Monday, 16 April 2012

Who would have thought it? Not us...

Gloucestershire (22 pts) beat Hampshire (3) by 33 runs

Bloody hell, we weren't expecting that! As the Times' Ivo Tennant so aptly put it in his match report (paywall), 'A match that before the start appeared quite likely to be over in two days, given Gloucestershire’s form and resources, and the fact that this pitch was one for the seamers, continued until there were just 12 balls remaining.'

This is a particularly encouraging win for the boys for a couple of reasons. One, it shows that a youthful seam attack, shorn in recent years of Lewis, Kirby, Gemaal Hussain and Anthony Ireland (ok, we're kidding on that last one), can still hold its own and bowl sides out. Two, the victory emphasises that morale remained high despite a crushing loss against Essex last week and that out young players don't give up without a fight. Glos had Hampshire 72-6, then witnessed a gritty fightback to take them to 190-7, before eventually finishing them off with just two overs left showed persistence, confidence and by the sound of it, some great slip catching from the boys.

Star performers included Chris Dent, who snaffled 5 catches to go with his first innings hundred, Will Gidman took 9 wickets in the match, including two crucial wickets in the 75th over as well as some valuable runs. Credit should also go to fellow seamers Ian Saxelby and David Payne, both of who chipped in with 3 wickets in the second innings while bowling economically.

So, after two Championship games, we are third in the table with 25 points. Not bad considering the pumping we took from Essex and the doubts raised on these pages about whether we had enough quality and resilience to succeed this season. We are delighted to be proved wrong. Roll on Kent on Thursday, a third consecutive away game before the home season begins against Glamorgan on April 26th.

Day 4 highlights from the ECB website below:

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