Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Gloucester's youngsters shine again

CB40:  Gloucestershire 196 - 6 beat Essex 195 (37.5 overs) by 4 wickets.

Who cares if our CB40 challenge has already been long buried. This was another opportunity for the second string Glos youngsters to show what they have got. And clearly they've got plenty. Perhaps even more remarkably, the Jessop Tavern View was actually at the ground to witness this one!

It seems a perfectly logical approach to use this competition to blood some of the other youngsters. We know that some people would disagree and say we should play our strongest team, but when you are developing a new team it is important to develop the squad by giving some of the fringe players a chance.

Today's bowling attack had an average age of 20. That is frankly ridiculous. Yet did they look out of their depth against an Essex team riding high at the top of group C of the CB40 and including former England stars Ravi the bowler and Peg Leg Shah? Not one bit. In fact, they blew Essex away. Quite how Essex were allowed to put on 80 for the tenth wicket is anyone's guess. We'll put it down to inexperience. Matt Taylor did a decent job opening up. Heck he did an excellent job considering a week ago he was a nobody. James Fuller looked genuinely quite quick as he hurried Essex's top order into rash shots on his way to figures of 4 for 33. Craig Miles bowled with excellent control for his 2 wickets. Ed Young bowled a bit of a mixture to be honest, but got away with it. Kevin O'Brien isn't a bowler. The only criticism we can level at these young bowlers is that they made the Jessop Tavern View feel bloody old.

The experienced trio in the batting then did their best to chuck it away, as both Taylor and Williamson fell cheaply, whilst captain marvel got himself out when looking good. So did Chris Dent. It was left to Ian Cockbain to play his second impressive CB40 innings of the festival and steady the ship alongside a surprisingly mature innings from Kevin the Butcher. Clearly there is not a lot of love for O'Brien amongst the Gloucester faithful, particularly the guys sat around me at the chapel end, but give credit to the man. He reigned himself in and ticked off the runs with Cockbain. Cockbain looked in great form, which means he will surely play in the championship match against Surrey starting tomorrow.

All in all it was a fantastic performance from a very inexperienced side playing infront of a packed College ground. It really does bode well for the future to think that the young bowlers on display today are actual the ones who can't get into the championship side at the moment.

The Jessop Tavern View is full of positive thoughts in preparation for the important match against Surrey tomorrow. Lets hope for back to back Championship victories to set up that promotion push.

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