. Steve Snell also failed once more and only brief application from Chris Taylor prevented a total rout.

Once batsman engaged themselves at the crease, batting became far easier on the flat hard Cheltenham pitch - albeit with a little grass left on. Nicky Boje displayed such application to make 57 not out.

The Glos attack performed well in less helpful conditions than those in the morning and had reduced the visitors to 8-3. James Franklin in particular, beat the bat with regularity and was unfortunate not to break the Boje-Andrew Hall partnership, which nudged Northants into a lead by the close with four wickets still remaining.

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Glos to bat first at Cheltenham

MONDAY 20th - THURSDAY 23rd JULY
Gloucestershire v Northamptonshire
LVCC, Cheltenham, 11:00

Gloucestershire have been inserted by Northamptonshire on the opening morning of the Liverpool Victoria County Championship division two match at Cheltenham.

The same team that beat Essex in the pro40 fixture will take the field for this match, and Ian Saxelby will play for the second X1 as he continues to return from injury.

After the morale-boosting pro40 victory, the batting will again be under pressure to perform; their shortcomings being the major contributor to several defeats this season. Will Porterfield will look to build on his wonderful 97 not out yesterday.

Glos Cricket Radio will not be broadcasting this match due to difficulties out of their control, but coverage will return for the match against Glamorgan at Bristol.

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.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Snowy is away...

...and will not be blogging on the Derbyshire or Worcestershire matches.

Fear not, however, follow his thoughts on twitter: www.twitter.com/TheShire09

and snowy shall return for the Essex pro40 match!

Due to unkown circumstances, Gloucestershire CCC are not able to accomodate GlosCricketRadio for the Derbyshire match, robbing us all of ball-by-ball commentary. Hopefully, there will be coverage of the Northamptonshire match from Cheltenham.

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.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Spirited Lewis can't prevent Glos defeat

DAY 4 Close: Kent 231 & 266 beat Gloucestershire 166 and 255 by 76 runs (PTS: Kent 18 Glos 3)

Gloucestershire were defeated on the fourth morning at Beckenham as the failure of their batting cost them a match that they could easily have won.

Only amassing 421 runs on a flat hard deck was a very poor effort and while the bowling attack has now progressed into a successful unit, the batting has now become the shortfall of this team.

Players with quality are not scoring the runs required and many got themselves out in this match; the type of which will need to be converted into victories if Glos are to achieve promotion and then success into division one.

The morning got off to the worst possible start as Vikram Banerjee played a back-foot drive into silly point's thigh, the ball rebounded to present gully with a simple catch. Then Snell shouldered arms and was given out LBW to completely remove any thought of victory for the Shire.

But Jon Lewis played the innings of the match to provide some entertainment for the visitors. His 61 from 49 balls was achieved with 52 in boundaries and included some lovely strokes, but the removal of James Franklin prevented further Lewis hitting as Steve Kirby edged his third ball to second slip.

The match was lost with the Kent 10th wicket stand yesterday, but such a poor batting display meant that Glos were up against it for the majority of this match.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Glos struggle on day three

DAY 3 Close: Gloucestershire 166 & 131-5 trail Kent 231 & 266 by 201 runs (PTS: Glos 3 Kent 4)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary: www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Gloucestershire look on the verge of defeat at the end of day three at Beckenham as they fell five wickets down with still 201 to beat Kent.

Having taken three quick wickets on the morning of day three, the possibility of Gloucestershire putting themselves into a winning position was strong, but the game slipped away from the visitors and now only one result looks realistic.

A record tenth wicket stand between Ryan MacLaren and Simon Cook of 89 pushed the target up to a daunting 332, but the Shire began well as Kadeer Ali and Hamish Marshall put a good stand together.

But the partnerships could not progress; Kadeer fell to a James Tredwell arm ball and Alex Gidman shouldered arms to the off-spinner to be adjudged LBW for just 12.

Several times Glos had the chance to survive until the close and find themselves in a useful position on the final day, but quick wickets have dispelled those notions and now only a dramatic turnaround in fortunes will change the likely result.

MacLaren and Cook showed everybody how to bat on this surface. They got into line well, ran the singles and punished loose bowling: simple batting but extremely effective and it has bee Gloucestershire's failings with the bat that has seen them slide to the verge of defeat.

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary continues tomorrow: www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Kirby claws Glos back into contention

DAY 2 Close: Kent 231 & 149-6 lead Gloucestershire 166 by 214 runs (PTS: Kent 4 Glos 3)
LIVE coverage on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk with new improved sound quality

Gloucestershire were bowled out for just 166 on day two against Kent at Beckenham, but Steve Kirby's heroics late in the day have clawed the Shire back into the match.

The visitors still have four wickets to claim in Kent's second innings, and the first hour tomorrow will be absolutely vital. If Glos can wrap the innings up quickly, a very gettable score of around 250 may be the target; if Kent bat until lunch, then above 300 may be asked to win.

One can never find enough praise for Steve Kirby - what a cricketer. On a baking hot day, he steamed in and produce some really intense bowling and claimed 4-25 blasting out the top order and setting up the comeback.

Martin van Jaarsveld and Justin Kemp compiled 55 together and just started to ease Kent away, but back came Kirby producing an effort ball that hurried van Jaarsveld and saw him top-edge a pull stroke that Steve Snell pouched.

Not only that, but a sweating panting Kirby then came for a chat on the boundary; quite a character and his efforts as John Light mentioned in an interview with www.gloscricketradio.co.uk are being monitored by the England selectors.

Kirby hauled Glos back into the contest, after the batsman completely tumbled. A marvellous catch from Darren Stevens to dismiss Alex Gidman sparked a collapse, as the Shire lost eight wickets for just 97; a far better effort will be required for the Shire to win this match.

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary continues tomorrow on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk
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