Monday, 11 April 2011

Day 3: Glos require 127 runs with 9 wickets remaining to beat Derbyshire. Easy!

The comparisons are too easy. Last year, set 125 to win, Glos came up short. Way short. Humiliatingly short. 55 runs short. But it won't happen again. Surely.

This is a vastly different Gloucestershire side with only 4 players from last years debacle in the current team. On paper it doesn't look an improved unit, but this team of 5 debutants has the chance to demonstrate something we haven't seen at Nevil Road for quite some time. Character.

Ok, chasing 146 to win a match shouldn't be anything to really shout about. But cricketing history tells us that scores in this region are always harder to chase than you would like. With such a young team I'm sure there will be plenty of butterflies tomorrow morning. It would be nice to see the boys show us a bit of character and comfortably knock off the runs by the middle of the afternoon. Where as Gloucestershire teams for the last few seasons have looked half decent on paper the thing lacking has been a bit of fighting spirit. Actually, a lot of fighting spirit. In fact, any fighting spirit.

To infect myself with some of Glos cricket radio's enthusiasm for a moment, the result tomorrow should not blind us to what has been a largely encouraging start to the season, particularly from several of the youngsters. Wickets for Payne and Norwell. Runs for Gidman. But tomorrow does feel like it could go a long way to defining our season. Win, and this gamble on youth really will feel like a new beginning. Lose, and the stilted air from the last 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8....seasons risks intoxicating the young blood. This is probably a bit overdramatic. But being a sports fan is all about over dramatising things!

Good luck tomorrow boys. Stand up and be counted. Take charge. Finish the job. And don't mess up....please.

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