Sunday, 22 April 2012

Glos in charge but rain looks the likeliest winner

Gloucestershire 255 and 191 for 6 (A Gidman 60*,Marshall 55*) lead Kent 150 by 296 runs

Gloucestershire remain in a strong position after another weather-hit day at Canterbury. A commanding lead of 296 runs put the 'shire into a position where the most likely results on Day 4 are the draw and an away victory. A draw looks favourite though, on a flattening pitch with further rain predicted tomorrow. Glos are also hindered by the loss of seamer David Payne, unable to bowl again in the match due to a side strain sustained yesterday.

The bowling attack, led by Will Gidman with 5-43, again looked good and ran through a batting lineup rated as one of the best in the division. The ease with which the Kent tail was cleaned up this morning is something we would like to see more of as the season wears on.

Payne will be out for a couple of weeks, so the hardy fans who turn up tomorrow could be treated to the enjoyable sight of O'Mish's Irish curls bouncing up and down as he trundles in for a few overs of military medium. Marshall has proven something of a golden arm for skipper Gidders in the past, so let's hope his 55 not out today has perked him up and motivated him to run through Kent tomorrow. Benny Howell can also allegedly bowl a bit and Will Gidman, Saxelby and Ed Young will all have key roles to play if Glos are to push for a second win out of three.

However, The Jessop Tavern View is known for taking a rather more cynical outlook on matters Glos. Skippers Gidman's comments after the game indicated that he will be happy to bat on and make the game safe, instead of making a challenging declaration and then trying to bowl Kent out while a bowler light.

"We will need some more runs because Kent have a strong batting line-up and we are a bowler light because of David Payne's injury. But we are in a good position and hopefully Hamish and I will be in the right place to assess conditions tomorrow morning. The pitch is pretty placid so there is still a lot of work to do."

One of the most encouraging things about the last two matches has been the resilience shown with the bat by the lower middle order and tail. It bodes well for the rest of the season. Today it was the turn of the more experienced batsmen to fill their boots against a somewhat flat bowling attack. Never known for looking a gift horse in the mouth, Gidman and Marshall cashed in. Where have we said that before?

To be honest though, a dominant draw would still be a pretty good result.For the second time in two days, we're typing this thinking that Glos might potentially be one of the better sides in Division 2. Who would have thought that after the embarrassing defeat to Essex a couple of weeks ago?

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