Friday, 27 July 2012

Come in number 38, your time is up

Gloucestershire 290 - 6 beat Netherlands 146 ao by 90 runs (DL)

Gloucestershire bounced back from Tuesday nights t20 disappointment with a comfortable victory in Holland. In doing so Glos set themselves up nicely for their final three matches in the CB40 group stage. The fact that these three matches take place over an entire month is ridiculous. The fact that two of these matches are against Lancashire, even more stupid. Honestly, why is this competition dragging on for another month? Oh, hold on. It's not dragging on for another month. That's just the group stage. The semi finals and final are played in September. As it turns out, having two matches against Lancashire is quite a good thing as the red rose county are our biggest rivals for qualification, but how the hell did the fixtures produce this scenario? Also, why are there teams who have played far less than everyone else? Lancashire have two games in hand on us, and three games in hand on table topping Middlesex. Why?

It's as if the ECB decided that since the very idea of a 40 over competition, a form of the game played nowhere else in the world, wasn't laughable enough they'd go all out to make the competition a total joke. It's hard to think of a more poorly run professional sports competition in the world.


Rob Nicol showed Glos fans what they can look forward to with a very passable Craig Spearman impression (not our description, but Mark Butcher's) and frankly we are inclined to agree. Nicol looked to be primarily all about the bottom hand and, despite offering numerous chances, showed some of the firepower Glos so desperately lacked in the t20 competition. How he goes against better bowling attacks that the Netherlands will be interesting. If we are honest, he looked pretty limited against the West Indies, but hey, he sports a comic ear stud which is sure to piss off the members, so we'll give him a chance.

Perhaps more encouraging that Nicol's hundred was Number 38's 6 for 35. It shows that the young Kiwi has a lot of character to perform so well in another televised game only days after becoming the butt of numerous jokes. It was a bit bizarre to have everyone at my club up in Edinburgh talking about James Fuller, but if you're going to go for 38 in an over then he'd better get use to it. Getting hit for 36 in an over by Yuvaraj Singh didn't do Stuart Broad's career any harm. Number 38 is starting to show signs of being a handy performer. His 6 wickets were mainly a product of him being a yard quicker than the Dutch batsmen were comfortable with and, at 22, there is scope for him getting even quicker. His 40 from 24 balls also demonstrated he has some talent with the bat. The thought of a bowling attack containing Ed Young, Will Gidman and Number 38 would make for a fairly tasty batting lineup. More signs that Glos could well be on the verge of piecing together a useful cricket team.

And you heard that here first.

Next up is another televised game against Lancashire on Monday night.

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