LVCC: Gloucestershire 358 & 347 drew with Middlesex 406 & 123-4 (PTS: Glos 10, Midd 11)
This was an excellent draw for Gloucestershire against a Middlesex side flying high so far this season. They might even have sneaked a victory had the weather not curtailed play on the final afternoon. The dismissal of Dawid Malan to a ball that rolled from a length suggested Middlesex could have been bowled out in the final hour.
But Gloucestershire will take the draw because they accumulated four batting points, making the draw worthwhile: 10 points is a reasonable haul. The result continues their good start to the season.
They have another top-of-the-table encounter next week against Northamptonshire, who have began strongly. They have been scoring heavily this season: the largest haul of batting points in the division. Weight of runs in the first innings is where they have won their two matches so far - they have scored almost 500 in three of their four matches.
Gloucestershire will need plenty of options to bowl them out so four bowlers need to be played if a similar pitch as this week is going to be prepared - which I would suggest is because the batting needs all the help it can get and prospered in the conditions this week. More options are needed to bowl out sides cheaper than the Middlesex first innings - the score that realistically took a Gloucestershire win out of the equation.
Gloucestershire don't quite know what their best attack is yet. Liam Norwell was rested at Kent before being recalled this week and Ian Saxelby was left out. David Payne has also been in and out of the side. I would play all four seamers and leave out Richard Coughrie.