Thursday, September 16, 2010

Glos lose Bristol thriller

LVCC: Surrey 186 & 180/3dec. beat Gloucestershire 106-5dec. & 250 by 10 runs (PTS: Surrey 19, Glos 3)

What a tremendous end to the season. The rain earlier in this match produced the most exciting end to a county championship match for a long time. It was a pity Gloucestershire contrived to lose from an excellent position but the season finished with a fine afternoon of cricket in brilliant sunshine.

The intense drama around the country on the final day, and the irrelevance of this match, distracted from what in the end was a thrilling contest. Set 261 to win, Gloucestershire were actually going very well and should have won the game. Unfortunately Gloucestershire slipped into their old ways and ended up with neighbours Somerset on the they-played-their-part-in-the-drama side of the fence.

Gloucestershire were cruising with Hamish Marshall and Chris Dent at the crease. Marshall continuing the form he has built up over these final few matches - even in losing causes - and Dent continuing to showcase his talent. It was another wasted opportunity from Dent which irked most. The first time he attempted to play the sweep was his downfall and he was out in the 90s for the third time this season.

And no-one else could regain control of the chase. Gloucestershire lost six for 34 as Jade Dernbach cleaned up the final two wickets in two balls. Jon Lewis ended his miserable second half of the season with the bat by recording a golden duck and Chris Taylor's efforts were eventually in vain.

The afternoon was Gloucestershire in a nutshell. Glimpses of excellent cricket; a move into a solid position; then collapse and defeat. Momentum plays such a big part in their cricket - when the waters are calm they can sail along but when it begins to get choppier they can never run up the jib and stabilise the situation.

The problem is clearly a mental thing because ability is often shown, just never consistently produced. The whole batting line up basically dines out on the mantra "form is temporary, class is permanent". Chalk and Cheese.

Perhaps Jeremy Snape needs to be brought back in, not for his moonballs but for a psychology session and a half.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Declaration could produce exciting finish

DAY 3 Close: Surrey 186 & 55-2 lead Gloucestershire 106-5dec. by 135 runs (PTS: Surrey 1, Glos 3)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Gloucestershire's declaration shortly after tea has set up a potentially exciting finish to the season tomorrow at Bristol.

Their hand was forced slightly by the loss of Alex Gidman and Hamish Marshall from the batting order due to illness that has spread through the camp but when wickets tumbled around tea, the hosts walked off with the hope of a competitive chase being constructed tomorrow. Hopefully there is some entertaining stuff to come.

More entertainment may have come had Kevin Pietersen not got out so early in the piece. Just three balls into the day, he edged Gemaal Hussain to Chris Dent - who swooped later in the morning session to dismiss Chris Schofield with a tremendous catch.

Pietersen will have his opportunity on day four as Surrey push for quick runs to set Gloucestershire a target. If they added another 120 to their lead by lunch, 65 overs to chase 250 may provide some excitement to close the season.

Most of the day was spent watching other scores, particularly at New Road where Worcestershire may get the opportunity to overhaul Glamorgan who look set to be held by Derbyshire. What reward that would be for a fabulous season with the bat for Worcestershire.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day Two washout at Bristol

DAY 2 Close: Surrey 112-3 v Gloucestershire
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Heavy rain and persistent drizzle prevented any play on day two at Nevil Road.

2010 has been an excellent summer weather-wise and this is the first day that has been completely lost to the weather.

Hopefully as both teams have nothing to play for, an exciting contest can be conjured in the final two days, for which the forecast is fair.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Monday, September 13, 2010

Poor weather ruins Opening Day

DAY 1 Close: Surrey 112-3 v Gloucestershire
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Rain and bad light were the best performers on day one of the final game of the season. It was very frustrating and after delays in the afternoon session play was eventually called off for the day at 5pm. The weather forecast is even worse for tomorrow.

Gloucestershire had been on top, reducing Surrey to 45-3. Lewis found the edge of Jason Roy and Gemaal Hussain had Mark Ramprakash well caught by Jon Batty diving low to his right: it was a smart take from Batty whose wicketkeeping has certainly improved over the season.

Anthony Ireland was the other wicket taker. Tom Lancefield played across the line and chipped an easy catch to Hamish Marshall in the gully.

Kevin Pietersen looked very good - the highlight of a very short day. He looked to have so much time and was very positive in his footwork, driving with great confidence and had time to hook Ireland for six before bad light took over. For the greater good, hopefully he can continue to entertain and gain some form ahead of the winter. The runs would be even more impressive under testing swinging conditions: Pietersen has never faced the Tiflex ball before.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rain can't save Glos at Grace Road

LVCC: Leicestershire 295 & 351-4 dec. beat Gloucestershire 159 & 158 by 329 runs (PTS: Leics 21, Glos 3)

For a while on day four a Grace Road, the poor weather looked as if it may spare Gloucestershire, especially when James Franklin and Ed Young put together some stout resistance. But Gloucestershire didn't deserve any favours.

They fell to their eighth-heaviest defeat of their history and, for the first time for a long time, were thoroughly outplayed from start to finish. Most frustratingly was everything fell into place elsewhere, with Glamorgan drawing at Surrey: a Gloucestershire win here and, despite last week's debacle, they were right back in the promotion hunt.

But there were almost no positives to take out of the game. Hamish Marshall was just about one, he played very well and showed some ability to stave off the new ball - Jon Batty did slightly in the first innings but fell back to old ways in the second. Marshall again got out when he should have gone forward to make a century: story of his career.

Two more miserable displays with the bat doesn't need to highlight the point that Gloucestershire's failures with the bat will continue to blight their chances in the county championship unless action is taken. Tinkering obviously hasn't worked.

Chris Dent will hopefully develop into a solid batsmen - the potential is absolutely there - but the rest of the order contains experienced pros who have no pressure on their places. Who would you drop Chris Taylor for? This was said last year, but two batsmen are required.

Will Gidman may be one of those players. Another will probably have to be an overseas acquisition - as well as James Franklin compliments the side, Gloucestershire have enough bowling to replace him, assuming Anthony Ireland remains at the club. Gemaal Hussain is almost certainly out of the door.

It would be a disaster if Will Porterfield departs. But if Will Gidman can fulfil his youthful potential as an opening bat, Batty can bat down the order and an overseas can slot in at number three or four, Gloucestershire will look stronger with some depth. Especially if Chris Dent's bowling - which showed plenty of potential at Grace Road - can be developed into a more permanent role.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Glos tumbling to eighth defeat

DAY 2 Close: Gloucestershire 159 & 78-5 need another 410 to beat Leicestershire 295 & 351-4dec. (PTS: Glos 3, Leics 5)
LIVE ball-by-ball coverage on

The only mystery on day three at Grace Road was why Matthew Hoggard decided to bat as long as he did. Once Leicestershire passed 400 ahead they had far too many runs to make a Gloucestershire victory a possibility. This game should already be over.

It wasn't a mystery that Gloucestershire didn't apply themselves at the crease - Will Porterfield's chipped drive to mid-off being the main culprit; Chris Dent is excused: he received a peach of a yorker from Hoggard - nor was it a mystery that Leicestershire did, and made the visitors toil away laboriously in an afternoon session, after the first hour, of tedious cricket.

The only good thing to come out of the afternoon was Chris Dent's bowling. His left-arm spin was encouraging: he offered plenty of flight and bowled at a better pace than Ed Young and on a more consistent length. Dent can bowl more in first-class cricket.

From five-for-three many simply wanted the torture done and dusted but Hamish Marshall played the type of innings he's enjoyed several times recently. He played Claude Henderson particularly well: using his feet both back in the crease to cut and down the wicket to drive over the infield. But when he nicked Henderson behind, the runs completely dried up - Alex Gidman scored three after his dismissal - and the pressure mounted.

Chris Taylor offered a bat-pad chance in the final over of the day. He trudged off shoulders slumped as a symbolic figure of the way Gloucestershire's season is ending.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow:

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Downbeat Glos almost down & out

DAY 2 Close: Leicestershire 295 & 147-1 lead Gloucestershire 159 by 283 runs (PTS: Leics 5, Glos 3)

Gloucestershire had the air of a very troubled side on day two at Grace Road. Their batting was unbelievable poor and Leicestershire took complete control of a game they might win tomorrow.

A collapse of eight-for-78 was another horrendous slump that saw more batting points sacrificed and this time, no chance to redeem themselves with the ball because they were so far behind on first-innings.

Leicestershire then showed what could be done and move themselves into an unbeatable position with a great start to their second innings. A lead of 400 and this game could be over on day three.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Monday, September 06, 2010

Glos struggle in sombre mood at Grace Road

DAY 1 Close: Gloucestershire 54-2 trail Leicestershire 295 by 241 runs (PTS: Glos 3, Leics 2)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Gloucestershire's body language on day one at Grace Road suggested they were a side with not a lot to play for. Rocked by the news of Steve Kirby's departure, they let the initiative slip and ended the day on the back foot.

Steve Kirby decided he could not longer play second division cricket. He has more to achieve in the game and one cannot begrudge his ambitions. He has been a stalwart of Gloucestershire - resurrecting his career with the county in 2005 - enjoying six seasons and claiming 64 wickets last season in a vintage year.

Kirby turned down a benefit to depart Nevil Road so he must have been dead set in his decision. He is a fine man and a cricketer you would always want on your side. Good luck to him.

To start with, Gloucestershire responded very well to that news and a miserable last week. They reduced their hosts to 36-3 before Paul Nixon played a stern dogged innings to get things going again. His protege, Tom New, top scored with 63 as batting became easier into the afternoon.

The visitors misery against the tail also returned. Leicestershire added 69 for the last two wickets and made the largest total in the first-innings of a match against Gloucestershire for some time. Pressure that Gloucestershire are not used to.

Predictably given the swing in momentum, Will Porterfield and Chris Dent fell leg before to consecutive balls from Nathan Buck. Buck is a fine young British prospect and bowled beautifully with the new ball - consistency that the Gloucestershire attack rarely found - save a brief James Franklin spell in the afternoon.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Glos win not Good Enough/Sort the Fixtures Shambles

CB40: Gloucestershire 268-4 beat Northamptonshire 186-9 by 82 runs

Glos take final CB40 win at Wantage Road. Essex win knocks them out. Snowy analyses the county fixtures structure.

Gloucestershire produced their best complete one-day performance of the season but Essex's victory saw the West Country side complete a miserable week by going out of the Clydesdales Bank 40 League.

With so many results going against them, and their season being effectively put to bed, it has been a week to forget for Gloucestershire.

James Franklin and Chris Taylor shared 207 for the fourth wicket - comfortably a record stand against Northants and equalling the all-time List A-best for the fourth wicket - as the visitors racked up an excellent total on a sluggish pitch. The target was more than enough to defend easily.

It was superb batting. Control was provided after Gloucestershire were struggling slightly at 61-3 and then the accelerator was pressed at the perfect stage: 46 came off the powerplay. But Essex coasted to a win over Yorkshire to scupper Gloucestershire's hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals.

The cricket produced was more frustrating than enjoyable because Gloucestershire only have themselves to blame for not qualifying for the semi-finals. They were abject with the ball at Chelmsford earlier in the season and with the bat at Bristol in the recent crucial televised match. Two comprehensive defeats to Essex leaves Gloucestershire with no complaints as to who deserved to qualify.

But Alex Gidman's men had another chance - at Headingley, again on television. This was a game they were in touch with and needed to navigate through but they missed their chance: really good sides find a way to win those types of games.

One does hope the format of the Clydesdale Bank 40 League is changed for next season. One qualification spot from seven teams is very unfair and leaves teams with very little margin for error - Gloucestershire only lost three out of 12 matches and had a record far better than most teams in the competition, yet still didn't qualify.

The format also leaves scope for plenty of dead rubbers - that is never a good thing for counties trying to attract crowds, especially for Saturday matches in the football season.

The Unicorns experiment definitely worked so I would keep them in the tournament but ditch the Netherlands - they weren't much competition and the hassle of traveling was a nuisance. 20 teams; four groups of five; eight matches; the top two teams in each group qualifying for quarter-finals to retain an attractive knockout element to the competition; and a Lord's showpiece final in September.

That would be a competitive, compact tournament. Four home matches for each county is a good number to market properly. Sunday afternoons should be the primary matchday with a regular night for floodlit matches also an option. This format could work equally as well with 50-over cricket should the counties want to revert back.

The 40-over competition should be played in the latter half of the season. Better pitches, generally better (certainly warmer) weather - conditions to attract people out for an afternoon. Eight rounds of matches in eight weeks during July and August, with the knockout stages extending to the end of September.

T20 could then take prominence during May and June - the format can survive colder weather and compulsory off-field entertainment of jugglers using flaming cricket stumps should warm everyone up sufficiently. Or maybe the ECB can use their SkyTV money to afford patio heaters for every ground.

Ten T20 matches spread over eight weeks is enough, any more and the cricket is devalued. The difficult part is placing the T20 finals day. It's a great spectacle for the sport and can generally grab headlines at the start of August - interrupting the one-day tournament is probably unavoidable.

The County Championship should remain as it is. 17 rounds of matches - including a University/Tour match for each county can be spread across the season to provide necessary breaks for midweek one-day matches and rest. Early season matches should have a Sunday-Wednesday window - yes, people do want to watch championship cricket, they just never get the chance to do so - with T20 on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Later in the season championship games can switch back to Tuesday-Friday with one-day cricket on a Sunday.

Regularity to the fixture list is essential to attract supporters - I'm sure Sky Sports will disagree. Regularity to a fixture list is impossible when a match has to be played every night of the week: the commentators actually have the audacity to bemoan poor crowds at their televised games. A shambles that needs sorting.

The key is to arrange test cricket and ODIs in a sensible manner so that county cricket has to do as little schedule-filling as possible to avoid the fixture list becoming another mess.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Pathetic Glos slump to horrendous Defeat

LVCC: Derbyshire 44 & 236 beat Gloucestershire 156 & 70 by 54 runs
(PTS: Derbys 19, Glos 3)

"It's like a bloody wake here," said one member assessing the post-game atmosphere around the pavilion, "So it ought to be," replied John Light. The former chairman was bang on the money. What a farce this whole match was.

Chasing 125 took one partnership. To build one partnership took occupation of the crease. Derbyshire are not a particularly threatening attack; their only threat was with the new ball - a havoc-playing period throughout the match. Not one Gloucestershire batsmen looked prepared to simply play out the new ball and remove the only threat.

The performance was incredibly complacent and just a touch arrogant - the way Alex Gidman, James Franklin and Steve Snell swung away their wickets was an assumption that someone was going to win the game: no-one had the discipline to do so.

The complete lack of control over the innings was unfathomable given the importance of the match. To take only three points from, on paper, the easiest match of the season, was ridiculous for a side chasing promotion - Glamorgan supporters must be bearing a grin as wide as Bridgend beach.

It was quite frankly pathetic. What on earth were the batsmen doing? It was fair enough to try and hit away the target at the top of the order - not that there was opportunity to do so after Will Porterfield and Chris Dent were genuinely dismissed - but when the innings changed, the batting should have changed. An hour of solid batting would have won the match - Gloucestershire weren't capable of doing that.

The problem runs deep. When the tide is running against them, Gloucestershire are never able to discover a way to swim upstream. As the wickets tumbled and the panic set in, there was no dam-building strategy. Only Hamish Marshall stood against the current but he was washed away too in the end.

Marshall simply stayed at the wicket - and it was damn effective. He knew Derbyshire were soft beneath the surface and his 44 was controlled and disciplined: all the characteristics of a good knock, regardless of the situation. One more innings like it and Gloucestershire would have won the match.

But it should never have got to a fourth-innings wobble. Had more Marshall been displayed in the first-innings, Gloucestershire would have killed the game on day one. They bottled it. They handed back initiative. They missed out on any bonus points. Then they dropped Chesney Hughes.

Hughes is an immense talent. His flair and beautiful strokemaking was on display at Derby earlier in the season. Here his dogged, determined side was on show - intelligence plus ability is some combination.

Dent put him down on 48 - a dipping chance that hurt Dent: he disappeared and didn't return to the field. Hughes doubled his score and Derbyshire had half a score to bowl at. While significant, the incident wasn't wholesome in the reasons for defeat.

Twice in two years Gloucestershire have been on the cusp of promotion - last year it was defeats to Middlesex and Leicestershire that put paid to their chances. This defeat will probably be the defining moment of this campaign.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Glos emerge on top after crazy first day

DAY 1 Close: Derbyshire 44 & 127-4 lead Gloucestershire 156 by 15 runs (PTS: Derbys 3, Glos 3)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

So much happened on day one at Bristol it was hard to take it all in: the game was so advanced by tea.

The morning session was ridiculous. James Franklin was exceptional at landing the ball in the best areas - full was how to bowl. At one stage Franklin had taken five without conceding a run as Derbyshire resembled a club 3rd X1 - their batting showed no where near the footwork required in testing conditions.

But come the very warm afternoon, the home side lost their way with the ball; they didn't make the batsmen play enough and it took a needless run-out to break an extremely comfortable opening stand as Derbyshire batted again.

Once again there was nothing wrong with the Bristol surface - exceptional swing bowling and poor batting were the cause of 24 wickets.

The ease at which Hamish Marshall and Chris Taylor added 69 was testament to that. Taylor, Franklin and Alex Gidman straight after lunch, threw their wickets away. It was as if they got caught up in the drama of the day. Gloucestershire rattled along at 4.43 an over yet only managed 156 - bar Marshall, no-one could occupy the crease.

The lead wasn't important: bonus points were. Gloucestershire's inability to apply themselves - admittedly in testing conditions - resulted in no bonus points. Derbyshire, the industrious Graeme Wagg aside, are a poor bowling unit and 300-plus should have been more than achievable.

But three 19-point victories should put Gloucestershire in with a great shout of promotion; the win is what counts. But the hosts definitely missed a trick - they should have tried to slow the game down and build a total to score bonus points: every one counts at this stage of the season.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Monday, August 30, 2010

Glos cruise to Nertherlands win

CB40: Gloucestershire 192-1 beat Netherlands 191 by nine wickets

Gloucestershire professionally overcame the Netherlands at Bristol to move onto 16 points in Clydesdale Bank Group B. If Gloucestershire beat Northamptonshire at Wantage Road next Saturday Gloucestershire should be in the semi-finals.

Alex Gidman shared 192 with James Franklin to sail the hosts past their target in the Bristol sunshine. Gidman will be disappointed it has taken the poorest bowling attack to finally score a hundred against but the second-wicket partnership he contributed to settled any nerves of chasing a small target.

Nerves that would have risen when Will Porterfield was caught behind from the first ball of the Gloucestershire reply. But Gidman has done an excellent job opening the innings in 40 over cricket; Franklin played his usual calm knock and the home side had no trouble.

There wasn't much trouble in the field either, although the Netherlands were handily placed at 132-2. But a run out - so often the cause of a sizeable partnership coming unstuck - saw the visitors lose eight-for-59. Encouragingly, David Payne picked up three wickets and there were two for Ed Young.

Gloucestershire have played their way into contention for a semi-final - likely to be away against Somerset. If Essex lose either of their two remaining matches they cannot overhaul the 18 points Gloucestershire would total if they beat Northants. If Yorkshire lose to Essex next Saturday, Gloucestershire's net run rate would have to somehow slip below that of Yorkshire's for the West Country club to be denied second place.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

10-over bash keeps Glos alive

CB40: Gloucestershire 122-3(10 overs) beat Netherlands 68-6(10) by 54 runs

Gloucestershire were always going to overpower the Netherlands; the hard part was getting on the field.

For a long while it looked as if a straightforward two points were going to be washed away but conditions relented and Gloucestershire were able to pick up an easy win to keep their hopes of qualification for the Clydesdale Bank 40 League semi-finals alive.

It was actually ideal for the players: minimum work for the result they needed. Just 10 overs a side - the minimum permitted - were able to be bowled and the visitors ensured there would be no upset with a solid batting display.

Inevitably inserted into bat - chasing was the only realistic way the Netherlands would be able to win the game - Will Porterfield and James Franklin provided the two scores of note that were required. They shared nine boundaries and took the score almost to 100: the point at which the visitors assumed control of the match.

Defending the score was routine, especially when Jon Lewis picked up three-for-three in his two overs. The top order removed the game was over, although Alex Gidman felt generous and gave seven players a bowl - he has captained the MCC before so knows about giving everyone a game.

Qualification is still very much on the cards for Gloucestershire. They require two more wins from their final matches - at home to the Netherlands and away to Northamptonshire - to take them to 18 points. A series of results then needs to go in their favour but plenty would back the scenario occurring.

If Somerset beat Surrey at Taunton, Yorkshire beat Essex at Headingley and one of Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire lose one of their combined five remaining matches then no other second-placed team will reach 18 points and Gloucestershire will progress.

The final criteria doesn't actually need to happen, providing Gloucestershire keep their net run rate - which should improve again with the Netherlands to come on Monday - above Warwickshire's.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Glos defeated in Crucial tie

CB40: Essex 188-4 beat Gloucestershire 184-8 by six wickets

Gloucestershire didn't bat well enough and lost a crucial Clydesdale Bank 40 League match that leaves them relying on other results for qualification from Group B.

Wickets fell incredibly cheaply after an excellent start - Alex Gidman and Will Porterfield again combined well as an opening pair. But no-one had the discipline to stay with James Franklin, whose 70 not out was the basis of a solid total but nothing was built around his measured knock.

Defending a small score, Gloucestershire didn't get the fortune they needed in the field - a host of edges went wide of fielders that on a better day would have produced half chances. But Essex had more than enough. Ravi Bopara was a joy to watch and it was a shame that couldn't take his innings further - he was given out caught behind; replays showed he had clearly missed the delivery.

The visitors had plenty in reserve and Gloucestershire needed above 200 to be really competitive. They should have got there. An excellent start was wasted - particularly by Hamish Marshall who played a poor shot and dragged on.

Franklin simply occupied the crease and made 70. He did nothing special so why anyone else down the order couldn't follow suit was a mystery: all the Essex batsmen did. Steve Snell threatened to, before he tried to attack the first ball of a new Ryan ten Doeschate over and chipped an easy catch to extra-cover.

The partnership between Snell and Franklin was very comfortable and needed to continue. Snell's demise saw another flurry of wickets with Richard Dawson, Ed Young and Jon Lewis falling quickly. Mercifully David Payne managed to get through a few overs to allow Franklin to stretch the total but Gloucestershire were short of runs.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Glos made to wait for Northants win

LVCC: Gloucestershire 302 & 76-3 beat Northamptonshire 124 & 252 by seven wickets (PTS: Glos 22, Northants 3)

Gloucestershire were frustrated for a while on day three at Wantage Road but the second new ball wrapped up the Northants second-innings and a small target was overcome.

The win pushes Alex Gidman's side back up to third in the table but they still require Glamorgan or Sussex - who still have to play each other - to drop points to get back into the promotion race.

A record partnership for Northants against Gloucestershire was shared between James Middlebrook and wicketkeeper David Murphy. The pair put on 141 very easily in the morning session where nothing was on offer for the bowlers, including nine overs for debutant Ed Young.

The lead was threatening to become testing for the visitors but the second new ball arrived and 26 balls added enough movement to cause three problems. Three deliveries swung into the pads and three leg before decisions closed the innings. About time too.

But Gloucestershire ended up under pressure chasing just 75. Will Porterfield tried to swing away the target but played one shot too many and was caught for 23. Jon Batty's helpless run also continued, this time his shot selection at fault as he was caught behind for just five. Gidman also lost his middle stump as Chris Dent's 28 not out took his side to victory.

Glos within sight of Victory

Day 2 Close: Northamptonshire 124 & 128-7 trail Gloucestershire 302 by 50 runs (PTS: Northants 3, Glos 6)

Gloucestershire's bowlers were again demonstrating why they are the most potent attack in the country as they took 15 wickets on day two at Northampton.

They ran through the Northants first-innings in just 37 overs and again had the option to enforce the follow-on. With such a light workload on board, Alex Gidman this time had no hesitation to insert the home side again. The decision has shortened this match considerably.

It will take some stubborn resistance from the lower-order to make Gloucestershire bat again. The top order has shown very little.

With three under-22s in their top five, the hosts possess a very inexperienced batting line up, one that couldn't cope chiefly with Gemaal Hussain, who's six wickets moved him top the country's wicket-takers.

Steve Kirby was also reapproaching his best. David Sales dragged him onto his stumps as the Lancastrian added another victim to his first-innings 3-32. But it was the way in which he made batsmen continually play and miss which was most impressive.

Gloucestershire have also caught extremely well in this match; Chris Dent again very sharp at second slip. It was Chris Taylor of all people, replacing Hamish Marshall in the gully, that blemished the performance with two straightforward spills.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Glos collapse to relinquish strong position

DAY 1 Close: Northants 4-2 trail Gloucestershire 302 by 298 runs (PTS: Northants 3, Glos 3)

Gloucestershire lost 7-34 with the second new ball after tea on day one at Northampton to be bowled out far short of the commanding first-innings total they should have made.

242-1 was the score shortly before tea when Chris Dent, on 92, ran past a James Middlebrook delivery to bowled - his dismissal ended a record second wicket partnership and sparked a remarkable collapse.

Alex Gidman was incredibly fidgety at the wicket and his feet went nowhere as he was bowled for just one. The second new ball then claimed 7-34 as Gloucestershire's dominating afternoon descended into a modest total.

No one could stop the rot. After Porterfield and Dent only Chris Taylor (21 not out) and Jon Lewis (11) limped out of double figures.

There was more drama to come as Gemaal Hussain, who had Steven Peters well caught by Porterfield, and Jon Lewis, who produced an edge from nightwatchman Middleborough, made a double-breakthrough before the close.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Glos slip up at Headingley

CB40: Yorkshire 247-5 beat Glouestershire 224 by 23 runs

One wonders if Yorkshire now deeply regret batting first at Cheltenham. Because in the return fixture it was they who put the runs on the board and squeezed Gloucestershire out of the game.

The visitors should have won though. 160-3 was the perfect platform to accelerate from and win a crucial group match. But a collapse under pressure, 7-64, saw Gloucestershire fall comfortably short of the winning line.

The chase was in stark contrast to Sunday's back-from-the-brink effort. 41-3 then, this time the top order did a great job, with quick runs for Alex Gidman, Will Porterfield and Hamish Marshall. But the middle order couldn't close out the game.

The heroes of Cheltenham contributed just 13 runs between them - with a back-to-earth duck for Steve Snell. He will probably be soon out of the door but just in is Ed Young. Eight overs for 33 and 25 from 24 balls was a very encouraging contribution.

It was very much a day for pace off the ball as Jon Lewis and Steve Kirby went for eight-an-over from their combined 15 overs, while the spinners conceded half that rate. And it was the medium pacers of Richard Pyrah that undid the visitors' chase with 4-43.

The defeat leaves topping Group B out of Gloucestershire's hands. They now need to see off the Netherlands home and away, defeat Northamptonshire at Wantage Road and beat Essex at Bristol on August 23. The can afford no further slip ups.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hussain ponders Glos exit

Gemaal Hussain is in talks with other counties about a move away from Nevil Road at the end of just his first season in county cricket. John Bracewell doesn’t want to play the loyalty card, this blog certainly does.

Hussain has worked extremely hard for an opportunity in first class cricket. After developing his game at London County Cricket Club – a development centre founded by WG Grace – he trialled at various counties and played for several second X1s.

Gloucestershire were the first county to show faith in the young man and gave him a two-year deal.It has been their work over the winter that has developed Hussain, harnessed the natural talent and produced a fine bowler.

After Ian Saxelby was ruled out for the long term before the start of this season, many expected Anthony Ireland to fill his place. But it was Hussain that was called up. An uninspiring debut at Beckenham last year forgotten, Hussain claimed nine wickets on debut and his stock has risen to such an extent that several counties have expressed an interest in the 26-year-old: with deeper pockets than Gloucestershire.

Hussain was rejected by Nottinghamshire; Worcestershire; Surrey; Sussex for whom he played 2nd X1 cricket. He is now the one that can do the rejecting but to snub the county that provided your breakthrough would be hideous.

Bracewell would like, instead, to use the professionalism card. Great surfaces to bowl on plus a quality backroom staff that is developing a reputation for bringing on promising youngsters should be enough persuade Hussain.

But he is 26. 10 years at the top? The lure of making the most from what you’ve got may be a factor too pertinent to ignore.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Glos win another Festival thriller

CB40: Gloucestershire 302-7 beat Middlesex 299-8 by three wickets

Gloucestershire put the misery of another four-day defeat immediately behind them as they won another thrilling one-day match at Cheltenham. The college ground never fails in producing fantastic cricket matches.

Jon Lewis smashed 18 runs of the final over to see his side over the line with a ball to spare. His fist-pumping strut towards the Sandford Road tents was an unleashing of frustration evidently built up from two more championship failures.

Lewis took the final glory but the lions share of credit belonged to Chris Taylor and Steve Snell, whose remarkable fightback gave Gloucestershire a fighting chance. They came together with the innings struggling at 100-4 in the 18th over but added 158 at over eight-an-over.

Snell - in probably his final innings for Gloucestershire at Cheltenham - played beautifully in a career-best knock which combined power with touch and excellent running between the wickets for 95 from 62-balls. More of those innings will certainly earn him another county contract. But he fell in the same Pedro Collins over that saw Taylor also dismissed as game swung back in Middlesex's favour.

Often problems arise during the powerplay for batsmen and so it proved as Taylor looked to clip towards the unguarded legside boundary and was caught at sqaure-leg. Snell was cleaned up with an excellent yorker two balls later.

The script was written for debutant Ed Young but it was the old-hands who saw Gloucestershire home in front of 5,000 at the college. Richard Dawson smashed 17 from nine balls to keep the home side in the hunt, before Lewis completed a fabulous victory with two lofted extra-cover drives into the pavilion.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Glos slump to Cheltenham defeat

LVCC: Worcestershire 278 & 339-4 beat Gloucestershire 480 & 136 by six wickets

Gloucestershire slipped to consecutive defeats at Cheltenham as Worcestershire chased down a target of above 300 for the second time in six years. The result is another sucker punch for Gloucestershire's promotion hopes.

Full credit must go to Daryll Mitchell. Two hundreds in a match is a wonderful achievement and his second innings deserved to win a match. A marvellous stand with Moeen Ali ensured it did.

Worcestershire managed the chase extremely well. The first two sessions were more a survival mission which created the opportunity to push towards the target after tea.

Gloucestershire did have their moments as Chris Taylor inexplicably shelled Moeen at short-leg. Porterfield also put down a chance as the game slid away from the home side: their miserable run at Cheltenham and against Worcestershire continues.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Tense final day in store as Glos push for Win

DAY 3 Close: Worcestershire 278 & 8-0 need another 331 to beat Gloucestershire 480 & 136 (PTS: Worcs 4, Glos 7)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary:

A remarkable day's cricket saw Gloucestershire fired out for just 136 after deciding not to enforce the follow-on at Cheltenham. Worcestershire need a large chase to win but they have overcome such targets before here.

Psychology plays a large part in sport, Alex Gidman knows that. He obviously felt the psychological effect of batting last on a wearing pitch was more damaging to his team than the benefits of driving the opposition into the dirt when already down.

That dilemma faced the Gloucestershire skipper after efficient work with the second new ball allowed his side to take a 202 lead on first-innings. He will look very foolish if the home side don't go on to take their first championship victory at Cheltenham since 2001. He effectively wasted 40 overs as his side didn't get out of sight with the bat.

He had an opportunity to get a demoralised - and in Daryll Mitchell's case, quite very - batting line-up back into the middle. 202 is a huge lead and there was a chance that more efficient bowling could have seen the game wrapped up by an innings.

What transpired was the opportunity for the visitors to show some character in the field. They certainly did. Shakib-al-Hasan could never have dreamt of picking up a five-for from where the game was placed but a series of batting errors saw him pick up his maiden milestone haul and made Gloucestershire look ridiculous, capitulating to 136 all out.

It was unbelievable stuff. The mood was so lackadaisical and no-one particularly knew the way to play. Hamish Marshall was aggressive, James Franklin defensive - both were dismissed cheaply as the home side slumped but about ended up where the game needed them to be.

339 is achievable for Worcestershire and it won't be a case of shut up shop from ball one. The carrot is very much dangling and Gloucestershire need inroads to ensure it is they that are pushing for victory come the final hour.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Glos in for toil as Worcs respond

DAY 2 Close: Worcestershire 126-2 trail Gloucestershire 480 by 354 runs (PTS: Worcs 1, Glos 4)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Gloucestershire will need to enforce the follow-on at Cheltenham to win this match. But the toil that the home bowlers endured in the evening session suggests this match is destined for a draw.

Daryll Mitchell and Moeen Ali - a centurian against Gloucestershire at New Road earlier in the season - found the going particularly easy under brightening skies and there was no joy for the seamers or Vikram Banerjee.

The wickets that did fall were slight misjudgements of line and it will take more disciplined bowling to create enough pressure to bowl Worcestershire out for under 330. If they eclipse that mark, this game will be a draw, and a boring one at that.

Gloucestershire built their way to 480 earlier in the day but playing so patiently despite being completely on top, that they failed to take maximum batting points. An absolutely travesty. It was lazy cricket, there was no impetus and a target that the batsmen should have sailed past wasn't overcome.

That took the gloss of James Franklin's hundred. His innings contained none of the pizazz that saw Will Porterfield's ton greeted with cheering not heard since Virginia Wade won at Wimbledon but it was an excellent innings that proved centuries can be made.

The home side did lose 4-18 to end their innings a touch prematurely but even 47 overs at the visiting batsmen wasn't enough to make more than two breakthroughs. A struggle may follow.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Porterfield ton sets up great Day for Glos

DAY 1 Close: Gloucestershire 324-4 v Worcestershire (PTS: Glos 3, Worcs 1)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Irishmen often enjoy themselves at Cheltenham. But Will Porterfield's career-best 175 wasn't exactly the enjoyment those from the Emerald Isle are used to in North Gloucestershire.

Not a drop of Guinness was poured not any gambles laid in Porterfield's blistering 209-ball innings which helped Gloucestershire dominate on day one of a must-win match for the home side.

Having worked the visitors bowling, which lacked any depth, around the college ground, the Ireland captain again went for his strokes and received a slice of luck when Daryll Mitchell shelled a chance on 32.

But fortune favours the brave and Porterfield lifted Shakib-al-Hasan over the Churchdown Club tent before cutting him into the pavilion to bring up the century that everybody has craved all season. The ovation was raucous: 1894 had been avoided.

What Gloucestershire also managed to achieve was to build in significant partnerships. Century stands by Porterfield with first Alex Gidman - who edged to slip for 40 - and James Franklin - unbeaten on 50 despite being dropped - saw the home side enjoy their best Cheltenham day in the county championship for many seasons.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Glos slump to another Festival defeat

LVCC: Glamorgan 216 & 371 beat Gloucestershire 243 & 168 by 176 runs (PTS: Glam 20, Glos 4)

Gloucestershire's wait for a victory at Cheltenham continues as Glamorgan dealt a serious blow to their promotion hopes with a 176-run victory.

Another batting collapse saw a game which the home side were in control of on the first morning slide away to a crushing defeat. Gloucestershire conceded 16-points to their promotion rivals.

Their batting again crumbled around a dramatic sense of panic, with five wickets going down for the addition of just nine runs in 57 balls. All after another solid start. The second half-century opening stand of the match was thanks to Will Porterfield's positive play.

The Ireland captain played aggressively and although he didn't make the most of his opportunities - admittedly receiving an excellent delivery from Huw Waters in the first innings - he did provide impetus that has been lacking from the Gloucestershire top order all season.

Jon Batty played two identical innings - both abject failures. Beginning solidly, hitting a boundary or two, before becoming tied down and relying on back-foot play. Both his dismissals came as a result of not getting onto the front-foot.

Consecutive collapses is extremely worrying for Gloucestershire, who now must beat Worcestershire to realistically stay in the promotion race.

Their other worry is against lower-order batting. Regularly teams rally after losing cheap wickets in the middle order and Gloucestershire allow teams off the hook. This occurred twice at Cheltenham, as Glamorgan added 242 runs for the last three wickets over both innings - take those runs out of the game and this match could have been very different.

As it transpired, Glamorgan showed more fight when it was required and their match got better and better. Mark Cosgrove's wonderful knock on day two was complimented by Mark Wallace helping himself to a hundred on the third morning, for a match haul of 185 runs.

Those who dared to dream the second-highest chase at Cheltenham could be achieved were woken up abruptly by James Harris' and Waters' devastating burst. The match finished in triumphant fashion for the Welsh County with Robert Croft's first career hat-trick.

Official report:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Glamorgan take command on day two

DAY 2 Close: Glamorgan 216 & 283-7 lead Gloucestershire 243 by 256 runs (PTS: Glam 4, Glos 4)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Gloucestershire will have to produce some special cricket to win this crucial county championship match from here. Mark Cosgrove's 123 helped Glamorgan to a lead that Gloucestershire simply do not know how to chase down.

The visitors built in several useful partnerships but the 99 that Cosgrove and Jamie Dalrymple added tipped the balance of power towards the Welsh county.

Jon Lewis was convinced he had Dalrymple lbw first ball after he had dismissed Ben Wright by the same method. Andy Hick's decision to turn down the raucous appeal could be a very important decision.

Gloucestershire did respond briefly. Gemaal Hussain and Steve Kirby produced double strikes after tea but Glamorgan rallied, chiefly through Mark Wallace, who brought up his second half-century of the match from 63 balls - three fewer than his first-innings effort.

Wallace looked in great touch and maneuvered the bowling around effectively before twice reverse-sweeping Vikram Banerjee - who again enjoyed a fruitless afternoon.

Robert Croft joined Wallace to begin another eight-wicket stand as Gloucestershire began dreaming of an unheard-of fourth-innings chase.

Coverage continues tomorrow on

Official report:

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tense Day One of crucial match at Cheltenham

DAY 1 Close: Gloucestershire 145-5 trail Glamorgan 216 by 71 runs

A crucial county championship match unfolded in tense fashion on day one at Cheltenham, with Gloucestershire just the happier of the two sides. A crucial game is very delicately poised.

Having reduced their visitors to 104-7, Gloucestershire would have been disappointed to concede a record eighth-wicket stand that pushed Glamorgan to 216. However, the score was as good as could have been hoped for on a firm pitch.

The overhead conditions convinced Alex Gidman to bowl first and his four-man attack delivered. But after Mark Wallace and Robert Croft had dug in sufficiently, they lost their way slightly as the experienced pair put on 105.

Replying after tea, Gloucestershire began brightly. 55 was contributed by Will Porterfield and Jon Batty in an extremely rare half-century opening stand.

But both fell in consecutive overs. Batty to poor footwork - another start thrown away - and Porterfield edged behind after looking in great touch.

Alex Gidman also wasted a chance & Hamish Marshall chipped a long hop down deep midwicket's throat as once again, a lack of discipline wasted an opportunity for the hosts.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Glos open Festival with solid Win

CB40: Gloucestershire 294-6 beat Yorkshire 229ao by 65 runs

Gloucestershire batted brilliantly to set up an excellent victory on day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

Yorkshire - previously undefeated in the Cyldesdale Bank 40 League - are a main contender to qualify from Group B. Gloucestershire batted them under intense pressure & then blew out four wickets in five overs to take a vice-grip of the game.

Chris Taylor picked up from a great platform presented by Alex Gidman and James Franklin to make 83 not out as the home side posted their best 40-over score this season.

Adam Lythe responded for the visitors with 84 very attractive runs but he was the only top-order player to get among the runs & once Anthony McGrath's resistance was ended, Yorkshire petered out to lose comfortable.

More to follow...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Glos squeeze past Derby to go top

CB40: Gloucestershire 152-5 beat Derbyshire 225-8 by one run D/L

Gloucestershire squeezed their way to the top of Group B of the Clydesdale Bank 40 League with the narrowest of victories on the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Under heavy drizzle at the Racecourse ground, Chris Taylor struck the third ball of the 29th over for two runs out to deep extra-cover before the umpires took the players off the field. They didn't return. Taylor's two had pushed his side over the Duckworth-Lewis par score and Gloucestershire won by a run.

The visitors could have been winning by a considerable margin but for Wayne Madsen. He was the mainstay of the Derbyshire innings with 65 from 56 balls and shared a run-a-ball stand of 67 in the middle overs with Greg Smith.

That partnership provided the home side with a mini-platform in the closing stages but Gary Park's 20 from 12 balls only helped Derbyshire to a par score.

With rain threatening, Gloucestershire needed to get on top of the chase and an 83-run opening stand was the perfect answer. But they were pegged back significantly by losing six wickets in 12 overs.

The match was evenly poised but rain ruined what could have been a tense finish and Taylor's final act saw Gloucestershire scrape away the points.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Glos take another thrashing to end miserable campaign

t20: Surrey 150-4 beat Gloucestershire 147-9 by six wickets

Gloucestershire ended their worst-ever t20 campaign by taking a total stuffing from Surrey. The London-based county took under 12 overs to chase 147.

Steve Davies played a wonderful innings of 73 from just 30 balls to blast Surrey to their total.

No-one has played such an innings for Gloucestershire on a regular basis, and hence they haven't been consistently competitive.

Gloucestershire can only take moments of solace from a campaign where they have been so off the pace, bottom position in the south group hasn't told the full story.

Their 11 defeats have been almost exclusively complete hammerings. They so regularly failed to get into matches and the humiliation on Sky against Hampshire compounded the misery. t20 is most certainly not Gloucestershire's game.

More to follow...

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Glos again overpowered by their rivals

t20: Somerset 153-4 beat Gloucestershire 152-9 by six wickets

Somerset again waltzed past their rivals' target to complete a t20 double.

The visitors took just 16.5 overs to overhaul Gloucestershire's mediocre score as their powerful batting line-up again proved why theY are one of the most dangerous t20 outfits.

Gloucestershire actually built potential for a competitive score but the wheels were stripped from their innings as six wickets went down for the loss of just 20 runs.

A great deal rests on James Franklin. The over-reliance on him has been exposed on various occasions throughout this tournament and 20 from 17 balls wasn't enough to propel his side to a good score.

Alex Gidman has provided a few useful scores since he has opened the batting but again he got out before he was able to provide a great contribution.

The collapse killed Gloucestershire's innings and everybody knew 152 was about to be gobbled up.

Marcus Trescothick, while being a truly brilliant batsmen, is no longer the king-pin in the Somerset line-up. It was a great boost for the home supporters when Steve Kirby cleaned him up for just one but the depth in the visitor's batting was demonstrated in truly arrogant fashion as Kieron Pollard walked to the wicket at number six.

Understandably, it was outrageously demoralising for Gloucestershire, who, like at Taunton when his innings blasted down a very stiff target, again blew the boys from Bristol totally out of the water with two fours and three sixes.

The worst thing about Pollard is that he only cost Somerset £20,000 for the whole tournament. The biggest steal in county cricket, considering his IPL auction price of $750,000. One wonders how much Aaron Redmond - who's cricket proved unsuitable for t20 - and Ian Butler - who's injury-ridden past always made him a gamble - took from the Gloucestershire coffers.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Glos hammered out of t20

t20: Essex 163-3 beat Gloucestershire 162-5 by seven wickets

Gloucestershire's exit from the revamped t20 competition was confirmed with a trouncing at Chelmsford.

In the previous two year's the misery hasn't been drawn out for quite so long but in 2010, supporters have had to live through 14 matches-worth of indifferent cricket spread over five weeks before bowing out.

Gloucestershire were without James Franklin and more importantly, the in-form Will Porterfield. The loss of two top-order players who have proved very effective in this year's competition was a major loss, as Aaron Redmond again played an average run-a-ball innings and Alex Gidman failed to progress from a good start with 30 from 18 balls.

Steve Snell's late impetus was vital because the visitors looked horrendously short of batting. Gloucestershire could only post a score that has proved a casual flick off the legs for chasing at Chelmsford - particularly with Essex's strong line-up.

Gloucestershire also had no bowling to defend any score. A curious mix of bowling, including three spinners and weakened without Steve Kirby, couldn't contain Alastair Cook nor Ravi Bopara. It was their 119 opening stand that set-up a comfortable chase, despite Essex completing victory with only eight balls to spare.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Glos claim excellent t20 win

t20: Gloucestershire 188-4 beat Middlesex 185-8 by six wickets

Gloucestershire chased down a stiff total to claim their fifth t20 win.

Will Porterfield again showed his t20 pedigree with 64 from 32 balls as he led the visitors home on a flat dead pitch at Uxbridge.

James Franklin also used his power well at the top of the order. He responded well from his failures at Arundel with a half-century that helped Gloucestershire to their target with four balls to spare.

Remarkably the victory keeps Gloucestershire's hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals alive, however slim.

Steve Kirby was back to his best with the ball. On unproductive surfaces, pace is key and Kirby nipped out the extremely dangerous David Warner before removing both of the home side's most productive batsmen.

Gloucestershire did very well to ensure only one major partnership developed. Neil Dexeter was removed at a crucial stage and there was only time for the next four batsmen to contibute 12 between them.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Glos crash to Arundel defeat

LVCC: Sussex 389 & 50-2 beat Gloucestershire 307 & 131 by eight wickets (PTS: Sussex 23, Glos 6)

A remarkably miserable batting display by Gloucestershire in their second-innings saw them crash to defeat in an important fixture against Sussex.

There should have been no question of a finish on day three. Sussex led by 82 on first-innings but, as has been the case many times previously, application at the crease and desire to bat time were the requirements to bat out for what would have been a solid draw. Gloucestershire evidently posses none of those qualities.

As it transpired, Gloucestershire were bundled out for an embarassingly low total given the pitch - although not perfect - and the conditions - the best of the season for batting.

Hamish Marshall got his head down and made 89 of Gloucestershire's runs; the other 10 batsmen added 42. It was outrageously poor cricket.

Gloucestershire never seem to get to grips with having to come from behind and again at Arundel once Sussex got on a roll, their opponents had absolutely nothing in response.

Five players recorded ducks, including two of the top three. A tricky period just before lunch proved a sucker-punch as Gloucestershire lost Abdul-Kadeer shouldering arms and Jon Batty leg-before to leave them reeling at 3-2.

Alex Gidman briefly got himself in with Marshall and they shared the type of stand that Sussex had produced regularly as they built an excellent first-innings total that lasted almost until lunch on day three.

The only man that could be excused was Chris Taylor - given out sweeping Monty Panesar.

Official report:

Thursday, July 08, 2010

RMJ again thwarts Glos

DAY 2 Close: Sussex 314-6 lead Gloucestershire 307 by seven runs (PTS: Sussex 6, Glos 5)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary:

Robin Martin-Jenkins played for the script wonderfully well on day two at Arundel with 73 not out on his swansong. The innings moved Sussex into a very strong position.

They took a lead of seven by the close and with no joy for Gloucestershire's seam-dominated attack, it became toil by the afternoon.

Sussex built extremely well in partnerships. Everybody bar Mike Thornley got a start and meaningful stands built a good total. Gloucestershire failed to take anymore than the one cheap wicket and are now behind in the game.

Vikram Banerjee had infact moved the visitors into a decent position just after tea when he enticed Matt Prior into chipping to Chris Taylor at extra cover. At 202-5 it was an even game but RMJ, following his match-turning century at Bristol at the start of the season, punched his side's way into acendency.

Being a tall man, Martin-Jenkins is able to stand tall and play strokes from the crease that others would need siginifcant foot movement to play. He punched from a length with regularly - the stroke producing the majority of his 12 boundaries.

Gloucestershire had began the day in positive fashion as Gemaal Hussain and Steve Kirby edged them over the 300 mark for another batting point but the first hour was perhaps the best part of the day for the visitors.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Official report:

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Taylor rescues Glos at Arundel

DAY 1 Close: Sussex v Gloucestershire 286-9 (PTS: Sussex 3, Glos 2)

Chris Taylor dug Gloucestershire out of an extremely deep hole on day one at Arundel with a very mature innings.

Having won the toss and decided to bat first - a sensible decision given the loose nature of the pitch - the visitors stuttered after a confident start.

Taylor played exceptionally well, particularly against the spinners. He is a great marshall of spin bowling and played over the top and swept to dominate. A loose cut stroke brought his downfall - another failure to covert a half-century into three-figures - but they were vital runs in a crucial match.

Taylor needed support from the lower-order and found it in Jon Lewis, Vikram Banerjee and Gemaal Hussain as Gloucestershire recovered from 142-6.

Abdul-Kadeer played the best innings of his season. He led the batting very well and timed everything extremely well, particularly off the back-foot. But he became caught up in the pressure created by an improved Monty Panesar after lunch and chipped a very soft chance to mid-on.

He wasn't the first, or the last player to give it away when well set. Chris Dent had, again, looked very much a top-order first-class player. He has, however, shown a weakness against spin bowling and tried to force Panesar through the off-side - an area where he had been simply unable to score through - and edged to first slip.

Jon Batty notched up another failure; Hamish Marshall also fell cheaply courtesy of not moving his feet, and Alex Gidman fell over a delivery as the visitors struggled before their fightback.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Official report:

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Kent extinguish Glos hopes

t20: Kent 165-9 beat Gloucestershire by 00 runs

Gloucestershire failed in a stiff chase against a strong and experienced t20 outfit to effectively go out of the competition.

Even though Kent have a poor record in this year's competition, they have better t20 players then Gloucestershire. Kent took enough wickets to strangle the visitors' chase.

Gloucestershire managed to get closer to their target than they managed at King's School three week's ago but gave themselves too much work to do after responding well in the second half of the Kent innings.

More to follow...

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Friday, July 02, 2010

Glos romp home at Bristol

t20: Gloucestershire 154-2 beat Glamorgan 153-7 by eight wickets

Will Porterfield and Steve Kirby turned in personal-best performances to help Gloucestershire to a crushing victory over Glamorgan at Bristol.

Gloucestershire's batting has fired before this season, usually thanks to James Franklin. On this occasion it was Porterfield - clearly an improved cricketer from international experience - who stepped up with 65 from just 27 balls to see the home side race to their target with four overs to spare.

Porterfield has looked useful at the top order in t20 without making a significant score. He lacks power but compensates with innovation and wonderful timing. For a small man to strike four sixes on a large ground was some achievement.

A better achievement was taking 26 of one Chris Ashling over as the visitors were dominated for the second evening in succession.

The Welsh county - without Shaun Tait, whose raw pace troubled Gloucestershire at Cardiff - now have a very mediocre bowling attack. Their best bowler - Dean Cosker - went for 10-an-over as Gloucestershire took advantage to win at an absolute canter: it was as convincing a run chase as you will see.

Aaron Redmond is yet to justify his overseas-star tag. One over for 17 and a 33 from 25 balls was another modest contribution. His fellow countryman also batted modestly but James Franklin and Hamish Marshall needed only to score at a run-a-ball because Porterfield had blazed Gloucestershire's trail to victory.

Glamorgan lacked Tait's pace; Gloucestershire had Steve Kirby's firepower - a crucial factor in t20. Kirby claimed his best return in the shortest format as the home side kept their slim hopes of qualification alive.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Glos cruise to expected win

LVCC: Gloucestershire 420 & 45-0 beat Middlesex 236 & 228 by 10 wickets (PTS: Glos 23, Midd 3)

If Gloucestershire are to compete at a higher level in county cricket, poor sides like Middlesex need to be swatted away. They certainly were at Bristol.

Coming out to bat 184 behind is never easy but Middlesex found it far too hard against a quality bowling attack. Jon Lewis produced his classic stuff to chip off the top three before the rest of the attack ground Middlesex down, using the conditions very well - seven of the dismissals were catches behind the wicket.

Gloucestershire's far superior bowling attack was the difference in this match as the home side cruised to a three-day win.

Twice the five-man seam attack bowled Middlesex out for modest totals. It was relentless stuff. Steve Kirby and Anthony Ireland charging in and James Franklin, Gemaal Hussain and Lewis swinging their way around a weak Middlesex line-up.

Neil Dexter pulled his socks up to make 54 for the visitors but he was incredibly lucky with several edges flying wide of fielders. Middlesex, very much under pressure from the scoreboard, offered little.

Their bowling was missing Iain O'Brien, Gareth Berg and Steve Finn and, missing three quality bowlers, their attack lacked bite and spinner Tom Smith found little help off another surface which offered more for the seam bowlers.

But Gloucestershire performed very well with the bat, everyone just about got among the runs and gained a confidence boost ahead of a tough test against Sussex next week.

Official report:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Glos take control at Bristol

DAY 2 Close: Gloucestershire 404-8 lead Middlesex 236 by 168 runs (PTS: Glos 7, Midd 3)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary:

Gloucestershire dominated day two at Bristol to set themselves up for an high-points victory in a match they had earmarked to win.

But a great day with the bat - contributions all down the card and a match-winning lead - was soured by five more innings passing 50 but failing to make three figures.

James Franklin, on 99, faced the military medium-pace of the Middlesex skipper Neil Dexter. Having offered a long-hop earlier in the over that Franklin had turned for a single, the next short delivery was too much for Franklin to resist.

His eyes lit up, the ball was sailing into the tennis courts and the crowd was cheering their star overseas player in celebration of a century.

But Franklin, like Alex Gidman against Leicestershire and Chris Dent against Derbyshire, found the lone fielder in the deep to be dismissed one short of the magical three figures.

A century is becoming truly elusive for Gloucestershire. Day two saw attractive innings from Hamish Marshall and Chris Dent, who began the dominance with an excellent stand of 126 for the third wicket. But Dent chipped a short ball from Toby Rolland-Jones to square-leg for 53 and Marshall played round a delivery from Dexter to become the first of two quick-victims just after lunch.

The Bristol wicket is looking flatter and flatter and Franklin and Jon Lewis, who made 30, helped themselves and looked totally untroubled until both made mistakes. Lewis ludicrously running himself out before fate intervened for Franklin's demise.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Official report:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Glos wobble at end of competitive day

DAY 1 Close: Gloucestershire 81-2 trail Middlesex 236 by 155 runs (PTS: Glos 3, Midd 1)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary:

Alex Gidman made a brave decision at the start of this match, winning the toss and choosing to bowl first in glorious sunny conditions. The bravery nearly paid off.

Having chosen to bat under heavy cloud at New Road, Gidman again caused a surprise with his decision at the toss.

Gloucestershire posses a fine seam attack for this match and they nearly dominated the opening day by using the green-tinged surface to reduce Middlesex to 156-7.

But Josh Davey enjoyed an excellent debut. The 19-year-old playing some confident strokes and maturely playing with the tail to guide his side to a handy first-innings total.

Gloucestershire were up to their usual tricks at the start of their innings. Abdul-Kadeer Ali and Jon Batty again failing by playing back when they should have been forward.

Ali misread the length of a stock delivery by Pedro Collins that clipped the top of off and middle stumps, gone for just 13 after being frustrated at being left out at Worcester.

Batty played across the line to another Collins delivery, this time a very full ball that Batty missed to be leg before for 20.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Official report:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Glos sneak home for third win

t20: Gloucestershire 153-6 beat Middlesex 147-7 by four runs

Gloucestershire picked up only their third win in ten t20 matches as they beat Middlesex at Bristol.

While not quite getting their campaign back on track, it was at least a victory to appease long-suffering supporters.

The key to defending such a small total was to remove the most dangerous player. Middlesex, although - mercifully for Gloucestershire - now without Adam Gilchrist - still have another Australian in their ranks, but David Warner became the first of two quite expensive wickets for David Payne, on his t20 debut, for just 17.

Dawid Malan produced a useful knock of 44 from 39 balls but there were no partnerships for Middlesex to really get into the chase. Ben Scott - in tremendous recent form - made 25 from 15 balls but Middlesex came up short.

A solid partnership had built Gloucestershire's handy total. Alex Gidman - back from injury to captain the side - and Hamish Marshall shared 94 for the fourth wicket from 64 balls. It was an excellent middle-order partnership but nothing significant came from the top three, so the home side only finished with an average total.

TOMORROW'S county championship match against Middlesex will begin at 1200 BST. Days two, three and four will begin at the usual time of 1100 BST. Listen to LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Friday, June 25, 2010

Once more into defeat for Glos

t20: Hampshire 205-5 beat Gloucestershire 177 by 28 runs

Gloucestershire lost again at the Rose Bowl and constant defeat is now becoming an extremely painful monotony.

Unfortunately once again, Gloucestershire were left searching for positives from a poor display, having been outplayed by simply a much better cricket club.

The gulfs between these two counties were bluntly exposed in the pro40 fixture last season and again, Gloucestershire seemed world's apart from the glitzy Rose Bowl evening.

Their last six wickets went down for just 13 runs as Gloucestershire failed again in pursuit of a very stiff chase but again, the visitors fell far too easily; the horrendous lack of depth in their batting was exposed.

There is simply no power down the order. James Franklin and now Aaron Redmond at the top are the only batsmen capable of striking any ball off a cricket ground and that is simply too few players to win t20 matches.

Balls have to disappear for large totals to be chased. t20 is a batsman's game but Gloucestershire simply do not posses enough batting to be competitive in the format.

Chris Dent is the one player keeping many going at Bristol. He is the one reposte to accusations that Gloucestershire add nothing to the English game. A great knock of 63 from 44 balls again showed Dent's ability.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Glos go down again/Redmond signs

t20: Essex beat Gloucestershire by 66 runs

Gloucestershire slid to another heavy t20 defeat and sit rooted to the bottom of the South group. However, they are certainly not out of the qualifying mix just yet.

It was a consecutive failure with the bat that saw Gloucestershire lose by such a large margin - they should have got far closer to an above-par target.

Essex achieved what Gloucestershire failed to do with the ball and chipped away with regular wickets. As a result, Essex built partnerships and set a good score, while Gloucestershire never looked like getting a good score.

The concerning thing was the cost of the wickets - only four double-figure scores on the card was another miserable effort and nothing to inspire anyone to return to Bristol.

Gloucestershire's bowling is also struggling in this competition. Jon Lewis has been sending down brilliant spells for nothing but is getting no support. Vikram Banerjee, in particular, is being attacked; his three overs against Essex cost 33.

But batting wins t20 matches - teams chase anything - and Gloucestershire need to find their form to get back into this competition.

AARON REDMOND has signed for Gloucestershire as a second overseas player after Ian Butler was ruled out of the rest of t20 tournament with a back injury.

Redmond, a leg-spinner turned top-order batsman, arrives on Thursday and will make his debut on Friday at Hampshire.

The New Zealander has scored 623 t20 runs at 27 and played in t20 internationals. Gloucestershire have no immediate plans to extend Redmond's stay.

Redmond holds a British passport and lives in Britain during the close-season down-under, so a permanent deal following the t20 will not be completely off the table.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Glos humiliated at Bristol

t20: Hampshire 69-3 beat Gloucestershire 68 by seven wickets

Gloucestershire suffered a complete all-round humiliation in their first t20 match at Bristol.

An utterly dreadful afternoon of cricket saw an exceptionally poor crowd witness the worst t20 performance ever by Gloucestershire. The "most entertaining" form of cricket provided the least entertaining match that many will have ever witnessed at Nevil Road.

Gloucestershire have a habit of playing poor cricket live on Sky - two pro40 hammerings were broadcast last season - but this match was surely the worst ever. Dreadful cricket and a dreadful crowd would have only worsened Gloucestershire's stock in the eyes of many cricket-observers. The terrible attendance for a t20 match was particularly noted by the Sky commentators.

It was pathetic. The home side were bowled out for just 68 - their lowest-ever t20 total and the second lowest in the history of the competition. Hampshire wasted no time chasing such a paltry total and everyone went home after just 25 overs of cricket thoroughly short-changed.

No Gloucestershire batsman could stay at the crease and had it not been for a modicum of responsibility by Jon Lewis - 19 from 23 balls - the Westcountry side would have easily posted the worst-ever t20 total: they were at least spared that hideous statistic.

But avoiding a terrible record was no consolation for anyone. Hampshire needed just 45 balls to knock off the runs consigning Gloucestershire to the quickest defeat ever in a non-rain affected t20 match.

IAN BUTLER's brief stint as Gloucestershire's second overseas player could be over due to a back injury. The New Zealander has sat out the last three t20 matches.

de Bruyn downs Glos in Derby

t20: Somerset 200-4 beat Gloucestershire 199-8 by six wickets

Gloucestershire lost a crucial t20 group game at Taunton after Zander de Bruyn smashed Somerset past the visitors' stiff target.

Alex Gidman's side would have been delighted after the first innings, as Gloucestershire set another imposing total. But they will be distraught to have not defended a 10-an-over target.

After the success at Sussex, Gloucestershire again made an excellent score - above average for Taunton - and Steve Snell put his hand up for a permanent role as wicketkeeper/batsman with a maiden t20 half-century from just 26 balls.

James Franklin had failed for the visitors, making 199 an even better effort. Even Abdul-Kadeer enjoyed the Taunton conditions, smashing 17 from just seven balls.

But while the batting has picked up in recent matches, the bowling hasn't looked dangerous enough and in every t20 match thus far, save Surrey, Gloucestershire have conceded healthy scores.

Weight of runs was the saviour at Hove but Somerset have players to overcome any weight of runs. Kieron Pollard smashing five almighty sixes and de Bruyn's innings was enough for the home side to win the derby.

Steve Kirby - in his first t20 match of the season - was the only bowler to escape with credit: four overs for 24. Vikram Banerjee was due a disaster and his four overs cost 54 as Somerset cantered home with seven balls to spare.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wonderful Glos win at Hove

t20: Gloucestershire 178-4 beat Sussex 170-9 by eight runs

Gloucestershire produced a wonderful display of t20 cricket to claim a fabulous win at Hove and inflict Sussex's first defeat in 14 t20 matches.

John Bracewell said his side needed to produce some special cricket to beat Sussex and Gloucestershire responded with an excellent disciplined performance.

Power at the top of the order was one thing Bracewell talked about as being essential to t20 success and James Franklin provided it with his highest t20 score.

Franklin looks so at ease at the crease and is bang in form at the moment. His strokeplay was a joy to watch. Timing, power and placement were married to perfection in 90 from just 50 balls.

Again Gloucestershire tried to be innovative. This time Jon Lewis was sent to open the batting and struck three boundaries before being quickly dismissed. But it was classic cricket, not innovation, that saw Glos rack up a very good total: a big score from the top and useful knocks around the set batsman.

They took 45 from a patient powerplay but - unlike the matches against Glamorgan and Sussex at Gloucester - kicked on well in the middle overs. Only three of the final 11 overs yielded a single figure total and 38 came from the final three.

Sussex also enjoyed a fruitful end to their innings but Gloucestershire had strangled them well in the middle overs and Sussex had no platform to build from in the closing stages, despite Joe Gatting giving the visitors a brief scare.

Sussex had no platform because Gloucestershire regularly chipped away with wickets after Brendon McCullum had swept Vikram Banerjee to Abdul-Kadeer Ali at deep square-leg. 83-for-one became 113-for-six as the dangerous Dwayne Smith and Chris Nash in the middle order were dismissed very cheaply.

Banerjee bowled beautifully. A nuance in flight and pace every ball produced two vital wickets and his four overs cost just 30. In partnership with Lewis - who again produced a miserly spell of four overs for just 26 - Gloucestershire conceded just 46 from the middle eight overs.

55 from 24 balls was too great a task for Sussex, who failed to break Surrey's record of consecutive t20 wins, as Gloucestershire claimed a vital victory.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Glos blown away at Gloucester

t20: Kent 217 beat Gloucestershire 181 by 36 runs

Gloucestershire completed a miserable return to Gloucester with a second heavy defeat in the Friends Provident t20.

After Sussex succeeded chasing at the King's School on Friday, Alex Gidman tried to replicate the tactic by choosing to bowl first, however he didn't reckon for a quality t20 side being able to use the excellent batting conditions better than his team could two days previously.

Kent racked up their highest-ever t20 total largely thanks to a wonderful opening stand of 87 between Rob Key and Joe Denley. The 10-an-over partnership provided a springboard for Kent to work from.

The majority of the scoring was done by the top order, allowing the rest of the batsmen to free their arms - thankfully for Gloucestershire only Azhar Mahmood succeeded.

Gloucestershire needed to go from ball one chasing almost 11-an-over to win - not beyond them on a tiny Archdeacon Meadow ground - so Kent were delighted when James Franklin cut to point for just six.

Will Portefield played nicely for his 43 from 26 balls but there weren't enough decent contributions on the Glos card. Both Alex Gidman and Hamish Marshall were bowled swinging across the line as a series of single figure scores removed any chance of a home victory.

Chris Taylor blazed his way to 67 from just 36 balls but when he holed out to deep midwicket in the penultimate over, any faint hope that Gloucestershire would pull off something truly spectacular walked off.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Glos smash Surrey for first win

t20: Gloucestershire 98-0 beat Surrey 97 by 10 wickets

Gloucestershire produced the perfect t20 performance to demolish Surrey at the Brit Oval.

Chasing just 98 to win, James Franklin and Will Porterfield had the audacity to knock the runs off and complete a total destruction.

A wonderfully-professional display from the visitors saw a perfectly executed plan in the field fire Surrey out for just 97 - the first time Glos have ever conceded beneath 100 runs in a 20-over match.

The effort in the first innings was then followed by an fabulous display with the bat. James Franklin again powered Gloucestershire off to a great start but it was Will Porterfield who played the most eye-catching strokes. His upper-cut for six over cover-point off Andre Nel was the first time the Porterfield has really showed his ability for Gloucestershire.

And even though a blistering start had ensured victory, the openers kept their foot on the pedal to win in just the tenth over.

But it was a marvellous effort in the field by the Westcountry men that set up the momentous victory. All the bowlers operated with tight lines and electric fielding caused mistakes to be made from the batsmen - three run outs were effected.

Surrey were reduced to 17-5. One of the best batting line-ups in t20 had been completely blown away. The big names kept walking out for Surrey but Anthony Ireland produced a nagging opening spell - two overs for six - and Ian Butler bowled the type of spell he has been brought in for - three overs, three-for-eight.

Only eight boundaries were conceded and the first innings was finished in just above 18 overs - the large crowd in at the Oval were stunned; Franklin and Porterfield ensured they went home completely bewildered.

Official report:

Friday, June 04, 2010

Butler nightmare in Glos defeat

t20: Glamorgan 151-4 beat Gloucestershire 148-6 by four wickets

It was Twenty20 cricket, so Gloucestershire were going to lose by definition. Granted they took Glamorgan to the final over but they were well beaten.

A warm Friday evening in Cardiff produced a fine atmosphere for cricket - but unfortunately for Gloucestershire the majority of the 7,243 record crowd went home happy.

The visitors produced a useful score to defend - perhaps too few than they should have made given their strong position - but failed to take enough wickets to apply enough pressure.

Ian Butler - Twenty20 specialist; overseas fast-bowler; star-attraction - had a nightmare of a t20 debut. A third-ball duck was followed up by four overs for 47 - his spell effectively losing Gloucestershire the match.

The rest of the bowling attack had bowled very tidily. Particularly Vikram Banerjee, who sent down four miserly overs for just 21, and Jon Lewis - often disregarded in the shortest format - whose first two overs conceded just four runs, and took 4-0-19-1.

But Glamorgan were always in control of the chase and were always up with the asking rate. From 35 off 24 balls, two decent overs was going to win the game - Ian Butler came onto bowl and the game was up.

Butler showed signs of the variety that makes him a success in t20 - the slower-ball bouncer was very effective. But his stock ball wasn't quick enough to hurry the batsmen. Shaun Tait had the genuine firepower to make batsmen play and miss with regularity from length bowling - four overs 1-19; Butler's length bowling was dispatched over long-on by David Brown in the penultimate over.

Brown - in his first appearance against his old club - showed no signs that Gloucestershire should have kept him: two overs for 17 and one decent shot in 14 not out. But the irony of his contribution at such a crucial stage was
not lost on the visitors.

Gloucestershire had worked a very useful position, winning the toss and batting first. John Bracewell had talked about power from the top-order and James Franklin provided it with 42 from 30 balls. Alex Gidman (25) and Hamish Marshall (27) chipped in with above a run-a-ball scores but from 77-2 after ten, 148 was perhaps a disappointment.

The main problem lay with Abdul-Kadeer coming in at number seven. Just when a power-hitter was needed, out came a nurdler - no fault of Kadeer of course but perhaps Ian Butler would have been better placed lower down.

What Gloucestershire did do very well was use the powerplay. 50 came from the opening six overs but that's where the Westcountry side peaked.

Official report:

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Glos hang on for Worcester draw

LVCC: Worcestershire 388 drew with Gloucestershire 245 & 243-7 (PTS: Worcs 10, Glos 5*)

Gloucestershire managed to cling on for a draw at New Road after rain had washed out the majority of the final day.

Play eventually got underway at 3.45pm and horrendous strokes from first James Franklin - hooking to Alexei Kervezee at deep square-leg - and then Chris Taylor - bowled trying to pull - put the visitors under pressure.

Worcestershire were looking to quickly chase down a total but after Vikram Banerjee had been dropped by Vikram Solanki at fourth slip, Banerjee and Jon Lewis stood firm to claim Gloucestershire's first draw of the season.

Bad weather certainly played it's part in this game but Gloucestershire have moved are well-placed to push for promotion in the second half of the season.

*Gloucestershire were deducted two points for a slow over rate in this match.

Official report:

Butler signs for T20

IAN BUTLER is set to become Gloucestershire's second Twenty20 overseas player after he met Alex Gidman and John Bracewell at New Road.

Gloucestershire had previously declared that financial restrictions would limit them to just one overseas player, but the opportunity of a cut-price deal and injuries to Ian Saxelby and Steve Kirby have loosened the purse strings.

Butler, who played for Gloucestershire back in 2003, has taken 49 wickets in Twenty20 cricket at 19.42 with his quick bowling. He has also claimed 19 wickets in 14 T20 internationals for New Zealand and last played against England in the T20 World Cup in March.

The 28-year-old has been suffering with a back injury and, similarly to Shane Bond, is not able to play longer forms of the game, having taken 24 wickets in test cricket for New Zealand between 2001 and 2004.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Glos fighting for New Road draw

DAY 3 Close: Gloucestershire 245 & 189-5 lead Worcestershire 388 by 46 runs (PTS: Glos 4, Worcs 7)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Gloucestershire ended day three where many expected them to be at the start of the day - battling to claim a draw. Rain may save them tomorrow.

The morning session is expected to be washed out tomorrow and that may take enough time out of the game for Gloucestershire to survive. Their slender lead needs to be extended up towards 200 to make them safe.

Worcestershire will be capable of chasing down a score late on tomorrow - particularly after having scored at the rate they achieved in the first innings. Time is of the essence for both sides.

Worcestershire won the crucial morning session on day three. Moeen Ali survived a very convincing appeal for caught behind in the first over of the morning and went on to his second championship century of the season. Ben Scott also made 67 as the home side claimed a first-innings lead of 123 runs.

Once again, Gloucestershire came out looking to save the game in the third-innings. But the game situation didn't stop Steve Snell flashing away outside of his off-stump. He again edged to second slip for another failure at the top of the order.

Then came the usual giveaways as Dent before tea, then Batty and Marshall after, got out when well set. 21, 43 and 50 represented good-looking knocks but not enough. Chris Taylor and James Franklin, also with useful knocks to resume in the morning, now need to bat well into the afternoon to secure a draw for the visitors.

LIVE coverage continues on

Official report:

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Glos fightback into the match

DAY 2 Close: Worcestershire 229-6 trail Gloucestershire 245 by 16 runs (PTS: Worcs 4, Glos 3)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

A late fightback from Gloucestershire hauled them back into the game after an under-par total and a blistering partnership of 107 between Alexei Kervezee and Moeen Ali had seen them begin to struggle.

Kervezee and Ali dominated after Phil Jaques edged Anthony Ireland to Steve Snell and Vikram Solanki gloved to Hamish Marshall in the gully just after tea. Those two wickets had brought Gloucestershire onto a more even keel after a seeing Jaques and Daryll Mitchell power their way to a 53 opening stand.

Gloucestershire needed wickets because there was seemingly nothing they could do to prevent the torrent of runs. The fourth wicket partnership came at almost seven-an-over, hence the complete relief when Jon Lewis had Kervezee, who brought up his 50 off just 45 balls, leg-before just as Worcestershire we looking to take complete hold of the match.

Lewis followed up his success by having Ben Smith caught a slip for just three and Alex Gidman - the only bowler to provide a modicum of control in the innings - produced a yorker to bowl Richard Jones for one.

Six down, and with a very vulnerable tail to follow, Gloucestershire are very much in touch. What they cannot allow, is Moeen to guide the tail and Worcestershire to make above 300.

The visitors would be even better placed had poor shot selection from several batsmen, chiefly from Marshall, who drove loosely to slip for 37 not given away decent starts. Gloucestershire failed to get into the better batting conditions of the second afternoon.

They should have made more and were indebted to Chris Taylor, who looked in control until he he played on for 71.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Official report:

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rain ruins Day One

DAY 1 Close: Gloucestershire 78-3 v Worcestershire (PTS: Glos 0, Worcs 1)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Just 29 overs were possible on the first day at New Road, with rain preventing the start of play until 3.10. Further rain caused an early tea and then the abandonment of play at six o'clock.

The play that was possible went in favour of the home side. Alex Gidman won the toss and surprisingly decided to bat in bowler-friendly conditions; presumably his side's respective fortunes batting first and last so far this season swayed his decision.

But the tactics backfired as again, the Gloucestershire top order could not provide a positive start.

Steve Snell was kept as an opening bat but again played several flashy strokes before edging to second slip. Chris Dent, buoyed by his rapid 98 at Derby, again came out looking to dominate. He played a tennis stroke down the ground for a pulled four before top edging another pull to long leg.

Faith was kept with Jon Batty and again he showed a glimpse of his ability, playing a watchful innings and some well-timed shots before turning Alan Richardson straight into the hands of short leg.

Worcestershire had not bowled well. Too many leg-side deliveries were sent down and there was not an excessive amount of movement through the air, despite the heavy cloud. The home side will be delighted to have a bonus point already.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Official report:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kirby fire sets up Glos win

LVCC: Gloucestershire 242 & 403 beat Derbyshire 354 & 166 by 134 runs (PTS: Glos 20, Derbys 6)

Steve Kirby hasn't been at his best this season but on the morning of day four at Derby it was his raw determination that sent Gloucestershire to a very good victory.

Kirby produced a snorting short delivery in just the second over of the morning that had Wayne Madsen fending away from his body; he gloved to Abdul-Kadeer Ali at short-leg. Next ball he produced an identical delivery which wrapped Gary Park on the glove - Derbyshire were rattled.

Park edged Lewis behind next over, Greg Smith followed suit and Gloucestershire were rampant. Under such intense pressure the Derbyshire captain, Chris Rogers, couldn't resist trying to drive Kirby and edged to Alex Gidman at first-slip - match over.

The rest of the innings was a formality but Chesney Hughes again showed his promise with a well-made 75 and kept the match going until shortly before tea.

The victory is a very important one for Gloucestershire because they came from behind. Up against a 103-run deficit Gloucestershire took the attack back to their opponent and dominated the last two days of this match. Gloucestershire haven't achieved such a feat for a very long time.

But the search for a century continues and there are further selection headaches to come. Does Chris Taylor slot straight back into the team? Will a spinner be required at New Road? Anthony Ireland for Vikram Banerjee could be a change for Saturday - despite the spinner sending down his best stuff for some time - particularly in a challenging first-innings.

Official report:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Glos show backbone to take control

DAY 3 Close: Derbyshire 345 & 5-0 need another 296 to beat Gloucestershire 242 & 403 (PTS: Derbys 6, Glos 4)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Gloucestershire enjoyed an excellent day three but they will need more solid cricket on day four to complete this great turnaround. Chris Rogers could well stand in their way.

Finally Gloucestershire showed their mettle. Resuming 56 behind the played the best innings for many years in building up what could be a match-winning lead. Only an equally determined effort from Derbyshire will swing this match once more.

Abdul-Kadeer Ali led the fightback with a flowing 74. He finally made the runs his correct technique can yield and he dominated the bowling until top edging a hook and was caught.

Also finally in the runs was Chris Dent - and this knock was a domination. His 50 came from just 31 balls as he smashed his way to a first-class best. Predictably, he wanted to use the tactics that had got him to 98 to bring up his ton and perished top edging a hook - you couldn't blame him playing the stroke.

Even with two big innings, the visitors needed to press on to build a big lead and contributions down the card kept up the momentum.

The scoring rate was unbelievable. 6-an-over for the afternoon was a wonderful effort - exactly what was required to provide enough time to bowl at Derbyshire, particularly when 15 overs were lost at the end of the day for bad light.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Official report:

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Glos show backbone to take control

DAY 3 Close: Derbyshire 345 & 5-0 need another 296 to beat Gloucestershire 242 & 403 (PTS: Derbys 6, Glos 4)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on

Gloucestershire enjoyed an excellent day three but they will need more solid cricket on day four to complete this great turnaround. Chris Rogers could well stand in their way.

Finally Gloucestershire showed their mettle. Resuming 56 behind the played the best innings for many years in building up what could be a match-winning lead. Only an equally determined effort from Derbyshire will swing this match once more.

Abdul-Kadeer Ali led the fightback with a flowing 74. He finally made the runs his correct technique can yield and he dominated the bowling until top edging a hook and was caught.

Also finally in the runs was Chris Dent - and this knock was a domination. His 50 came from just 31 balls as he smashed his way to a first-class best. Predictably, he wanted to use the tactics that had got him to 98 to bring up his ton and perished top edging a hook - you couldn't blame him playing the stroke.

Even with two big innings, the visitors needed to press on to build a big lead and contributions down the card kept up the momentum.

The scoring rate was unbelievable. 6-an-over for the afternoon was a wonderful effort - exactly what was required to provide enough time to bowl at Derbyshire, particularly when 15 overs were lost at the end of the day for bad light.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on

Official report:

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