Saturday, 7 June 2014

No Styris, no problem!

Gloucestershire 189 for 6 (Cockbain 84, Arafat 3-38) beat Sussex 185 (Hamilton-Brown 49, McCarter 5-35) by four runs

The last time Glos ran into Sussex in a t20 match, we were infected by a virus. Courtesy of Scott 'the rus' Styris, the symptoms were particularly severe on fellow Kiwi, James Fuller, who served up a tasty 38 run over as Styris bludgeoned his way to the 3rd fastest domestic t20 ton.

Luckily Styris now plays t20 for Leicestershire and despite a late scare, Glos were able to claim our second group stage win after posting a competitive 189-6 after batting first. The Glos win was bookended by performances from two players we have virtually forgotten existed, Ian Cockburn and Dan Housego. Cockbain, a player we have always rated, struck an excellent 84 from 51 and put on 101 with skipper Klinger. Housego took 3 catches at long off in Graeme McCarter's final over, which began with Sussex needing 10 to win with 3 wickets in hand.

Cockbain has often demonstrated his limited overs abilities and we wonder why he doesn't get more opportunities in the 4 day side. We haven't seen the Scouser get much cricket since last season's musings about alleged improper conduct with King John's wife. It seems he has become pigeon-holed as primarily a limited overs specialist, despite decent form when given an opportunity in the 4 day side over the past few years. Still, with knocks like these, who needs the 4 day grind.

Housego has been an even rarer sighting of late, having seemingly been superseded in the batting pecking order by Will Tavare and others. He batted below both Benny and Geraint Jones in this match, which doesn't exactly imply confidence in his ball-striking abilities. We will take the 3 catches though, which saw the boys over the line despite Will Beer's late knock of 37 from 14.

The victory finally moves the 'shire into positive territory in the South Group, although you would have to think that qualification looks unlikely after 4 games completed. Next up, surprise package Glamorgan at Bristol this Sunday.

It's been interesting to note that Middlesex appear even more terrible at t20 than we have been in recent years. They slumped to a 6th straight defeat v Kent last night, despite worst-ever Glos overseas signing, Dan Christian's remarkable 129 from just 57 balls. If only the Aussie could've motivated himself to do a bit more of that for us last season, where he averaged just 14 with a top score of 25 in 10 matches.

Anyway, onwards and upwards!

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