Friday, 6 May 2011

'The kid' bravely pulls Glos back into contention

Day 3: Gloucestershire 358 and 218 - 5 v Middlesex 406

How nice it is to be able to sit here and write about Gloucestershire being involved in a thoroughly absorbing game of good quality cricket. Gloucestershire fans can not complain about a lack of exciting games in recent seasons, but these have always been exciting for the wrong reasons. Bowling a side out for 40 in the first innings and then still losing might be an incredible game, but not exactly a good game of cricket.

Gloucestershire find themselves going into the fourth day with a genuine chance of not only saving a game that looked lost this afternoon, but perhaps of forcing a victory on a rapidly wearing Bristol pitch.

Today's third day see-sawed one way and then the other. First, Norwell and the ever reliable Sperm donor took the early wickets Gloucestershire had desperately needed. Then Ollie Raynor fought back with a crucial, quickfire fifty to swing momentum back towards the London side. Then Gloucestershire knocked off the first innings deficit without losing a wicket before crumbling to 128 for 5 with a lead of only 80. 'The kid' then hobbled out to join 'the better' Gidders and proceeded where he had left off in the first innings, batting Gloucestershire right back into the match. Speaking of Taylor and his bruises, the picture posted on Twitter by Scott Newman of his bruised knee was a cracker. One of the good things about cricket embracing the social new media revolution is that you get to enjoy snippets like this from inside the dressing room. Not always that insightful, but amusing to see that the pros get injuries through stupidity as well!

As early season top of the table clashes go this has been a wonderful advert for division 2 county cricket. A good honest, hard fought contest between what are two pretty average sides if we are being honest. From a Gloucestershire fan's point of view we're delighted with average.

It's an obvious point but whoever wins the first session tomorrow will have the best opportunity of victory. If Gloucestershire can bat till lunch we shouldn't be able to lose (although we would have found a way if the vintage of '08-'10 were playing) If Middlesex dismiss us with the lead around 200 then they should be able to get home.

The boys at Glos la la la have got a bit heavy this evening on debutant Kane Williamson and 'the other', captain, Gidders. It's a bit harsh to criticise Williamson. Bristol is a notoriously difficult place to bat, and whilst this pitch is not one of Nevil Road's worst, it is a bit early to criticise the man. Anyone can get out cheaply before they become set. Captain Gidders on the other hand seems to be really struggling. So overcome with positivity were we in the first innings that we let it slide that the skipper had hidden himself even further down the order at number 6. Gidman seems to be have a real crisis of identity as a batsman at the moment. Unsure as to whether he is a dominant, classy top order player. Or a man who eeks out dirty runs in the middle order. Hiding away at number 6 isn't the way to go. If O'Mish's injury is as bad as feared and he does miss several weeks, or even months, then Gidman really will have to step up to be counted and put himself in the firing line of that new ball again!

So tomorrow promises to be a fascinating day's cricket. The Jessop Tavern View is off early to bed in anticipation.

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