Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wonderful Glos win at Hove

t20: Gloucestershire 178-4 beat Sussex 170-9 by eight runs

Gloucestershire produced a wonderful display of t20 cricket to claim a fabulous win at Hove and inflict Sussex's first defeat in 14 t20 matches.

John Bracewell said his side needed to produce some special cricket to beat Sussex and Gloucestershire responded with an excellent disciplined performance.

Power at the top of the order was one thing Bracewell talked about as being essential to t20 success and James Franklin provided it with his highest t20 score.

Franklin looks so at ease at the crease and is bang in form at the moment. His strokeplay was a joy to watch. Timing, power and placement were married to perfection in 90 from just 50 balls.

Again Gloucestershire tried to be innovative. This time Jon Lewis was sent to open the batting and struck three boundaries before being quickly dismissed. But it was classic cricket, not innovation, that saw Glos rack up a very good total: a big score from the top and useful knocks around the set batsman.

They took 45 from a patient powerplay but - unlike the matches against Glamorgan and Sussex at Gloucester - kicked on well in the middle overs. Only three of the final 11 overs yielded a single figure total and 38 came from the final three.

Sussex also enjoyed a fruitful end to their innings but Gloucestershire had strangled them well in the middle overs and Sussex had no platform to build from in the closing stages, despite Joe Gatting giving the visitors a brief scare.

Sussex had no platform because Gloucestershire regularly chipped away with wickets after Brendon McCullum had swept Vikram Banerjee to Abdul-Kadeer Ali at deep square-leg. 83-for-one became 113-for-six as the dangerous Dwayne Smith and Chris Nash in the middle order were dismissed very cheaply.

Banerjee bowled beautifully. A nuance in flight and pace every ball produced two vital wickets and his four overs cost just 30. In partnership with Lewis - who again produced a miserly spell of four overs for just 26 - Gloucestershire conceded just 46 from the middle eight overs.

55 from 24 balls was too great a task for Sussex, who failed to break Surrey's record of consecutive t20 wins, as Gloucestershire claimed a vital victory.

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