Sunday, 19 June 2011

Gloucestershire start well...but it could have been much better

Day 1: Surrey 225 v Gloucestershire 171 -4

I guess it is a sign of real progress that as a Gloucestershire fan I am now viewing performances with more of a microscope. Where as before we would have just been delighted to have not been either put to the sword or skittled for 80 odd, we are now in the strange position of feeling that today we missed the opportunity to really ram home the advantage.

We have already praised the selection for this match, with both Coughtrie and Young replacing the hapless Batty and the frankly useless Banerjee. Its also so nice to have a player like Will Gidman available to provide real balance. With the better Gidders playing as the fourth seamer and batting at six there is a really nice feel to a young middle order that runs, Gidman W, Coughtrie, Young.

After winning the toss full credit must go to the seamers for taking full advantage of helpful conditions. Admittedly the 225 that Surrey managed to eek out should have been 50 runs less, but it was a good effort. The biggest criticism we can level is the number of boundaries served up by the boys and the resultant indulgent run rate Surrey were able to score at. In what is likely to be a fairly low scoring game, these loose runs, some what given away, could prove costly.

In reply Gloucestershire's batsmen did their usual trick. Everyone, save Dent, and more about him later, got themselves in, and then got themselves out. Considering we had by far the best conditions of the day to bat in during the afternoon, this is slightly disappointing. O'Mish batted patiently, got himself nicely set, then got out. Williamson, played fluently, then got out during a testing spell from the impressive Dernbach. (1 for 20 off 12, including O'Mish dropped in the slips) The Kid continued this season's good form, and seems to have been unlucky to have received a shooter having just passed fifty. If Gloucestershire are to press home their advantage then it will need someone to go on and make a sizable contribution tomorrow. Can captain Gidders be this man? The Jessop Tavern View doesn't reckon the skipper has it in him and we are predicting a slender first innings leader of around 50.

Our final point for today concerns young Chris Dent. We have already seen enough from Dent to know that there was a reason why he was the first of the youngsters to be elevated to the first team last year. Despite having not reached his maiden first class hundred you feel that it is genuinely only a matter of time, and that when he makes his first one, several more will follow in quick succession. It's just that he doesn't seem comfortable at the top of the order. We have neither the time or the inclination to back this up statistically, but we reckon that most of Dent's better knocks have come when he has batted lower down. I guess at least we seem to have settled on a position for him and he will be glad to have ended the constant yo-yoing up and down the order. The other problem is of course who else should open in his place, and where in the middle order would he fit in? In truth it seems that the opening slot is the only one available to him. We just hope it doesn't stunt the development of a genuinely talented looking kid.

Finally, if anyone from BBC Radio London is reading this. Less of the polo chat tomorrow boys. Or, if you insist on talking about polo, at least make it humorous.

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