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: www.gloscricket.co.uk

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