DAY 2 Close: Gloucestershire 404-8 lead Middlesex 236 by 168 runs (PTS: Glos 7, Midd 3)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary: www.gloscricketradio.co.uk
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 www.gloscricketradio.co.uk
Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk