Monday, May 23, 2011

Pitch the winner as Glos thwarted

LVCC: Leicestershire 323 & 245-5 drew with Gloucestershire 504-9dec. (PTS: Leics 7, Glos 11)

In the end the docile nature of the Grace Road pitch won the game. Even 30 wickets in the match was unachievable - it was simply a case of get yourself out. The surface played true throughout the last day. There was no help for the spinners.

Not that Gloucestershire possessed a spinner capable of winning a match even in helpful conditions. Kane Williamson was the pick of the three spinners used (Chris Taylor only bowled an over). He could at least develop some pressure and at least give himself a chance by floating the ball up and into a similar area. Vikram Banerjee did none of those things and was, again, ineffectual.

Once a stand got together on the final afternoon it was going to save the game. But for a long time, Leicestershire couldn't find a stand to last longer than 40 minutes. When a partnership did at last develop, it was very easy. A spinner to produce a magic ball was the only way another wicket would have been taken. Such a bowler wasn't available.

What bowlers were available were seamers that stuck to their plans very well. The economy rates were far better. Ian Saxelby bowled his best overs since his comeback from injury - more performances like this should secure his place as the new ball partner for Jon Lewis, who also ran in persistently.

It was a worthwhile draw for Gloucestershire. The fightback after tea on the third day gave them maximum bonus points. Runs for two players that needed them - Williamson and Alex Gidman - was also most welcome. There will be no easier place to make runs this season but this was a good marker for both players to kick on this season: victory against Essex before the T20s will set the campaign up nicely.

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