Sunday, 8 April 2012

The start of a long season of toil?

Essex 364 (Godleman 130) beat Gloucestershire 180 and 146 (Napier 5-58) by an innings and 38 runs

An embarrassing defeat inside seven sessions means that Gloucestershire have started the 2012 campaign with a whimper. The Jessop Tavern View has a horrible feeling that this is a an opening sentence we're going to be writing with some frequency this season.

To be honest, there's not much you can say about such a comprehensive defeat. You can quibble about selection and moan about poor individual performances, but the team as a whole must shoulder the blame for what appeared a pretty insipid performance. You would think the boys would be up for the opening game of the season, but it was hard to tell from the way we batted, with the combined innings lasting less than 105 overs in total.

Day 1: Essex 364 all out

Gloucestershire's bowlers toiled valiantly on the first day of the opening championship game of the season, surviving a Billy Godleman hundred to eventually bowl Essex out for 364. From the brief highlights below, the main thing we noticed is that the Glos seamers, especially James Fuller, appear rather keen on testing out the middle of the pitch. This seems a strange policy given that it's the start of April. Adam Wheater certainly enjoyed the short stuff, as his 56 from just 42 balls proved. Godleman scored a good 130, which proved the value of seeing off the new ball and sticking around, before taking advantage of the older ball and tiring bowlers.

Day 2: Gloucestershire 180 and 55 for 5 trail Essex 364 by 129 runs

Not good. Loose shots, no individual score over 50 and a general sense of doom pervades after a woeful effort with the bat.

Day 3: Essex 364 (Godleman 130) beat Gloucestershire 180 and 146 (Napier 5-58) by an innings and 38 run

Enough said. At least Will Gidman and Ian Cockbain showed some stomach for the fight. But let's face it, the damage was already done and Graham Napier was allowed to take only the 6th five wicket haul of his career.

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