Monday, 22 July 2013

T20 cricket- It's easy when you know how

Gloucestershire 99 for 0 (Dent 63*) beat Glamorgan 98 for 9 (Payne 3-17, Young 3-21) by 10 wickets

This half of the Jessop Tavern View hasn't seen Gloucestershire play live for quite a while now, so it was a rare treat to witness the boys play at at a sold-out Cheltenham yesterday. We have fond memories of endless summer days spent at the best festival outground watching former Glos legends like Matt 'Steamy' Windows and Shaun Young put county opposition to the sword under cloudless skies.

Yesterday was no different, as an efficient Gloucestershire performance saw off Glamorgan with the minimum of fuss. The only difference between Cheltenham festivals of yore was that we were playing T20 and the Jessop Tavern View was this time enjoying a cold beer to help stave off the heat of the merciless sun.

Glamorgan have previously been one of the season's best T20 outfits. We we feeling a little apprehensive when they won the toss and elected to bat on the usually batsman-friendly Cheltenham deck. 6 overs in and the the powerplay overs ended with Glamorgan teetering at a comic 31-5. Two or three top order batsmen perished to leading edges and veteran Murray Goodwin played a horrid walking slap straight to Christian at point. The pitched seemed slow and somewhat two-paced, but it was hard to tell whether it was good bowling and fielding or merely terrible batting which was more responsible.

Glamorgan did rebuild somewhat through useless former Glos overseas, Marcus North and Nick James. They put on 37, before North showed why even the hapless Aussies tourists won't be looking his way this summer, by reverse sweeping Young straight to the increasingly immobile figure of Gidders at backward point.

Glamorgan limped through the remainder of their 20 overs, capping the innings with a tame run out off the last ball to end of 98-9. That was pretty much game over, as Corporal Klinger and Chris Dent showed that the pitch held no demons by knocking off the runs with 7.1 overs to spare. Dent was particularly impressive in scoring 63* with shots all around the wicket. Having never seen Dent bat in the flesh, this was an opportunity to witness his full range of shots, albeit under minimal pressure against a deflated opposition. We were particularly impressed with his deft back cuts and nimble footwork against spin.

So, what to make of about the shortest and most comprehensive T20 victory we've ever witnessed? It's perhaps best to defer to this half of Jessop Tavern View's wife, who was enjoying her first ever game of cricket, despite 7 years living in Australia. Her verdict was along the lines of 'that wasn't as bad or as long as I had feared, I quite liked it.' She's now been officially adopted as a good luck charm and the aim is to 'encourage' her to attend many more matches in future, to help guarantee easy Glos victories. Watch this space to read how well that works out for us...

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