Monday, 19 May 2014

Shire in superior batting side shocker

Day 2 Stumps - Gloucestershire (252 and 213/4) lead Kent (114) by 351 runs with 6 wickets remaining

It's not often that the Jessop Tavern View gets to write about a game where we're clearly the better (batting) side. Opportunities to talk up our batting lineup using words such as 'patient', 'disciplined' and 'dominant' are few and far between for fans of the 'shire.

However, on the evidence of the two days versus Kent so far, we are watching the better side exerting their dominance over a Division 2 rival. Having initially underperformed with the bat yesterday, the boys bounced back to reduce Kent to 2-4 on the way to 33-6 overnight. A Kent fightback (from 33 up to 101 for the loss of just one early wicket) prompted fears of a minimal 1st innings lead for the boys. Luckily, Gidman dislodged the stubborn Ball for 37 and we managed to polish them off for just 114 before lunch. The remaining two wickets added just 13, leaving keeper Billings not out on a valuable 42,

Kent had managed to avoid the follow on and Glos started the afternoon session poorly, with Klinger (who's in a really bad trot at the moment) departing early to Claydon. Dent was soon castled by what sounded like a jaffa from the first ball of Stevens' spell. Will Tavare also departed cheaply, which brought the experienced, yet frequently unreliable pairing of APR Gidman and O'Mish together. Despite our concerns, the experienced campaigners batted rather sensibly, putting on an excellent 135 as the Kent bowlers began to toil in the roasting afternoon sun.

Sadly, our admiration for their efforts in avoiding their trademark loose shots when well set was somewhat spoiled by our guffaws of laughter as BBC Radio Kent, in a seemingly straight-faced piece of commentary, described Gidman's 'slender' figure as he waited at the crease. Much as we admire the former skipper's weight of shot, the days when he could get into his waist 32 whites are long past.

Gidders eventually departed for an excellent 85, leaving Roderick and the Irishman to see us through to the close with a healthy (dare we say potentially match-winning) lead of 351, with 6 wickets still in hand.

Sadly, the weather forecast isn't great for tomorrow and Wednesday, but hopefully the boys can set an unreachable target in the morning. Having performed admirably thus far, you would have to back our bowlers to get through Kent's sketchy-looking batting line-up, barring too much rain over the next couple of days.

Is a first win of the season on the horizon? Let's hope so.

Video highlights of the match so far below:

Day 1

Day 2

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