Friday, April 30, 2010

Glos wrap up first Victory

LVCC: Gloucestershire 268 & 223 beat Middlesex 203 & 185 by 103 runs (PTS: Glos 21, Middlesex 4)

Inevitably, everyone was dragged back for just 25 minutes on day four at Lord's. Hussain completed a five-for in just the third over by removing Tim Murtagh and the last real resistance for Middlesex walked off.

Steve Kirby finally mopped up a tail by having Iain O'Brien well caught by Snell at second slip - his second very sharp catch of the game - and then Dan Evans caught at short-leg.

A professional job by Gloucestershire who again showed all their bowling prowess by conceding fewer than 400 runs in the match. Gemaal Hussain's eight wickets being the brightest spark.

Hussain bowls with pace and control - he achieved an excellent length with regularity here and swung the ball throughout. Gloucestershire certainly have great depth in their bowling attack and here the batting showed glimpses of progress.

Hamish Marshall should have made a hundred on the first day but 72 was certainly a confidence boost, although he did fend nervously again outside his off stump when caught for just nine in the second innings.

Brief runs and soft dismissals for other players showed that the batting is there but hasn't quite clicked yet - next week at the Oval is certainly the time to fill boots.

Against stronger teams, they need scoreboard pressure. The developed some here but had Andrew Struass and Owais Shah contributed even modestly, 289 could have been overhauled.

Most pleasing was Gloucestershire took their opportunity on the third morning. 204 ahead was only a small lead but they grasped the chance to extend the advantage by winning that morning session with lower order runs and a wicket before lunch to boot. A "clinch" situation well untruly won.

Gloucestershire are up and running will fancy doing a London double against a struggling Surrey side next week but they will need to make bigger runs at the Oval.

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

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