Thursday, 2 June 2011

Dent fights for a credible draw

Day 4: Gloucestershire 255 and 310 - 9 dec V Essex 321.

Gloucestershire continue to show considerable signs of improvement over the horror show of recent years with a gutsy draw against Essex. Don't get us wrong. This doesn't make us a good side. But it certainly beats watching us lose from similar positions to the one we found ourselves in yesterday.

In typical Gloucestershire fashion batsmen got themselves in, played a few shots, and then decided that a score in the 30's would keep them with a contract next season and so decided to get themselves out. Williamson, the kid and the brothers Gidman all got in, and all got out when set. At 156 for 6 just after lunch the scene seemed set for an Essex victory.

Step forward Chris Dent. Making his return from injury and finding himself bizarrely shunted down to number 7 the young left hander got his head down and built sensible partnerships, firstly with Ed Young and then with the wily Sperm donor. The Jessop Tavern View is actually quite pleased with this performance which, whilst hardly great, certainly demonstrates again that this team has some fight in it. Admittedly we were significantly helped by Essex's contractual obligation to Ravi Bopara to let him bowl constantly, and to Ryan ten Doeschate's decision to use his second over as a shop window to sell himself as a handy pitcher in the MLB. The boys on radio Essex were bemoaning the lack of overs given to peg-leg Shah. This said a lot about Essex's lack of bowling talent. It also says a lot about the standard of bowling in division 2 that the Sperm donor is able to average 31, with 3 50's. The Jessop Tavern View once had the privilege of bowling to a young Jon Lewis at the Cheltenham festival during a rain break. Walking around the boundary Lewis obviously fancied getting his eye in against some kids. Not being accustomed to the particular requirements of batting when an entire industrial-sized wheel bin are your wickets, he was cleaned up first ball. My point is that he's not much of a batsman.

So Gloucestershire now head into the T20 break in a respectable 5th in the county championship table. Certainly better than most people expected. Let's all now sit back and enjoy a bit of Murali at the circus.

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