Monday, 26 August 2013

Gloucestershire batsmen queue up to swing from O'Mish's hangman's noose

YB40: Somerset beat Gloucestershire by 12 runs.

It's big. It's mean. It's made of a lot of glass and appears to have the worlds longest balcony that should enable clueless corporate hospitality guests to have an almost constant ability to wander behind the bowlers arm. Oh yes, the new, and imaginatively named, 'Bristol' pavilion opened today. Regardless as to what we think, it does appear fairly impressive. We particularly like the 'Hamish O'Marshall hangman's scaffold' on the right hand side of the roof. Hamish will hopefully be seen frequently swinging from this after playing yet more inappropriate shots when well set.

And so to the cricket.

In the end the result didn't matter. Warwickshire decided to field a team without any bowlers against Northants meaning that David Willey was able to plunder away. This helped Northants to a comprehensive win that pushed their run-rate above anything Gloucestershire could match. When news filtered through that Glamorgan had also won it appeared that the Gods have decreed that the Jessop Tavern View would not be heading to Lords this season.

Nevertheless, Gloucestershire's youngsters gave their more illustrious neighbours a decent game in front of a packed crowd at the county ground. Despite Trescothick and Kieswetter getting Somerset off to a 10 an over flier, Gloucestershire's bowling attack took wickets in clusters to restrict Somerset to what seemed a below par score of 258 for 9. Tom Smith capped a solid bowling effort from the whole unit with a hat trick, split over two overs. David Payne also returned fine figures of 3 for 35 from his allotted 8 overs.

In reply Gloucestershire got off to the best possible start putting on 63 for the opening wicket. Both Klinger and O'Mish appeared to be well set when Marshall danced down the pitch to new overseas mercenary Piyush Chawla and heaved a straight forward catch down the throat of Lewis Gregory. Chris Dent also got himself in, and then out, again caught trying to force the pace on a slightly two paced pitch that never made boundary scoring a straight forward proposition. Captain Klinger perished shortly after to a slightly dubious catch taken by the aforementioned Chawla.

Ian Cockbain and Gidders  then also put Gloucestershire in position to push for glory, but when Cockbain fell for 39 and Gidders for 41 the queue to have a swing on O'Mish's scaffold atop the new pavilion was making use of all the generous room afforded by the overly large balcony. It's difficult to chase any decent total when your top 5 all score more than 30 but less than 41. If one of the top five had gone on, then Glos probably would have won. In the end we were saved the heartbreak of winning the match and then realising we had failed to qualify for the semi-finals.

Gloucestershire now need to make sure that the rest of their season doesn't come off the rails like it did after last year's t20 quarter final defeat. This will begin with Wednesdays championship match against Essex.

Video highlights from the game below:

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Rain grants Glos 3 extra points in promotion push

Result: Glos drew with Kent.

A combination of rain, Gareth Roderick and some plucky rearguard defence from the tail saw Gloucestershire home to a vital draw in this highly contrived version of a game that bore some relation to cricket, but was a couple of cans short of being a proper cricketing 6 pack.

Declaring their first innings on 80, then allowing Kent to declare on 4 in their second innings, thus leaving Glos to chase 399 to win, all based on an apocalyptic weather forecast. Like we said, something like a game of cricket, but not quite an actual game of cricket.

In chasing their target Glos made a complete pigs-ear of it, managing to reduce themselves to 41 for 4 and 138 for 6. At this point only Roderick and the tail stood between Kent and only their second win of the season (win number one came against Glos at Cheltenham in a similarly contrived match) Coming into the match, 21 year old Saffer-born keeper Roderick had 280 runs at an average in the low 30s. Reasonable enough stats that were clearly backed up with enough promise for him to have been given a go at batting at number 3, something he didn't exactly look at ease with. Roderick batted with great patience to compile his maiden first class hundred in 5 hours. If Roderick can finish the season strongly then the Gloucestershire wicketkeeping gloves should be his for the foreseeable future.

Credit must also go to Tom Smith who batted for almost two hours for his 32. David Payne, Craig Miles and Liam Norwell all did their bit to help Roderick carry the game over into a fourth day.

And then came the rain.

All of Roderick's hard work, combined with the rain actually mean diddly-squat. Glos gain 3 extra points than if they had lost. Gloucestershire are now 32 points adrift of the promotion spots and sit 4th in the table, a point behind Essex who we play on Wednesday. Realistically promotion looks a tough bet, and would probably require us to win all 4 of our remaining fixtures, including against table topping, and unbeaten, Lancashire. If Glos could cement 4th in the table, the Jessop Tavern would be mighty chuffed.

Video highlights from Day 3 below:

Friday, 23 August 2013

A long road ahead for England/the 'Shire

Gloucestershire 80 for 0 trail Kent 474 (Stevens 126, Harmison 106, Key 53) by 394 runs

Gloucestershire are facing something of a mountain to climb after two days of toil in the field at Canterbury. You know it's a flat deck when Ben Harmison gets a hundred against you and that's exactly what happened on Day 1. This was followed today by a ton for the ICC's favourite, Darren Stevens and some late order runs which boosted the Kent total to a healthy 474 all out.

Glos will be disappointed to have allowed such a bottom-heavy batting card, having reduced 2nd from bottom Kent to 46-3 and 113-4 on Day 1. The attack did ok, but the change seamers Payne and Norwell again went for more than 4 runs per over each, which considering they bowled 49 overs between them is a lot of runs to ship. What we find disappointing is that if 18 year old Craig Miles is capable of going for under 4 an over in his first full season, why are Norwell and Payne, both now beyond rookie status, not capable of 'bowling dry' as well?

It says a lot about the others that Benny Howell's military medium was required for 19 overs as well. Tom Smith managed only 7 overs for 15, which doesn't say much for either the pitch or Klinger's confidence in our latest spinner.

There were more positive signs when Glos batted, with Corporal Klinger and Chris Dent continuing their nascent opening partnership and taking us to 80 without loss at the close. A lot of batting is required to see us to safety and beyond and you would say that only two results are likely at this stage of the game, a draw or a Kent victory.

On the plus side, some time has already been lost to rain and the weather forecast isn't looking that promising for the next two days.

In many ways this game has mirrored the 5th Test at the Oval. Lose the toss and witness the opposition rack up almost 500, with hundreds from a perennial underachiever and a dasher with a unorthodox technique. Then face some tricky overs before the close on Day 2. the only difference is that the Aussies have Nathan Lyon whereas Kent only have James Tredwell. On second thoughts, these matches are identical!

Video Highlights from Day 2:

Monday, 19 August 2013

Cider final revisited

YB40: Gloucestershire 251 for 8 (Klinger 87, Marshall 55) beat Glamorgan 247 for 7 (Rees 83, Goodwin 49) by two wickets

The bandwagon is still rolling on its merry way to a Lords final. Admittedly it's a very Gloucestershire bandwagon, and with our present financial constraints the wheels are wobbling and it could do with a lick of paint. But rolling it still is.

Despite Gloucestershire's young bowlers continuing to go to all parts of every one day ground they play at, Captain Klinger remains unruffled as he helped himself to a further 87 runs. This takes Klinger's YB40 tally to 662 runs at a barely credible average of 94.

Gloucestershire tried their best to throw it away after openers Klinger and Marshall cantered to a century opening stand. It took some late biffing from Benny and James Fuller to see Glos across the line with a ball to spare.

All this means that, despite a fluctuating couple of weeks of YB40 results, Glos are still very much in the hunt. With one match remaining we sit level on points with Somerset at the top of the group meaning that bank holiday Monday will see a shoot-out for a semi-final spot between Glos and the cider boys from down the road. Admittedly, Glamorgan can still throw a spanner in the works. The Welshmen are two points behind, but face Leicestershire on Wednesday night. A win for the Dragons will mean that 3 teams will share the top of Group C.

God alone knows what the permutations are from there. Northants are another team with the same number of points (all be it in Group A) and so they can still play a part in gaining the one 'runners-up' spot. Essentially though, should Glos beat Somerset then we should be in the semi finals regardless of other results.

Exciting times. Let's hope that the opening of the new pavilion on Monday week inspires the boys to greater heights than they managed in last week's mauling down at Taunton.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

YB40 update

Yes, we've been lazy and haven't posted much recently, but in our defence, it's the summer and there hasn't been much positive one day news to report recently. Thursday night's defeat versus Middlesex has left us 4th in our group, meaning that today's game v Glamorgan has taken on 'all or nothing' status.

However, The Jessop Tavern View has worked long and hard to develop a reputation for pessimism when it comes to all things Gloucestershire. Even if we do snatch a win against the group-leading Dragons, the prospect of needing another win in our final group game versus a powerful Somerset side does rather fill us with dread.

The Middlesex game was a particular disappointment, as Glos failed to chase a modest 206 which owed everything to Dawid 'David' Malan's unbeaten hundred. Glos again failed offer much beyond skipper Klinger's 46 and a 19 run loss was pretty average having done the hard work in restricting a dangerous batting lineup including Eoin Morgan, Stirling and Joe Denly along with the in form Malan. Hamish Marshall has had a poor one day season (averaging 21 from 10 matches, no big surprise) and perished for a first ball duck to Steve Finn. No one else scored more than 40 and a small target proved beyond us.

The previous game was a bit more encouraging, as yet another quality knock of 89* from the skipper saw us easily overcome Leicestershire's 163 all out. Klinger has managed 250 more runs than the next best batsman, Chris Dent, so far this season and we have relied on him heavily at the top of he order.

He proved his class in the Somerset match with an unbeaten 131 out of 263, but the total was proven inadequate by a violent hundred from Kieswetter, along with rapid-fire knocks from Tres and Trego, as the cidermen chased down our score with 39 balls remaining.

For those masochists among you with time to spare, video highlights of the Middlesex and Somerset defeats are below: