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.

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