Sunday, 30 June 2013

Does anyone really care about the Friends Life t20?

Rob Smyth wrote on cricinfo last week that the Friends Life t20 needs to embrace its Britishness in order break free of the shackles of 'who cares' that we suspect most supporters have towards the competition. Maybe we are overly cynical, but with the competition starting a few days ago the Jessop Tavern View has only just roused itself in order to write something about a competition that we feel means rather more to the finance departments of county clubs than the supporters. This might be unfair, but frankly unless Glos make it through to the knockout stages, like they did last season, we will have little interest in the competition. And we like t20 cricket.

Perhaps this lethargy towards the county cash cow will subside next season when the competition is given greater structure with games taken place primarily on Friday nights. This might help, but we are not entirely convinced. t20 competitions need to be much like the games themselves, short, sharp and action packed. The longer the competition drags the more we all bore of the format. The recent Champions Trophy has surely demonstrated this. Games are significant right from the get-go and your interest is sparked right from the start not, as is the case with too many cricket competitions, from about two thirds of the way through the tournament, and even then only if your team is doing well.

Any game administrator who reads this will discount this as being old style whining from people who prefer the longer format of the game and have no time for the razzmatazz of t20. Wrong. If people like the Jessop Tavern, who blog about county cricket, have little interest in a county cricket competition then something is wrong. If we are not interested then how do they expect people who aren't really bothered by county cricket to care. If a competition fails to engage its core audience how does it realistically expect to reach other markets?

A short more intense competition would be our recommendation. Two weeks in the middle of the summer. But nobody will listen to us.

In other news.....Michael Klinger hit a brilliant unbeaten 108 off 64 balls. He didn't get much support from the rest of the batting but fortunately James Fuller and David Payne too 3 for 23 and 2 for 14 respectively to ease Gloucesertshire to their first win of this t20 season. Coming off a bit of a pumping from Northants in a comic 12 over game on Friday this was a win that was much needed if the boys are to perk the Jessop Tavern Views interest in early August.

We'll also throw this one out there. Captain Klinger is looking like one hell of a signing at this stage. Full marks to King John and whoever else was involved in being astute enough to make him a Gloucestershire player.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Touring 'A' side versus the Shire.

Writing a blog about Gloucestershire county cricket means that you are about as far removed from matters of international cricket as if you were to be blogging about cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We have little to say on matters of England. We don't even host poxy England one day games against minnows.

Thus the current match against the touring Australian A team has provoked little curiosity from us regarding possible indicators of form for several Aussie guys who are still hopefully of chasing leather to all parts of various test match grounds over the coming 6 months.

Predictably Gloucestershire have been comprehensively outplayed with no real signs of any Gloucester youngster taking the opportunity to make a bit of a name for himself.

The Jessop Tavern View did however find itself going misty eyed when reminiscing of past encounters with international 'A' teams.

If anyone ever wanted to know what were the signs that might indicate you to would have nothing better to do on a Saturday evening in your early 30s then let us present exhibit A. Gloucestershire v Pakistan A at the 'Royal and Sun Alliance County Ground', Bristol, 1997. Having searched for a scorecard for this match we were amazed to discover that a cricket match actually took place at all. The Jessop Tavern Views memories of this game consist of us turning up on a truly hideously wet third day to try and watch a fledgling Shoaib Akhtar learn his trade. You know you are in trouble when the guy on the gate doesn't make you pay, and just waves you threw with a sympathetic smile. Not that the Jessop Tavern View minded. Several very enjoyable hours were spent bowling some wonderful leg breaks underneath the old media centre followed by a trip to Special Reserve. Happy days. As much as we would love to admit that we were there to watch Shoaib, we had no idea who he was. In fact, until we checked out the scorecard we didn't even know he had played. Now that we do we'll be sure to add it to the list of boring pub stories about people we saw before they were famous.

The Aussie 'A' also made us think back to a sunnier time. The visit of the West Indies 'A' to Cheltenham in 2002. The Jessop Tavern View was there to watch CH Gayle help himself to 83 runs from 79 balls. To be honest though, we don't remember Gayle hitting moon shots out of the college ground with quite the same ferocity as Philo Wallace a few years previous. We also remember a young and raw Tino Best entertaining the guests in the marquees with the most ludicrous follow through we have ever seen. Time always adds pace to bowlers and elegance to cover drives, but its not exaggeration that Tino revved up and then didn't stop till he was past the stumps at the other end. Tim Hancock never looked liked he fancied the speed of Tino as he backed further and further away to leg, doing a Kim Barnett in reverse. Jessop Tavern View favourite James Pearson also opened with Hancock. An opening pair of Nick Trainor and James Pearson was something we will always feel sad that we never got to see.

So there we go. A completely pointless post and a purely self indulgent stroll down memory lane.

To any kids who did attend the first couple of days of the Aussie 'A' match; beware this is your fate.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Glos and Somerset continue to be on course for August showdown

YB40: Gloucestershire 229 for 6 (27 overs) v Yorkshire 193.

Gloucestershire continued their fine form in all formats of the game with a comprehensive all-round destruction of a young Yorkshire side in the YB40.

In a rain-reduced match of 27 overs a side Glos got good contributions from their top four to post a formidable 229 for 6. Captain Klinger gave us a taster of what we might enjoy in the t20 with a bombastic 45 from 30 balls, ably supported by opening partner Hamish O'Marshall with 27. With the platform laid it was left to Chris Dent to push home the advantage with a 40 ball 56. Ian Cockbain also demonstrated what horrific form he is in with a calculated 46 from 37 balls that included only three boundaries. Cockbain now averages a paltry 73 in the YB40 this season. Awful.

Chasing 9 an over was always going to be a tough ask and Gloucestershire bowled well as a unit to take regular wickets meaning that Yorkshire never really threatened to chase down victory.

Glos continue to be level on points with Somerset at the top of Group C, but with a game in hand. Sadly, with the tournament just beginning to get to the business end and the groups heating up nicely we now have to wait almost two months until we see Glos in action again in the YB40. We have no idea why this is. We presume it is to accommodate the t20 competition in July. Thankfully this is the last season that we will have to carp on about this ridiculous scheduling. The 50 over competition next year is set to take place in a block in July and August.

Gloucestershire fans can now start to look forward to a couple of tasty YB40 fixtures against Somerset in August (11th in Taunton and 26th in Bristol).

A couple of belting catches from Gareth Roderick below:

Friday, 14 June 2013

Big club mentality downs sorry Hampshire

Day 3: Gloucestershire 410 for 9 dec and forfeit 2nd innings v Hampshire forfeit 1st innings and 212.

Having moaned last week about the timidity of both Gloucestershire and glamorgan in not attempting to force a result in a mid-table division two battle we shouldn't complain about Hampshire's generosity today. After Glos had finished yesterday on 349 for 7 we commented that the opportunity to force a result in the final two days was still on the cards for Michael Klinger and his young side. Gloucestershire would presumably have been thinking of getting quick runs in the morning and then attempting to knock Hampshire over cheaply before setting them 300 odd on the final day and giving Will Gidman and co two and a bit sessions to bowl us to victory. If neither side had forfeited their innings today then this is exactly what we would have been left with. Hampshire would have been bowled out for 212 in their first innings. Glos would then have spent an hour and a half flashing away tomorrow to build a lead of 300 before declaring just before lunch and having the rest of the day to bowl themselves to victory.

Perhaps if we look at the scenario from Hampshires point of view we can better understand what took place today. Believing themselves to be a 'big club', Hampshire would have their eyes fixed firmly on having a good crack at promotion this season. With only one victory this season they would have been eyeing up a home fixture against the west country minnows as points in the bag. Desperately looking to kick start their season they just attempted to have a crack at scoring an unlikely 411 runs to win the game, even if they did have 5 sessions to score the runs in. We can't help but feel that Jimmy Adams would have been better off batting positively this afternoon in a first innings in order to rest the advantage away from Gloucestershire. If Hants had finished on say 250 they potentially could have tried to contrive something tomorrow.

Instead Hants attempted to negotiate with a Gloucestershire side who, after batting brilliantly on day two, held all the aces. Strange.

None of this should take anything away from a fantastic bowling performance with contributions from everybody. With Will Gidman back to lead the attack Gloucestershire suddenly have a steadying presence who takes regular wickets. James Fuller bowled excellently sharing the new ball with Gidman  before both Craig Miles and David Payne provided solid support to keep the pressure on Hampshire.

With both Graeme McCarter and Liam Norwell in reserve Gloucestershire suddenly have a bit of bowling choice. Sadly Ian Saxelby will not be available for the rest of the season as he undergoes shoulder surgery, but after todays performance this suddenly does feel like quite such a blow.

Glos are now sitting third in the division two table. We have two batsmen who have already passed 500 runs for the season, and have an 18 year old bowler who has taken 26 wickets. We are also level on points with Somerset at the top of Group C of the YB40 with a game in hand.

The Jessop Tavern View might have to stop moaning.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Gloucestershire put their money on Betfair's Will Brown

Today Gloucestershire announced that the man taking over from Kaiser Tom Richardson at the end of the season will be Will Brown, formerly of Betfair (well, technically he probably still is with Betfair until September) and also formerly of, ahem, the Lawn Tennis Association.

We haven't got the foggiest what this appointment really means, but all we know is that he is young, and a genuine Gloucestershire fan.

We never really expressed an opinion on Kaiser Tom stepping down. We decided that our mother's advice to only speak if you had something positive to say probably applied in this case.

Time will tell whether the Kaiser's long term vision for Gloucestershire proves successful, or indeed even feasible. For all his faults, he did at least achieve his vision (and then jumped before it can fall apart) and always remained open for dialogue with fans such as ourselves.

All we can really do is hope that Will Brown keeps the channels of communication open and does something about the bloody club website! Good luck Will. We suspect you may need it.

Genesis 26; 1-33

Day 2: Gloucestershire 349 for 7 v Hampshire.

Today's reading will be taken from Genesis 26.

"Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham."

In all honesty it has been more than just a famine at Nevil Road over the past few years. In 2012 Gloucestershire batsmen mustered together 5 hundreds between them. In 2011 that number was 4. In 2010 they managed 3. In 2009 we managed a more respectable 11. 2009 saw that number fall to 9, of which, terrifyingly, Kadeer Ali scored 3. Then, at last, in 2008 Gloucestershire managed 19 hundreds amongst them. That's 5 years of famine, in the land of division 2, where basically anybody worth their salt reaps aplenty.

Yet, if we read our Bible we should trust that God will provide. Actually, in Genesis, Isaac doesn't trust God and instead jogs off to Egypt for food. Or something like that. God reprimands Isaac. Tells him to sit tight. Then informs him that he has plans to build a block of flats, bring back a single one day international every year, and then the feast will begin.

After day one was washed out, Glos found themselves being asked to bat by Hampshire on an overcast day in Southampton. They quickly found themselves in trouble at 56 for 3, with last week's centurions Klinger and Gidders back in the pavilion, probably not liking the fact that the ball moved off the straight and narrow this week. Chris Dent made his usual contribution of 30 odd before Marshall and Benny steadied the ship with a partnership of 106 for the 5th wicket. Marshall then found able support from the returning Will Gidman to go to his second hundred of the season. That's right, his SECOND hundred of the season.

For 5 long years O'Mish has been a one and done man for the Shire. Happy that his solitary hundred would be enough to keep him in work the following year. Not since 2008 has he made two hundreds in a season. As God told Isaac, sit tight and the feast is a-comin'. In Genesis, Isaac plants seeds on the barren ground of the promised land and then reaps the benefits. Gloucestershire's batsmen now have 8 hundreds already this season. Not even God himself would have predicted that sort of feast.

If Gloucester's slightly tasty looking seam attack can get stuck into Hampshire at some point tomorrow then a result is still not entirely out of the reckoning.

Video Highlights from Day 2:

Glos embroiled in disgraceful sex scandal

With the recent 'allegations' regarding various stars of yesteryear's sexual behaviour it seems fitting that Gloucestershire should suddenly be plunged into it's own sleazy story of sex-fuelled indiscipline.

King John put it on the record last week that Ian 'Shagger' Cockbain wasn't selected for last week's run-fest against Glamorgan due to a lack of 'red ball' form. This is pretty much as good as a written statement that Cockbain has been sleeping with King John's wife, and potential others. How do we know this? Well, just read behind the lines. Dropped for lack of 'red ball' form. Please. Since when has any Gloucestershire player ever been dropped on form. Hamish Marshall went 3 years without a hundred! How did Mark Hardinges play at all.* Lets not even get started on Carl Greenidge, it's just too painful. Form is a word that has never had to be taken into consideration at Nevil Road selection meetings. Whilst we always hear talk of how out of form England players 'look good in the nets', Gloucestershire can't even try to claim this. Players are described as having potential, or having looked good in 2006. Form is never considered. It's also better this way. If we only picked players on form we'd be fielding half a team by the end of the season.

*incidentally, Mark Hardinges scored 4 hundreds in 49 first class matches for Glos. Hamish O'Marshall has scored 3 hundreds in 63 matches since the end of 2008 for Glos. Alex Gidman has 3 hundreds in 50 matches since the end of 2009. Hardinges also took 95 wickets. Just saying.*

So there we have it. Shagger Cockbain can only be trusted for one day cricket. Presumably keeping his libido checked over the course of 4 days is just too difficult.

In fairness, Cockbain is averaging only 15 in the second XI this season. In fairness he has only played 2 and a half second XI games.

Make up your own minds.

Given the lack of young batting talent that seems to be coming through the ranks it would be a shame if Cockbain were forced to go elsewhere to get first class cricket next season. 

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Glos and Glamorgan demonstrate collective lack of ambition

Day 3 and 4: Gloucestershire 478 v Glamorgan 448 and 176 for 2.

So, what was the point of that?

Gloucestershire and Glamorgan played out an incredibly tedious draw that does absolutely nothing for either side. Gloucestershire take away 8 points, Glamorgan 7. According to captain Klinger, Glos were looking to build a lead of around 130 on the final morning before hoping that Glamorgan might feel a little bit of pressure when all they could hope for was to bat out the draw. Instead Gloucestershire crumbled to Michael Hogan, who took 5-13 in 26 balls to finish with 7-92, thus proving that it was possible to take bunches of wickets on an incredibly benign Bristol pitch.

We understand that wickets only fell because Glos were trying to score quickly, which is exactly what they would have had to do had they allowed Glamorgan to set a final day total. We also realise that Glamorgan probably wouldn't have had the bottle to set a chaseable total on such a flat pitch.

This reflects badly on both sides. Had this been further towards the end of the season then the liklihood is that a result would have been attempted to be contrived. But what is the point of not doing it now? At least give yourself the opportunity to get in the mix at the top half of the table. As we frequently point out, the difference between a draw and a loss is 3 points, plus there is no relegation, so nothing to fear from the wooden spoon.


Klinger and Gidders continued their good form. Both of these guys should now be eyeing up at least 1000 runs for the season. The House also got some runs on the board and Gareth Roderick continued to look the part as a genuine wicketkeeper-batsman. Craig Miles also helped himself to another 5 wicket haul.

Other than that this game is now cast aside as instantly forgettable.

Day 3 Highlights:

Day 4 Highlights:

Friday, 7 June 2013

Is it asking for trouble to start talking about declarations?

Day 2: Glamorgan 448 v Gloucestershire 179 - 1.


About the only intriguing thing to come from day 2 of this match was the will-they, won't-they intrigue of whether Glos will invite Glamorgan to set a target for Gloucestershire to chase when day 4 finally rolls around.

Admittedly there is a fair amount of cricket still to be played until those options are seriously considered, but with the pitch looking like it was dug up and dropped in from the M5 we are fairly confident that Glos will be able to bat through to the middle of the afternoon without collapsing. Should they bat till an hour after lunch they should be somewhere around 300-350. A declaration would then allow Glamorgan to setup Glos with a total of around 300 to chase on the final day.

Given that both sides currently reside in the bottom half of division 2 a draw is of no use to either side. It would be an incredibly negative move if either team refused this scenario.

Gloucestershire would surely fancy this opportunity. If the pitch continues to be as benign, and the sun continues to shine then Klinger's men would start favourites at chasing down any total they do get set. With this in mind, it wouldn't surprise us if Glamorgan erred on the side of caution. Maybe they should phone Glenn Chapple and ask him for his advice on declaring in order to set up a run chase. Last week Chapple needlessly chose to bat on for an extra 6 overs on the final morning. By doing so he guaranteed Glos would never attempt to chase the total and the time he took out of the game proved crucial, as last man Liam Norwell only had to face one delivery to save the game.

Earlier in the day Craig Miles took his obligatory 5 for. Miles now has 25 wickets in 5 matches this season. not bad for an 18 year old. Whilst we suspect he is getting a few extra wickets because there is no one else really taking wickets in the Glos attack, you've still got to take the wickets. An attack with Miles and just one of Will Gidman and Ian Saxelby would suddenly look a lot more threatening. An attack with all 3 would be like mediocre cricketing nirvana.

Miles' efforts were not enough to prevent Murray Goodwin from notching his 68th first class hundred and first for Glamorgan. Goodwin has been a very fine player over the years, but at the age of 41 and considering he has struggled to hit the ball at all this season this does rather add to the belief that scoring runs against Gloucestershire is now very similar to scoring runs against the universities.

Fingers crossed that the batsmen pad their averages this morning.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Allenby and Goodwin make the most of Glos selectorial error

Day 1: Glamorgan 318 for 5 v Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire's strange selection of 6 bowlers seems to have backfired pretty spectacularly as Glamorgan closed day one on a commanding 318 for 5.

If you select a team with only five recognised batsmen then we guess you are basically relying on being able to blow the opposite away with the ball and not have to worry too much about how many runs you're going to score. However, with the sun baking down and pitch flat you do have to wonder whether its a case of being a little bit too clever and not really just sticking to the basics.

Despite all this, the young Gloucester attack stuck to their task manfully. David Payne and Craig Miles both struck early with the new ball to have Glamorgan teetering on 85 for 4. Unfortunately Jim Allenby and Murray Goodwin then put on 185 for the fifth wicket. In this context we shouldn't be too critical of the decision to bowl first. Glos had the opportunity to roll Glamorgan over but just couldn't get the job done as the shine went off the ball. It was still the wrong decision to bowl first.

None of the bowlers disgraced themselves, and all 6 of them returned respectable figures. 17 year old off-spinner Miles Hammond bowled 20 wicketless overs that cost him 64 runs. Not bad for a man who spent the morning pretending to be sick to his mum so that he could blag the day off school in order to play in the match.

Glos are now right up against it in this match. They must finish Glamorgan off for less than 400 tomorrow to have even the remotest chance of getting anything from the game. With both Glamorgan and Gloucestershire occupying the lower middle table of division 2, this match represented a key moment in Gloucesters season. Win it, and you can look to consolidate a position in the middle of the pack. Lose, and suddenly you're spending the rest of the season fighting to avoid a second consecutive wooden spoon. Thus it is very disappointing to find ourselves with our backs against the wall in a key encounter due principally to some harebrained plan to pack the team with bowlers and let them have it.

We have pointed out on numerous occasions that only victories really count in division 2. A draw is as good as a defeat, and defeat comes without any repercussions in the form of relegation. Therefore you might as well set out your team to win the game. Packing the team with all these bowlers was clearly an attempt to win the match. We mustn't be critical of that. However, Gloucestershires coaching team can be criticised of perhaps having ideas above their station. It's a bit like the village team captain who insists on having two men back on the hook on a Sunday afternoon cos he's seen it on the telly, when in reality he has a team full of middle aged plodders who haven't got a ball above shin high for 20 years. It's all well and good to fill the team with bowlers if, a) your 5 bowlers have the quality and experience to blow teams away, and b) you have high quality batsmen who are capable of shouldering the burden of scoring all the runs. Gloucestershire have neither of these things.

Gloucestershire effectively chose to roll the dice with their selection. Unfortunately they rolled the dice needing to get two sevens and don't seem to have realised their mistake.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Shagger Cockbain left out of squad to face Glamorgan

Clearly Ian Cockbain must be shagging King John's wife, as frankly this can be the only explanation for him failing to make the 12 man squad for tomorrows county championship match against Glamorgan.

Gloucestershire have named only 6 batsmen, one of which is wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick who is playing only his third championship match and made a pair last time out.

The Jessop Tavern View had presumed that Cockbain would be a like-for-like replacement of Chris Dent who was injured in the YB40 victory against Yorkshire. Instead Glos elect to go into the game with 5 sprayers seamers, Fuller, Payne, Norwell, Miles and McCarter. Considering that Benny has taken 15 wickets at an average of 25, thus making him the team's second leading wicket taker, we are presuming that the groundsman at Bristol is stood out in the middle with a hosepipe as we speak.

Mysteriously, young Miles Hammond is also included in the squad. This contradicts King John's comments to the Bristol Evening Post that Hammond would only be available after the end of June because he was still in school. He had been available against Yorkshire because it is half term. Presumably the official website knows what it's talking about....!!

We should perhaps not leap to such a sordid conclusion that Cockbain can't keep it in his pants. Given that Glos have struggled to bowl teams out in the past two games perhaps a 7 man bowling attack is the way forward. Presuming that one of the seamers will miss out, Glos will still go into the match with 6 bowlers. Considering that Glamorgan's strength this year has probably been in the bowling of wily Australian Michael Hogan who has 27 wickets, second only to Gloucstershire destroyer Alan Richardson, this is probably even more of a surprise. Glamorgan do boast batsmen of the calibre of Marcus North and Murray Goodwin, but neither of these have hit the ball off the square yet this season. Only Jim Allenby has made an impression with the bat for a Glamorgan side who sit one place and nine points behind Gloucestershire.

Anyway, we're off to tell Ian Cockbain he needs to learn to bowl a bit of seam up and go at 5 an over, then he'll walk into the team.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Can we keep 40 over cricket?

The irony that Gloucestershire might finally be getting the hang of 40 over cricket in its final season of existence is not lost on us. When the domestic limited overs competition reverts back to 50 overs next season, the Jessop Tavern is already looking into the possibility that Glos might be able to translate their new-found competence in this format of the game by joining a local village 40 over league somewhere. We're still not sure if Ed Young would get any wickets though.

One man who certainly wouldn't look out of place playing on a village green would be Gloucestershires latest debutant, 17 year old off-spinner Miles Hammond.

Hammond has already represented England Under-19s, so clearly has something about him. However, with Jack Taylor currently suspended and Ed Young nursing a wrist injury, Hammond has suddenly become Gloucestershires frontline spinner. A bowling attack of Craig Miles (18) Graeme McCarter (20) and Hammond (17) is the sort of lineup that is more likely to have been associated with the Jimmy Saville enquiry than a first class cricket team.

Despite all of this, Glos produced a remarkably characterful performance against Yorkshire in chasing down a total of 241, only a day after grinding out a remarkable rearguard action in the championship draw with Lancashire.

Michael Klinger continued his fine form in this competition with a 98 ball 96. Klinger now has 264 runs at an average of 66 in the YB40 to go alongside his two hundreds in the longer form of the game. A recent (and also the very first) email sent to the Jessop Tavern (hello Martin; so you're the guy who reads this crap!) asked us what we made of Klinger. Whilst he's blown a little bit hot and cold in the championship, he is an opener and it is still the first part of the season. Not exactly prime time to be filling your boots at the top of the order. We reckon that these stats are a pretty decent return so far and he seems to have done a pretty good job marshaling the nursery school bowling attack.

Klinger also got good support from O'Mish and Gareth Roderick, who responded well to his pair in the Lancashire game. In fact the only downside is news that Chris Dent injured himself whilst fielding and is likely to miss this weeks championship game against Glamorgan. Presumably this will open the door for Ian Cockbain who has opened in the past. We like Cockbain a lot and would like to see Dent's place really threatened. Dent clearly has the talent but seems to be struggling to really stamp his authority on anything even close to a consistent basis.

If Cockbain can assert some pressure on Dent, and presumably Housego, then these early season injuries will suddenly have developed something approaching a fairly competitive and reasonably deep squad. At the start of the season we commented on how the squad looked painfully thin. With the emergence of Miles and McCarter with the ball, Roderick with the gloves and Benny doing a fairly passable Will Gidman impression, the squad suddenly does have some depth to it.

After yesterday's win Glos continue to sit on top of Group C, admittedly having played more games than anyone else. Still, considering the injuries we've had, to be still competitive is a fine enough achievement in itself. Well done boys.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Ed Young to the rescue

Gloucestershire 222 (Gidman 110, Kerrigan 5-68) and 173 for 9 drew with Lancashire 310 (Katich 96, Miles 6-88) and 270 (Prince 64, Croft 64, McCarter 4-95) 

The Jessop Tavern View admits it has some previous when it comes to Ed Young. We've frequently been critical of his 'bowling' and queried whether he is worth his place in the team, given his average of 70. The answer to this is 'no'. However, his brave resistance with the bat yesterday, batting for 6 odd overs despite a wrist injury sustained earlier in the match, proved he does have some value to the 'Shire.

Gloucestershire were set an unlikely 358 to win, after Lancashire extended their innings for a few overs at the start of the day, taking their lead to over 350. Once batting again, we swiftly lost Chris Dent, whose inability to stick around when circumstances require circumspection are a worrying trend. Given his obvious talent, King John should be having a word.

Corporal Klinger didn't last a lot longer, either, falling on the stroke of lunch to the handy Kerrigan. While he scored more than 10 today, he does already seem a rather binary player, lacking the consistent plundering which marks out a true Div 2 overseas mercenary. Housego didn't last much longer himself and it was thus left to old stagers, Gidders and O'Mish to bat for 29 overs while putting on 54. It was pleasing to see Gidman scores runs in the second innings, as given his first innings ton, we had predicted a single figure score second tine around. Once he departed, trapped LBW by non-overseas South African, Andrea Agathangelou, Benny Howell arrived and curbed his natural attacking instincts in another time-consuming partnership with Marshall. Hamish did surprisingly well in this knock, ultimately batting 204 balls for his 44.

Glos lost 4 late wickets to pile on the pressure, but McCarter and Young survived until the final over, leaving Liam Norwell to safely navigate the final delivery of the match. A creditable performance, given our mounting injury list among the bowling attack. 18 year old Craig Miles is looking more and more impressive with every match. We even heard rumours that the England Lions were running an eye over him. That's all we need, one of our few fit, decent quality bowlers getting called up. Yes, we know that's a parochial thing to say, but hey, we are proudly one-eyed west country folk here at the Jessop Tavern View.

A final word of credit must go to Glenn Chapple. 900 wickets is not an easy thing to come by and is testament to his skill, fitness and durability over a long career. His post-landmark comments were typically self-effacing and mostly focused on him just playing for a long time. However, to paraphrase 'Sir' Geoffrey Boycott, he must have bowled some good deliveries along the way, else all the batting was rubbish.

Video highlights from Day 4 below: