Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tense affair in stall as Glos slump

DAY 2 Close: Gloucestershire 268 & 139-7 lead Middlesex 203 by 204 runs (PTS: Glos 5, Middlesex 4)
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Predictably, the sides placed eighth and ninth in the division are producing an excellent game of cricket. An exciting chase for Middlesex is in store and how crucial the first hour tomorrow could be for both teams' seasons.

Gloucestershire will be very disappointed with another batting collapse. 100-3 became 123-7 and the visitors were plunged into the mire again by poor shot selection.

This pitch here at Lord's is excellent to bat on, and one could wish for no more than a lightning outfield and 60-yard hit into the Mound stand. The batsmen again failed to fill their boots; Alex Gidman and James Franklin playing across the line to be LBW to Tim Murtagh.

Chris Dent showed even more potential for his controlled 42 but he also showed why he is 19 when he buckled under pressure and offered a very loose stroke to be caught behind. That was perhaps the biggest disappointment of the day but potential is certainly there.

While the batsmen ponder their misery again - Steve Snell recorded a pair, caught a short leg first ball second time around - the bowlers can again be pleased by an efficient display. The wickets shared around but again, they allowed Middlesex off the hook. A better plan to Shaun Udal could have snapped him up cheaper and Gloucestershire could have taken a 100+ lead.

As it transpired, lower order runs were again the scourage of Gloucestershire and it may be a close affair tomorrow. I'll say it again - the first hour could be season-defining.

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