Sunday, August 08, 2010

Glos win another Festival thriller

CB40: Gloucestershire 302-7 beat Middlesex 299-8 by three wickets

Gloucestershire put the misery of another four-day defeat immediately behind them as they won another thrilling one-day match at Cheltenham. The college ground never fails in producing fantastic cricket matches.

Jon Lewis smashed 18 runs of the final over to see his side over the line with a ball to spare. His fist-pumping strut towards the Sandford Road tents was an unleashing of frustration evidently built up from two more championship failures.

Lewis took the final glory but the lions share of credit belonged to Chris Taylor and Steve Snell, whose remarkable fightback gave Gloucestershire a fighting chance. They came together with the innings struggling at 100-4 in the 18th over but added 158 at over eight-an-over.

Snell - in probably his final innings for Gloucestershire at Cheltenham - played beautifully in a career-best knock which combined power with touch and excellent running between the wickets for 95 from 62-balls. More of those innings will certainly earn him another county contract. But he fell in the same Pedro Collins over that saw Taylor also dismissed as game swung back in Middlesex's favour.

Often problems arise during the powerplay for batsmen and so it proved as Taylor looked to clip towards the unguarded legside boundary and was caught at sqaure-leg. Snell was cleaned up with an excellent yorker two balls later.

The script was written for debutant Ed Young but it was the old-hands who saw Gloucestershire home in front of 5,000 at the college. Richard Dawson smashed 17 from nine balls to keep the home side in the hunt, before Lewis completed a fabulous victory with two lofted extra-cover drives into the pavilion.

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