Monday, 19 May 2014

Gidman and Fuller tear through Kent….and then Glos don't mess it up!

Gloucestershire 252 and 212 - 4 v Kent 114.

Going into this match Gloucestershire's season was dangerously close to coming off the rails. Lying joint bottom of Division 2 and with minus points in the t20 'Blast' another defeat would have have seen us clamouring for the return of Jon Batty. Fortunately we won't need to resort to that.

Having won the toss on day 1 Glos limped to a seemingly disappointing 252 all out with only the returning Gareth Roderick making any real contribution. However then the fun began.

Before the season began it appeared fairly obvious that Gloucestershire's weakest suit lay very much in their batting, fielding, bowling unit. With only Will Gidman of guaranteed quality we were heavily reliant on the sticky tape holding Ian Saxelby together lasting a full season and on Craig Miles being able to replicate last seasons impressive introduction to first class cricket. As it has transpired Miles is yet to take the field and Saxelby wishes he hadn't. Whilst Gidman has continued to impress (18 wickets at 13) opposition teams have figured out that if they blunt Gidman then Glos have very little to offer, well, little to offer other than a succession of four balls with which to help yourself.

Thus, going into this match it was hardly comforting to see Benny Howell being drafted in to do the job as a fourth seamer. We like Benny a lot as a Frenchman and as a cricketer, but when your side is struggling to take wickets do you really want to pick a batting all rounder? It didn't strike us as the most aggressive of selections. Clearly though King John is a wiser man than we, and he had clearly poured over hours of tape of Kent's batsmen and decided that we didn't really need any bowlers and that even James Fuller would take wickets. What an astute man.

For a while this morning it appeared that Glos fancied throwing away their overnight position of having reduced Kent to 33 for 6. English youngsters Sam Billings and Adam Ball serenely took Kent passed the follow-on before Kent combusted again to lose their final 3 wickets for 13 runs. Gidman taking 4 for 14 from 12 overs and Fuller capturing 4 for 32. Whilst Gidman's economy is helped by the fact that runs come freely at the other end he has now consistently taken wickets for 3 and a bit seasons, and scored runs. It would be interesting to know whether he does figure in a Peter Moore's powerpoint presentation. We suspect not, but how close he is would be interesting to know.

Fuller on the other hand continues to flatter to deceive. One day good, one day going for 38 an over. He is the sort of cricketer who we love to watch as something is always happening when he is on a cricket field. Be that taking wickets, biffing runs, getting destroyed by Scott Stryis or deliberately bowling beamers. He is the Jessop Tavern's sort of cricketer.

In reply Glos looked to be making a hash of it 58 for 3, with captain Klinger again failing to make a mark. But cometh the hour and cometh the Gidman, Alex this time. Gidman and O'Mish proceeded to do what wise old timers are suppose to do in the middle order and calmly constructed what should be a match deciding partnership of 135.

With two days to go surely Glos cannot lose from here. The question will be how big a lead we need and how long we feel our bowlers need to take 10 wickets. We'd like to see a mid afternoon declaration giving us 4 and a half sessions. The weather may also play its part so Glos would be encouraged to get on with it.


  1. If Peter Moore woke up to Will Gidman (and really the lad deserves his chance) Glos would be left with a very bare cupboard. What the hell has happened to Craig Miles?

  2. Miles has played for the 2nd Xi but now has a bulging disc in his back and will be out for a further 2 weeks. Back trouble for young fast bowlers is not an encouraging sign.