Friday, 31 May 2013

Gidders to the rescue

Day 2: Lancs 310 v Glos 143 -4.

An intriguing poised game continued to see-saw its way between the rain clouds and leave Glos with a fighting chance of still getting something from the match.

It was a day of contrasts as 39 year old Glenn Chapple bagged his 900th first class wicket and 18 year old Gloucestershire paceman Craig Miles took career best figures of 6 for 88. Even more impressive for Miles is the fact that this is the third match in a row in which he has taken career best figures, following up his 4 for 83 against Hampshire, and 6 for 99 against Worcestershire. Whilst these figures are clearly impressive for a young bowler, lets not forget that both Liam Norwell and David Payne took wickets when bursting on to the scene. Norwell and Payne both seemed to have regressed this season and it is to be hoped that Miles can continue to take wickets when teams more familiar with facing him.

After losing an hour to rain in the morning, Gloucestershire did everything that could be asked of them. 5 quick wickets left Lancashire reeling on 244 for 9 only for numbers 10 and 11 to put on 66 for the last wicket. In the context of this match that final wicket partnership could well turn out to be a decisive one. I guess we shouldn't blame Gloucester's young bowling attack too much, but having worked so hard to put themselves in a good position they did seem to throw it away too easily by spraying it around to the tail enders.

In reply Glos were very quickly in the mire. Captain Klingon became Chapples 900th victim, Dent lazily left a ball that thudded into his pads to chalk up yet another dismissal that speaks more about his lack of concentration than his lack of technique. The House slashed at a ball that was too close to his body to cut and O'Mish was strangled down the legside. At 66 for 4 at least we were thinking that Lancashire's final wicket partnership wasn't quite as key as we first thought.

But then cometh the hour, cometh the Gidders. Standing tall, and lumbering forward Gidders and Benny managed to steady the ship and set sail for an inevitable early morning collapse on day 3. We do pity the poor buggers who have to write summaries for all the county championship matches day in day out, but we think they were really stretching it when they whimsically muttered that it is easy to imagine how much Gidman could have achieved in the game were it not for injury. Whilst Gidders has always been susceptible to niggling little injuries, we can't think of any major periods when he was out of the side. The Jessop Tavern does have a slightly soft spot for Gidman mainly, we suspect, because he represents everything that we love about Gloucestershire. For the most part Gidman is maddeningly inconsistent, frequently getting himself in, then even more frequently getting himself out. Yet he always offers you those glimpses of talent. Those moments that make you think, maybe now he will kick on and dominate teams on a weekly basis. Gidman hasn't passed 1000 runs in a season since 2009. He has 2 hundreds since that same year. 2009 was also Gidman's first season as captain. Unfulfilled potential. Probably not. He's probably achieved everything we could realistically have expected.

Still, we are happy to re-write this if he makes a big ton today. And speaking of tons, whilst it's been nice to see Benny cementing himself at number 6 (and bizarrely becoming a handy bowler) it's about time he hit a first class hundred.

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