CB40L: Glos 192-9 beat Northamptonshire 185-7 by 7 runs
Gloucestershire pulled off an unlikely victory against Northants at Bristol and are now well placed in group B of the Clydesdale Bank 40 League.
It was a vital win for Gloucestershire. A home defeat against the group's bottom-placed side would have been disastrous, but their campaign is now looking quite healthy.
How the visitors failed to chase down under four-an-over and finish seven-down after 40 overs was a complete mystery. There was serious misjudgment by David Sales, whose 59 from 81 balls glued a stuttering chase together but failed to do enough.
Sales and Andrew Hall, who contributed 37 from 43 balls, looked to have put Northants back on track after being out of the game at 84-5. But to lose only two more wickets and not complete the chase was a disaster for the visitors.
Sales wanted to control the innings and allow the other end to take risks. But it was going to take more than control to win the match and once Jon Lewis returned to dismiss Hall - the power that Sales needed at the other end - Sales was found wanting and couldn't guide his side home despite brief run-a-ball knocks from David Willey and James Middlebrook.
The game was far from the run-fest many expected on a gorgeously hot day. Cheap scores were again a feature of the Gloucestershire top order as they posted a poor score having won the toss. A four-ball duck for Jon Batty must surely end his selection for a while.
Alex Gidman's 61 from 86 balls was the captain's innings his side required at Cardiff. It was certainly an innings of a man in-form. Long may it continue.
There were more runs for Steve Snell, who has seemingly relished the challenge against the star-signing. He also kept very tidily with two sharp catches: he will keep the gloves for the trip to Derby.
Official report: www.gloscricketradio.co.uk