Saturday, 21 April 2012

How good is Will Gidman?

Kent 119 for 6 (W Gidman 3-23) trail Gloucestershire 255 (W Gidman 56) by 136 runs

The Jessop Tavern View would like to admit to being big fans of Will Gidman. (This is only partially due to automatically liking people who share the same name as us). For a man who couldn't even get in Durham's 4 day side two years ago, he is now the key player in the Glos side. He may not be a spectacular performer with either bat or ball, but he has proved solid and reliable in both disciplines. His willingness to step up and take the new ball following the departure of Jon Lewis is a case in point and his 9 wickets last week have already been complimented by 3 in Kent's first innings.

Gidman began the day by helping Ed Young rebuild the shire's innings from a precarious overnight 131-6 to 174, passing 50 on the way, before being run out by Brendan Nash after being sent back by Young. Paul Muchall joined Young and they added another 50 before Mark Davies (one of many Durham rejects plying their trade in this match) bowled Muchall and had Saxelby LBW in successive balls. Young pulled a six off Matt Coles and finished unbeaten on 55, his first half century of the season.

The young seam attack made early inroads in to Kent's vaunted (by Div 2 standards) batting lineup, with Gidman dismissing Key, Ben Harmison and Powell, all caught at the wicket by Coughtrie. Saxelby accounted for West Indian Brendan Nash and Payne bowled Scott Newman. This left Kent in big trouble at 55-5 but Stevens and Geraint Jones rebuilt the innings by batting sensibly. They took the score on to 110, before Ed Young bowled Stevens for 54 with a delivery Alex Winter described on Cricinfo as 'probably one of the best balls Young has ever bowled, certainly in first-class cricket'. Praise indeed from a man who has actually seen Young play live on many more occasions than the Jessop Tavern View.

What can Glos fans expect from the rest of the match? A lot depends on the weather. If the rain holds off and the boys can bowl Kent out while we still have a lead of around 100, then a win is a distinct possibility. It wouldn't require a huge second innings score to set Kent an imposing target for victory and several sessions to bat out to avoid defeat. Any lead of over 300 would be useful with the way the bowling attack has performed so far. Who would have thought after yesterday (and our negativity after the Essex match) that the boys could potentially be looking at 2 away wins from our first 3 matches?

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