Monday, May 31, 2010

Glos fighting for New Road draw

DAY 3 Close: Gloucestershire 245 & 189-5 lead Worcestershire 388 by 46 runs (PTS: Glos 4, Worcs 7)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Gloucestershire ended day three where many expected them to be at the start of the day - battling to claim a draw. Rain may save them tomorrow.

The morning session is expected to be washed out tomorrow and that may take enough time out of the game for Gloucestershire to survive. Their slender lead needs to be extended up towards 200 to make them safe.

Worcestershire will be capable of chasing down a score late on tomorrow - particularly after having scored at the rate they achieved in the first innings. Time is of the essence for both sides.

Worcestershire won the crucial morning session on day three. Moeen Ali survived a very convincing appeal for caught behind in the first over of the morning and went on to his second championship century of the season. Ben Scott also made 67 as the home side claimed a first-innings lead of 123 runs.

Once again, Gloucestershire came out looking to save the game in the third-innings. But the game situation didn't stop Steve Snell flashing away outside of his off-stump. He again edged to second slip for another failure at the top of the order.

Then came the usual giveaways as Dent before tea, then Batty and Marshall after, got out when well set. 21, 43 and 50 represented good-looking knocks but not enough. Chris Taylor and James Franklin, also with useful knocks to resume in the morning, now need to bat well into the afternoon to secure a draw for the visitors.

LIVE coverage continues on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Glos fightback into the match

DAY 2 Close: Worcestershire 229-6 trail Gloucestershire 245 by 16 runs (PTS: Worcs 4, Glos 3)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

A late fightback from Gloucestershire hauled them back into the game after an under-par total and a blistering partnership of 107 between Alexei Kervezee and Moeen Ali had seen them begin to struggle.

Kervezee and Ali dominated after Phil Jaques edged Anthony Ireland to Steve Snell and Vikram Solanki gloved to Hamish Marshall in the gully just after tea. Those two wickets had brought Gloucestershire onto a more even keel after a seeing Jaques and Daryll Mitchell power their way to a 53 opening stand.

Gloucestershire needed wickets because there was seemingly nothing they could do to prevent the torrent of runs. The fourth wicket partnership came at almost seven-an-over, hence the complete relief when Jon Lewis had Kervezee, who brought up his 50 off just 45 balls, leg-before just as Worcestershire we looking to take complete hold of the match.

Lewis followed up his success by having Ben Smith caught a slip for just three and Alex Gidman - the only bowler to provide a modicum of control in the innings - produced a yorker to bowl Richard Jones for one.

Six down, and with a very vulnerable tail to follow, Gloucestershire are very much in touch. What they cannot allow, is Moeen to guide the tail and Worcestershire to make above 300.

The visitors would be even better placed had poor shot selection from several batsmen, chiefly from Marshall, who drove loosely to slip for 37 not given away decent starts. Gloucestershire failed to get into the better batting conditions of the second afternoon.

They should have made more and were indebted to Chris Taylor, who looked in control until he he played on for 71.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rain ruins Day One

DAY 1 Close: Gloucestershire 78-3 v Worcestershire (PTS: Glos 0, Worcs 1)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Just 29 overs were possible on the first day at New Road, with rain preventing the start of play until 3.10. Further rain caused an early tea and then the abandonment of play at six o'clock.

The play that was possible went in favour of the home side. Alex Gidman won the toss and surprisingly decided to bat in bowler-friendly conditions; presumably his side's respective fortunes batting first and last so far this season swayed his decision.

But the tactics backfired as again, the Gloucestershire top order could not provide a positive start.

Steve Snell was kept as an opening bat but again played several flashy strokes before edging to second slip. Chris Dent, buoyed by his rapid 98 at Derby, again came out looking to dominate. He played a tennis stroke down the ground for a pulled four before top edging another pull to long leg.

Faith was kept with Jon Batty and again he showed a glimpse of his ability, playing a watchful innings and some well-timed shots before turning Alan Richardson straight into the hands of short leg.

Worcestershire had not bowled well. Too many leg-side deliveries were sent down and there was not an excessive amount of movement through the air, despite the heavy cloud. The home side will be delighted to have a bonus point already.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kirby fire sets up Glos win

LVCC: Gloucestershire 242 & 403 beat Derbyshire 354 & 166 by 134 runs (PTS: Glos 20, Derbys 6)

Steve Kirby hasn't been at his best this season but on the morning of day four at Derby it was his raw determination that sent Gloucestershire to a very good victory.

Kirby produced a snorting short delivery in just the second over of the morning that had Wayne Madsen fending away from his body; he gloved to Abdul-Kadeer Ali at short-leg. Next ball he produced an identical delivery which wrapped Gary Park on the glove - Derbyshire were rattled.

Park edged Lewis behind next over, Greg Smith followed suit and Gloucestershire were rampant. Under such intense pressure the Derbyshire captain, Chris Rogers, couldn't resist trying to drive Kirby and edged to Alex Gidman at first-slip - match over.

The rest of the innings was a formality but Chesney Hughes again showed his promise with a well-made 75 and kept the match going until shortly before tea.

The victory is a very important one for Gloucestershire because they came from behind. Up against a 103-run deficit Gloucestershire took the attack back to their opponent and dominated the last two days of this match. Gloucestershire haven't achieved such a feat for a very long time.

But the search for a century continues and there are further selection headaches to come. Does Chris Taylor slot straight back into the team? Will a spinner be required at New Road? Anthony Ireland for Vikram Banerjee could be a change for Saturday - despite the spinner sending down his best stuff for some time - particularly in a challenging first-innings.

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Glos show backbone to take control

DAY 3 Close: Derbyshire 345 & 5-0 need another 296 to beat Gloucestershire 242 & 403 (PTS: Derbys 6, Glos 4)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Gloucestershire enjoyed an excellent day three but they will need more solid cricket on day four to complete this great turnaround. Chris Rogers could well stand in their way.

Finally Gloucestershire showed their mettle. Resuming 56 behind the played the best innings for many years in building up what could be a match-winning lead. Only an equally determined effort from Derbyshire will swing this match once more.

Abdul-Kadeer Ali led the fightback with a flowing 74. He finally made the runs his correct technique can yield and he dominated the bowling until top edging a hook and was caught.

Also finally in the runs was Chris Dent - and this knock was a domination. His 50 came from just 31 balls as he smashed his way to a first-class best. Predictably, he wanted to use the tactics that had got him to 98 to bring up his ton and perished top edging a hook - you couldn't blame him playing the stroke.

Even with two big innings, the visitors needed to press on to build a big lead and contributions down the card kept up the momentum.

The scoring rate was unbelievable. 6-an-over for the afternoon was a wonderful effort - exactly what was required to provide enough time to bowl at Derbyshire, particularly when 15 overs were lost at the end of the day for bad light.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk


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Glos show backbone to take control

DAY 3 Close: Derbyshire 345 & 5-0 need another 296 to beat Gloucestershire 242 & 403 (PTS: Derbys 6, Glos 4)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Gloucestershire enjoyed an excellent day three but they will need more solid cricket on day four to complete this great turnaround. Chris Rogers could well stand in their way.

Finally Gloucestershire showed their mettle. Resuming 56 behind the played the best innings for many years in building up what could be a match-winning lead. Only an equally determined effort from Derbyshire will swing this match once more.

Abdul-Kadeer Ali led the fightback with a flowing 74. He finally made the runs his correct technique can yield and he dominated the bowling until top edging a hook and was caught.

Also finally in the runs was Chris Dent - and this knock was a domination. His 50 came from just 31 balls as he smashed his way to a first-class best. Predictably, he wanted to use the tactics that had got him to 98 to bring up his ton and perished top edging a hook - you couldn't blame him playing the stroke.

Even with two big innings, the visitors needed to press on to build a big lead and contributions down the card kept up the momentum.

The scoring rate was unbelievable. 6-an-over for the afternoon was a wonderful effort - exactly what was required to provide enough time to bowl at Derbyshire, particularly when 15 overs were lost at the end of the day for bad light.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk


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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Glos under pressure at Derby

DAY 2 Close: Gloucestershire 242 & 47-1 trail Derbyshire 345 by 56 runs (PTS: Glos 4, Derbys 6)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

A positive final 10 overs at the start of the Gloucestershire second-inning recovered what had been a particularly poor evening session for the visitors on day two.

Although they lost Steve Snell, bowled between bat and pad for 21, he and Abdul-Kadeer Ali had reduced the deficit considerably by the close as one again, the Derbyshire opening bowlers proved expensive.

Gloucestershire do not enjoy chasing games and having conceded a 103-deficit on first-innings, they are going to have to buck the trend to avoid defeat.

Predictable runs from Chris Rogers, who leads the Derbyshire batting with bags of runs, provided the ideal platform for a large total - Derbyshire have failed with the bat this season when Rogers has failed.

Crucially, Rogers was also able to guide young Chesney Hughes into his innings. The pair shared 134 but Chesney continued his innings and made 118. Beautiful stroke-making, including all the hallmarks of a true West-Indian, and control with the tail were features of his maiden first-class hundred.

He was cruelly run-out backing up after tea when he may well have taken Derbyshire to a fourth batting point.

Gloucestershire didn't deserve the fluke as they had bowled very poorly after tea. Steve Kirby in-particular toiled away for 25 fruitless overs. Vikram Banerjee had twirled them into a decent position. His best spell for some time reduced the home side to 269-7. Banerjee bowled with excellent control and contained the scoring rate - something that he failed to do at Cardiff.

But Tim Groenewald made 34 to push Derbyshire to a commanding lead and only a really determined effort will turn this situation around.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Official report: www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Monday, May 24, 2010

Intriguing first day at Derby

DAY 1 Close: Derbyshire 71-3 v Gloucestershire 242 (PTS: Derbys 3, Glos 2)
LIVE ball-by-ball coverage on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Gorgeous hot conditions around the country didn't stop too many captains from bowling first in this latest round of matches. Alex Gidman decided to bat at Derby but Gloucestershire's 242 perhaps suggests that his decision was a difficult one.

Gloucestershire only posted a mediocre total in their first innings on day one at Derby but fought back well in the evening session and need to pick up Chris Rogers cheaply in the morning to be right on top of this match.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk


Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Glos squeeze to narrow win

CB40L: Glos 192-9 beat Northamptonshire 185-7 by 7 runs

Gloucestershire pulled off an unlikely victory against Northants at Bristol and are now well placed in group B of the Clydesdale Bank 40 League.

It was a vital win for Gloucestershire. A home defeat against the group's bottom-placed side would have been disastrous, but their campaign is now looking quite healthy.

How the visitors failed to chase down under four-an-over and finish seven-down after 40 overs was a complete mystery. There was serious misjudgment by David Sales, whose 59 from 81 balls glued a stuttering chase together but failed to do enough.

Sales and Andrew Hall, who contributed 37 from 43 balls, looked to have put Northants back on track after being out of the game at 84-5. But to lose only two more wickets and not complete the chase was a disaster for the visitors.

Sales wanted to control the innings and allow the other end to take risks. But it was going to take more than control to win the match and once Jon Lewis returned to dismiss Hall - the power that Sales needed at the other end - Sales was found wanting and couldn't guide his side home despite brief run-a-ball knocks from David Willey and James Middlebrook.

The game was far from the run-fest many expected on a gorgeously hot day. Cheap scores were again a feature of the Gloucestershire top order as they posted a poor score having won the toss. A four-ball duck for Jon Batty must surely end his selection for a while.

Alex Gidman's 61 from 86 balls was the captain's innings his side required at Cardiff. It was certainly an innings of a man in-form. Long may it continue.

There were more runs for Steve Snell, who has seemingly relished the challenge against the star-signing. He also kept very tidily with two sharp catches: he will keep the gloves for the trip to Derby.

Official report: www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Miserable Glos slump to defeat

LVCC: Glamorgan 583-9dec. beat Gloucestershire 417 & 162 by an innings and four runs (PTS: Glam 23, Glos 6)

Gloucestershire didn't even put up half a fight on day four at Cardiff. A display of completely spineless batting saw them collapse to a humiliating defeat in a game that should always have been destined for a draw.

For the second time in four years, Glamorgan conceded over 400 in the first innings and went on to win the match. Only twice on the last 20 occasions they have done so.

This was not the day four pitch of old. There were no cracks in the surface, there was no ripping turn, there was no uneven bounce. The wicket played like it had throughout the match - slow and turgid. But once again, Gloucestershire showed no signs of any resistance and conceded 17 points to their promotion rivals.

Gloucestershire's top three in the match contributed 49 runs over two innings; Jon Lewis managed 87 on his own and was still going in the second innings - demonstrating what a simple task batting on this surface was.

There is something seriously lacking in the mental ability of the Gloucestershire batsmen. Two sessions of solid cricket was required to save the match - no more than four wickets before tea would have just about secured a draw. They got nowhere near to that target.

Just 15 minutes had been played before Jon Batty was out for another failure - star signing of the winter I think not. He has to be dropped for the match against Derbyshire starting on Monday. Batty conceded the third highest number of byes in an inning by a Gloucestershire gloveman in this match. Steve Snell filled his boots to a certain extent with 71 in the first innings and must be given another chance with the gloves.

Hamish Marshall was exposed to his major weakness around off stump - this time falling over an ball angled into his pads - and Alex Gidman defied belief when lbw attempting to paddle sweep Dean Cosker: senseless batting from the captain, just when a cool head and a captain's knock was required.

The farce was completed when James Franklin ran out Snell and Lewis repeated the trick calling Anthony Ireland back for a second run. Desperate stuff from Glos and their 12-year winless streak in Cardiff goes on.

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dull day leaves Glos playing for draw

DAY 3 Close: Gloucestershire 417 & 12-1 trail Glamorgan 583 by 154 runs (PTS: Glos 6, Glam 7)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

A most tedious day of cricket at Cardiff left the match in the same position as was expected at the start of day three - Gloucestershire batting out for a draw. However, Chris Dent again showed his weakness against spin bowling as he was bowled shouldering arms to the final ball of the day from Dean Cosker.

Gloucestershire only had eight overs to survive at the end of the day but Jamie Dalrymple should have given his side a longer spell to bowl. Having seen the state of the pitch and having looked at tomorrow's forecast, Dalrymple surely would have wanted more time.

Glamorgan will fancy chasing even above 200 after tea on day four, so there really was no need to develop a lead of 166. But that lead took an age to develop. Jim Allenby, having brought up his century, proceeded to leave the next over outside the off stump - a total waste of everybody's time and unsurprisingly, a poor crowd witnessed the action.

The home side racked up their third highest total against their Westcountry neighbours courtesy of an entertaining 172 from Ben Wright and Allenby's 105. Both innings demonstrated that batting is quite simple on a terrible cricket surface and Gloucestershire need only concentrate appropriately to bat through to 5pm tomorrow.

It was an exceedingly dull day for Gloucestershire's attack - good deliveries were sent down, particularly by Anthony Ireland who impressively finished with 5-114, but on the whole there was nothing to attract any interest. Not even for Vikram Banerjee - the lack of pace in the surface resulted in slow turn and he toiled away for 38 overs for just two stumpings.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Glos rue poor luck and toil on day two

DAY 2 Close: Glamorgan 257-3 trail Gloucestershire 417 by 160 runs (PTS: Glam 4, Glos 5)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Gloucestershire face an uphill battle to stay in the match at Cardiff as Glamorgan's batsman contributed at the top of the order and are well placed to claim a first innings lead.

The way the home side raced along - above four-an-over - suggested that Gloucestershire's 417 was only a par score for this very docile surface. Batting was fairly straightforward, although both Jon Lewis and Gemaal Hussain enjoyed movement through the air after tea, forcing the batsmen to play and miss with regularity.

The bowlers didn't enjoy a great deal of luck and on a different afternoon more wickets may have fallen. But two catches were dropped and a run-out chance missed by Vikram Banerjee. There was certainly enough poor cricket by the visitors to counteract their misfortune at times.

Banerjee enjoyed a pretty average afternoon; luring Jamie Dalrymple out of his ground to be smartly stumped by Jon Batty but aside that moment he caused few problems - admittedly on a very unresponsive surface - but he failed to generate any pressure.

It was no surprise to learn that Jack Russel had made an approach for Robert Croft - Glamorgan rejecting Gloucestershire's offer of a loan signing.

The opportunities that Gloucestershire gave away with the bat - four players passing 50 but falling to convert - resulted in a lower score than was required here and Gloucestershire chances of winning in Cardiff for the first time since 1999 are now fairly slim.

The highlight of the day for the visitors was the form of Anthony Ireland. He regularly achieved extra bounce off a length. One such delivery to Gareth Rees deflected into the stumps off Rees's gloves. A hint of seam movement accounted for Mark Cosgrove, also bowled after a confident start.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Monday, May 17, 2010

Glos recover to shade Day one

DAY 1 Close: Gloucestershire 303-5 v Glamorgan (PTS: Glos 3 Glam 1)
LIVE ball-by-ball coverage on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

The first day at Cardiff produced a very exciting day's cricket. The Gloucestershire batting went from the ridiculous to the sublime and almost back again but shaded the day after winning the toss.

Once again the top order failed. More disappointing, Chris Dent fell to a poor stroke against seam bowling. He, like Hamish Marshall shortly after him, fell over an inswinging delivery and was plumb in front leg before.

Jon Batty had been the first man to go, the first of four lbw's on the card. Huw Waters - who went off ill half-way through the afternoon - produced a leg-cutter that Batty was only half-forward to. He went for six as the top three only contributed 13 runs.

Yet once again, once a testing first-hour - even with the warmer 12pm start-time - had been negotiated, batting became remarkably straight-forward. Alex Gidman - who stood his ground when Jim Allenby claimed a bump-ball at first-slip when on 10 - and James Franklin were at their fluent best in a fourth-wicket stand of 155.

But Gidman played across the line to the part-time seam of Allenby and became the fourth lbw of the day. Gidman again the architect of his own downfall and twice in consecutive innings fell agonisingly short of a century.

Franklin followed suit and produced the thinnest of edges to Mark Wallace from a Dean Cosker slider; he went for 95.

This Gloucestershire batting line up is learning how to consolidate though and runs for Chris Taylor and Steve Snell contributed 79 for the sixth wicket. From 27-3 the visitors will be pleased at the close.

LIVE coverage continues on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Friday, May 14, 2010

Professional Glos win again

CB40L: Gloucestershire 246-9 (40 overs) beat Middlesex 169 (31.3 overs) by 77 runs

Gloucestershire produced a professional display of one-day cricket to comfortably beat Middlesex at Lord's to win their second one-day match of the season.

Having worked to a healthy total in the first innings, the bowling again dominated and Middlesex were never really in the chase. Wickets, as ever, spread around; the fielding squeezed the batsmen's ability to score easily and Middlesex only just straddled into the last ten overs of their innings.

A first half-century in Gloucestershire colours for Jon Batty and a big third-wicket stand were the most pleasing aspects of a first-innings where the visitors only posted a par-score: a run-a-ball is considered more than gettable in 40-over cricket, particularly at Lord's.

The less pleasing aspect was that Hamish Marshall still refuses to get a hundred. Despite more delightful stroke-making, Marshall needed to remain until the end of the innings and carry his side over 260. Instead he got out just at the wrong time, and were it not for Jon Lewis opening his shoulders the innings may well have stumbled to an abrupt halt.

However, Gloucestershire's efforts in the field continue to be of an extremely high standard. It was no surprise that wickets fell at regular intervals with the bowling so disciplined at the top of the innings. Vikram Banerjee and Anthony Ireland may have gone for 67 from their combined 10 overs, but they picked up five wickets between them and wickets won Gloucestershire the match.

Steve Kirby has been called up to the England Lions team to play Bangladesh at Derby next week. Selection for Gloucestershire's match at Cardiff becomes slightly easier as a result.

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nixon claims wicket as Glos win again

LVCC: Gloucestershre 376 & 15-1 beat Leicestershire 102 & 285 by nine wickets (PTS: Glos 23, Leics 3)

A first-ever wicket for Paul Nixon in first-class cricket was the real story of the fourth morning at Bristol, even though Gloucestershire took just 30 minutes to wrap up a third-straight championship victory.

Nixon, playing his 21st season of first-class cricket, had previously sent down 112 balls for no reward but he will always be grateful to Will Porterfield, who fell over an inswinger, was struck half-way up the pad and was given out LBW for just one.

There were delirious scenes in the middle as the fielders celebrated reward for a distinguished career.

Those celebrations overshadowed what should have been the home side's delight at picking up a very comfortable third-straight win. It took the second over of the morning for Matthew Hoggard to edge Anthony Ireland to Jon Batty but Gloucestershire - frustrated at having to come back this morning - will be even more annoyed to not pick up consecutive home victories by 10 wickets over the East Midlanders.

Despite the anticlimax, this 23-point success pushes Gloucestershire to within 20 points of Sussex, having played the same number of games. They are right back in the promotion mix but now have the challenge to continue playing successful cricket.

They have already secured half as many wins as they managed last season, and there are still two weeks before the end of May. The scheduling has made it essential to get points on the board early, and after a stumbling start, Gloucestershire have achieved that.

There are now selection issues for next week's match. A spinner and Steve Kirby are both required at Sophia Gardens. A batsman will make way for the extra bowler and one would imagine Ireland will make way for Kirby - despite seven wickets in the match.

So which batsman will be dropped? The only candidates are Porterfield, Batty or Steve Snell. Snell has contributed more than Batty so far - admittedly not against the new ball - and Porterfield has only had once opportunity. On that analysis, Batty could be the one to make way. But I wonder how long John Bracewell's memory is; Porterfield couldn't buy a run in first-class cricket last season.

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Light beats Glos to victory

DAY 3 Close: Leicestershire 102 & 282-9 lead Gloucestershire 376 by seven runs (PTS: Leics 3, Glos 7)
LIVE ball-by-ball coverage on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Bad light agonisingly denied Gloucestershire victory on day three at Bristol. However, 14 overs at the last wicket should have been enough for the home side. Jacques de Toit and Matthew Hoggard managed to bat out 50 minutes until the close.

More to follow...

Coverage continues on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Official report on www.gloscricket.co.uk

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Foxes fightback after Glos rampage

DAY 2 Close: Leicestershire 102 & 122-0 trail Gloucestershire 376 by 154 runs (PTS: Glos 7, Leics 3)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Gloucestershire ended day two very much in the driving seat for a third straight win, despite a rally from Paul Nixon and Matt Boyce after tea which saw the visitors comfortably to the close but still with a large arrears.

Another devastating spell with the ball propelled the home side to a commanding lead. Again, all of the bowlers contributed, pressure was maintained and a young Leicestershire batting line up didn't have the necessary determination to stop the deluge of wickets. All 10 fell for just 74 runs.

However, the replied with a very spirited performance in what could have been a disastrous spell after tea. With plenty of overs to survive before the close.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Monday, May 10, 2010

Glos find form with the bat

DAY 1 Close: Gloucestershire 314-6 v Leicestershire (PTS: Glos 3, Leics 2)
LIVE ball-by-ball commentary on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Gloucestershire finally found form with the bat to take their innings into a second day at Bristol - a feat not even contemplated this season, particularly when they lost the toss, were asked to bat and Matthew Hoggard removed Will Porterfield for a duck and Jon Batty for just six.

Second innings runs for Batty are a must, otherwise, with a position required to make way for a spinner in Cardiff, Gloucestershire's new signing may be the one to make way for Vikram Banerjee. He may still be dropped if Steve Snell can make sizable runs here.

Gloucestershire built an innings by the textbook - contributions down the card (save the openers), partnerships, consolidations: it was all there and the home side were well worth their runs.

The major disappointment was failure to convert fifties into hundreds by Hamish Marshall - who received one of few decent deliveries of the day by Andy Harris - and particularly Alex Gidman, who couldn't resist the temptation to pull his way to a hundred despite the threat of two men back for the hook.

Chris Taylor is also in that column, but was slightly unlucky to glove a Nathan Buck bouncer to the wicketkeeper.

The home side should make it four batting points tomorrow - 36 to make in 14 overs - and then can look to build a score of above 400 to stamp their authority on a match for the first time this season.

LIVE coverage continues tomorrow on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Essex stand defeats Glos

40L: Essex 267ao (40 overs) beat Gloucestershire 225ao (37.3overs) by 42 runs

David Payne became the first Gloucestershire bowler to take seven wickets in a one-day match but Gloucestershire still fell to a comfortable 42-run defeat.

He took four wickets with the first four balls of the 40th over. When Chris Martin walked out to bat he surely sensed a fifth wicket, and indeed had Martin play and miss, but the fifth wicket in the over fell to a run out by Batty off the final ball.

That remarkable finish to the Essex innings came after a positive start to the game, Gloucestershire winning the toss and bowling under heavy cloud and picking up Billy Godleman and the dangerous Mark Pettini cheaply.

But Essex won the game with a 166-run stand between Grant Flower (116 from 103 balls) and Ryan ten Doescathe (84 from 53 balls).

It was a marvellous stand, full of powerful hitting and beautiful stroke-making but Gloucestershire failed to build any real pressure and once momentum was with the batsmen, there was nothing Alex Gidman could seemingly do to stop the flow of runs - despite chopping and changing his seven bowlers.

What Gidman needed was control and no-one could provide that; the decision to rest Jon Lewis was perhaps regrettable.

What wasn't regrettable was the decision to throw Will Porterfield back into the line-up. Fresh from the West Indies, he played with urgency and control and his busy 65 from 64 balls looked like providing a decent reply but no-one went with him.

It was classic Gloucestershire batting. Attractive strokemaking and a soft dismissal was the feature of Hamish Marshall's, Chris Taylor's and Gidman's innings. One partnership of 81 was not enough to chase a large total.

Steve Snell again proved his worth as a specialist batsman, responding from three ducks in four innings to make a brisk half-century. But his lower-order runs came when his side were out of range.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Two-in-a-row for Glos after Oval win

LVCC: Gloucestershire 229 & 248 beat Surrey 178 & 222 by 77 runs (PTS: Glos 20, Surrey 3)

Vikram Banerjee completed an excellent return to the Gloucestershire first X1 by bowling his side to victory on the third evening. His 5-74 completed a "London double" for Gloucestershire which puts their promotion challenge back on track.

For the second day in succession, Gloucestershire won the morning session to take a grip of the game. James Franklin batted the morning for 90, but ended up stranded on 92 as the innings was wrapped up in just eight balls after lunch. Franklin was brilliantly supported by Banerjee, who made another 16 dogged runs, and Gemaal Hussain, who made 22.

Lower order runs again dug the visitors out of a huge hole that they had been plunged into yesterday. At 133-7, Surrey were looking to chase around 220 maximum. 300 was always too many for a struggling side.

Gloucestershire applied pressure with the ball by chipping away with regular wickets. Gareth Batty edged Kirby behind, likewise Mark Ramprakash off Franklin, and when Uzman Afzaal missed an attempted slog-sweep against Banerjee, suddenly the Surrey top order had contributed very little and were out of the game.

Arun Harinath could fit into the Gloucestershire batting very nicely. Looks promising, plays nicely, and then gives it away. He simply turned a Banerjee long-hop into the hands of Steve Snell at short-leg.

It wasn't a perfectly rosy afternoon for the Westcountry side though. They failed to take a number of chances that they will be punished for against good teams.

Alex Gidman and Hussain spilled absolute dollies that nearly cost Banerjee a five-for. Snell and Chris Taylor also put down straightforward chances and Hamish Marshall missed a run-out chance.

Those missed chances meant the game lasted a little longer than it did - finishing just two overs before the extra half-hour would be needed - but with the Surrey lower-order slogging away it was only a matter of time before the wickets went down.

Gloucestershire are showing signs of turning a corner with their cricket. "Clinch" situations in these last two games - both third mornings - have been won and that has contributed to two comfortable wins. The bowling can win matches if the batting provides the platform.

Official club info: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Batting slips to leave match in the Balance

DAY 2 Close: Gloucestershire 229 & 139-7 lead Surrey 178 by 190 runs (PTS: Glos 4, Surrey 3)
LIVE ball-by-ball coverage on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Another remarkable demise by the Gloucestershire batsmen has turned what was looking like a strong position into a very nervy one after the second day at the Oval. Bad light again curtailed the drama - never a dull moment following Gloucestershire.

Firstly, Gloucestershire seized the initiative and produced a big morning session. So big, in fact, that it probably used up all their good cricket for the day. The afternoon was another poor one for the Gloucestershire batsmen and not being able to string together successive positive sessions is already costing them points.

Once again, the bowling attacked showed its teeth. The wickets were shared around but it was Jon Lewis who this time led the attack - darting the ball both ways from both ends and producing a beauty to clean bowl Mark Ramprakash.

The visitors had grabbed their chance and even a tenth wicket stand of 37 couldn't take away the splendid effort that gave them a useful 51-run lead.

But the lead was only useful. A solid second innings was required, not huge, but solid. Around 220 would suffice but disaster again struck as Gloucestershire suffered two double blows.

First the curse of 86. Alex Gidman, who had played some impressive strokes for a time, was trapped playing across the line. Then Jon Batty, so measured and controlled, was undone by an inswinger to hand Dernbach some eventual reward for a persistently nagging spell.

Then 122 proved another sticking point. Chris Taylor went in the same fashion as his captain, this time to Stuart Meaker who bowled with pace and menace all afternoon. It was the extra bounce that he extracted from just back-of-a-length that undid Steve Snell, who gloved a simple catch to first slip - his third duck in four innings.

The tail needed to wag, but Lewis could only fire in one department for the day and went caught behind for just one, leaving Vikram Banerjee the task of again providing some doggedness to support James Franklin - fluent for his 34 - to push Gloucestershire to 200.

250 is a testing target and Gloucestershire will back themselves to defend it, if they can set it. Has the batting again let the opposition off the hook?

LIVE coverage continues from 10:55 tomorrow on www.gloscricketradio.co.uk

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Glos struggle on Day One

DAY 1 Close: Surrey 56-1 trail Gloucestershire 229 by 173 runs (PTS: Surrey 3, Glos 1)
LIVE ball-by-ball coverage on www.gloscricketradio.moonfruit.com

Gloucestershire improved as the day got sunnier at the Oval but will be disappointed with their day in their second London engagement in consecutive weeks.

They will be mightily relieved that Gemaal Hussain knocked out Gareth Batty's off-stump in the day's penultimate over, otherwise the visitors could already be really behind the eight-ball.

Batty and Arun Harinath played some beautiful strokes and made batting look like a Christmas gift that had been ripped open and was being enjoyed with glee. Admittedly, under sunny skies batting was easier, but the pitch was not different to 11:00.

Having won the toss, the natural thing to do was to bat first at the Oval. But Gloucestershire aren't the team to negotiate tricky first-hours under laden skies. And so it proved as Batty was caught down the legside for a poor return to his old club; Marshall edged a length ball to slip; and Gidman was undone by some extra bounce and chipped up a simple catch to square leg.

A brief rally followed - another score-of-sorts for Chris Dent - but again no batsmen spent some significant time trying to build an innings. Snell played well, if a little too loosely, and on a different day could have edged a catch for a far smaller score, but his 48 was invaluable.

But the day really belonged to Vikram Banerjee. In his first championship match of the season he was incredibly determined at the crease, only played within his means, knew where to score and picked up his runs steadily for a highest first-class score. And produced a hint of turn in his two overs before the close.

Steve Kirby was also extremely dogged in putting on 13 to inch Gloucestershire over the 200 mark, before playing some delightful strokes for his 20 not out.

Lower order runs pulled the visitors back into the game. 127-7 at the Oval was nearly a score to put Gloucestershire out of the game. Although 229 is a below-par total, as this blog always advocates, it's runs on the board.

Coverage continues tomorrow from 10:55 on www.gloscricketradio.moonfruit.com

Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk
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