Friday, 27 July 2012

Glos challenge stutters on two fronts

A belated update on Glos' last two matches in the CB40 and LVCC, for those readers who weren't too demoralised by the T20 loss to Sussex this week.

Middlesex 218 for 0 (Rogers 122*, Malan 89*) beat Gloucestershire 214 for 9 (Roland-Jones 3-24) by 10 wickets

We always knew a score of 214 was under par on a flat Cheltenham pitch with famously short boundaries. We didn't realise quite how under par though, until a familiar ginger nemesis, Aussie opener Chris Rogers got started. Rogers began well and never stopped until he had struck an unbeaten 122 from 102 balls, to see Middlesex home with a whopping 9.3 overs remaining. Dawid 'typo' Malan accompanied him with a relatively sedate 89 not out from 81 and that was pretty much all she wrote. Middlesex have now overtaken Netherlands as group leaders and Glos slip to 4th. We thought that was pretty much the end of our chances of making the knockout stages, but having checked the fixture list, there are still a gruelling 4 group games left for Glos. We don't even finish playing them until August 27th! Surely this season's CB40 is the stupidest most ill-thought out one day competition, ever. The final isn't until September 15th. If every there was a guarantee of bad weather for a Lord's final, this is surely it.

Gloucestershire 229 and 209 for 8 (Gidman 62, Henderson 4-80) drew with Leicestershire 162 and 288 (Sarwan 93)

Let's be honest, this was a bit of a choke from the boys. Set 222 to win on Day 4, we looked well set at 176/4 with O'Mish and Housego at the crease. A trademark collapse then scuppered our chances and it was disappointing (but perhaps inevitable) to see the boys shut up shop with 8 wickets down and just 23 needed. A few lusty blows from Fuller would have done the trick, but we seemed shell-shocked from the collapse and looked like we feared losing to bottom of the league Leics. You could argue that we has already let them off the hook earlier in the day, when we let Sarwan and Boyce put on a crucial 83 for the sixth wicket before Boyce suffered a comedy run out following a mix up. A ninth wicket partnership of 48 saw the lead extend beyond 200 and this ultimately proved enough against a Glos side lacking an overseas player to help get us over the line during the chase. So, a shame not to get a Championship win at Cheltenham this year. Our next CC match v Glamorgan takes place at Swansea next week. Historically one of our bogey sides, it will be interesting if we can bounce back from recent disappointments, and a weekend of CB40 matches, to get a much-needed win.

Video highlights from Day 4:

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