Thursday, August 26, 2010

10-over bash keeps Glos alive

CB40: Gloucestershire 122-3(10 overs) beat Netherlands 68-6(10) by 54 runs

Gloucestershire were always going to overpower the Netherlands; the hard part was getting on the field.

For a long while it looked as if a straightforward two points were going to be washed away but conditions relented and Gloucestershire were able to pick up an easy win to keep their hopes of qualification for the Clydesdale Bank 40 League semi-finals alive.

It was actually ideal for the players: minimum work for the result they needed. Just 10 overs a side - the minimum permitted - were able to be bowled and the visitors ensured there would be no upset with a solid batting display.

Inevitably inserted into bat - chasing was the only realistic way the Netherlands would be able to win the game - Will Porterfield and James Franklin provided the two scores of note that were required. They shared nine boundaries and took the score almost to 100: the point at which the visitors assumed control of the match.

Defending the score was routine, especially when Jon Lewis picked up three-for-three in his two overs. The top order removed the game was over, although Alex Gidman felt generous and gave seven players a bowl - he has captained the MCC before so knows about giving everyone a game.

Qualification is still very much on the cards for Gloucestershire. They require two more wins from their final matches - at home to the Netherlands and away to Northamptonshire - to take them to 18 points. A series of results then needs to go in their favour but plenty would back the scenario occurring.

If Somerset beat Surrey at Taunton, Yorkshire beat Essex at Headingley and one of Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire lose one of their combined five remaining matches then no other second-placed team will reach 18 points and Gloucestershire will progress.

The final criteria doesn't actually need to happen, providing Gloucestershire keep their net run rate - which should improve again with the Netherlands to come on Monday - above Warwickshire's.

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