Monday, 21 July 2014

Will Gidman: The best all rounder since Hadlee. Fact.

How good is Will Gidman? This is probably a question a fair few division 1 teams will be asking themselves at the end of the season as they contemplate team building for 2015.

Having only played in division 2 it is hard to know exactly how highly to rate Gidman II. Could he make the step up in class to division 1? Could he make it at a level even higher than that? The Jessop tavern secretly hopes that we won't know the answer to either of these, though you suspect next season will be Gidman's best chance if he does harbour international dreams. You would suspect a winter tour will be his at the end of this year, and from there who knows? His brother was once in a similar position, and was even selected as England lions captain only for injury to deny him the chance to stake his claim. It never came again.

An interesting article appeared in the Gloucestershire Echo last week. If statistics tell the truth then it looks like England have been missing out on the best all rounder since Richard Hadlee. It has to be said that Mike Procter never got to have a go in division 2.

Still, it's a fun article.

Welcome back Craig Miles

Day 1: Worcestershire 299 - 7 v Gloucestershire.

Ah, Cheltenham. The Jessop Tavern View went away for a while, gorging itself on summer football. When we came back we rocked up at Cheltenham last week and stared with disbelief as Benny Howell was handed the new ball. Injuries have ravaged the Gloucestershire bowling unit this season but surely Benny Howell should never be opening the bowling. Where is Ben Gannon when you need him?! Benny, typically, bowled all right, only for the batsmen to let everyone down by collapsing in the second innings and handing victory to Derbyshire.

Disappointing defeat to Surrey was followed by Chris Dent finally finding the middle of the bat against Essex that proved that t20 at Cheltenham is far more fun when it isn't played on sticky, sub-standard pitch.
The Jessop Tavern View turned up early on Sunday afternoon and sat nursing its pint of Tribute in front of the nets. Some gangly, young blond kid was doing some bowling in a Gloucester shirt. He looked remarkably like Craig Miles. The Jessop Tavern took its pint and went and found some shade, deciding that it had clearly had too much sun for one day.

Yet lo and behold, here we are today and we can finally comment on whether Miles had the ability to follow up his wicket-laden first season with more of the same. The answer appears to be yes. Typically a young bowler's second season is usually pretty trying. Teams have had the chance to look at the film and batsmen suddenly have plans of where to score against them. Miles cleverly decided to avoid this typical second season syndrome by being crocked for most of the season. Coming back today it is fair to say Worcestershire coach Steve Rhodes was probably regretting his decision to record over those tapes of Miles' bowling with Emmerdale omnibus'.

Miles tore through the Worcestershire top order to take 4 for 53 from 17 overs. Most importantly, he was able to walk off the field at the end of play. Tom Smith also decided to chip in with 3 wickets to leave this match very evenly poised after day 1.

Miles' return from injury has almost certainly come a month too late to salvage Gloucestershire's championship season. Still, it will provide King John and the board with more ammunition to talk ruefully about what could have been this season before then failing to invest in the squad over the winter.
In a slightly more bizarre aside, Sunday's net session saw the Jessop Tavern witness 20 minutes of watching former Gloucestershire legend Ravi Bopara bat left handed. In fairness Ravi could still find the middle of the bat, and maybe he will prove us wrong by resurrecting his test career as the next David Gower. Still, it was a somewhat bizarre spectacle. With that sort of commitment to practice is it any wonder that Bopara remains a wasted talent.

Highlights from Day 1 are available via the official site here

Monday, 7 July 2014

Mid-season lethargy

The Jessop Tavern View has been busy. Busy grafting at the day job, working for the man and putting our noses to the grindstone for the past 3 weeks. Hence the lack of posts. We make no apologies for devoting ourselves to paying the bills and putting food on the table for ourselves....

Hang on a minute, we have just noticed that the previous post date is Wednesday, June 11th. The day before the World cup began. Could this possibly explain the radio silence over the last few weeks? We're going to hold our hands up and admit it- yes we've been distracted by FIFA's quadrennial football-fest. Couple this with simultaneously becoming disillusioned by Gloucestershire's lacklustre form in both forms of the game at the moment and there's our excuse covered.

So, what's been happening in our absence? Let's start with the good stuff.

Gloucestershire 112 (Dunn 4-37) and 506 for 6 (Cockbain 151*, Klinger 120) drew with Surrey 626 for 6 dec. (Burns 199, Solanki 143, Roy 121*)

Despite our prediction of defeat after Day 3 of this game, a great rearguard action saw us hang on for a miraculous draw. Ian Cockbain's career-best 151*, compiled over almost 9 painstaking hours and Tom Smith's unlikely 80 meant we lost only 1 wicket on the final day.

Essex 163 for 2 (Bopara 66*, Westley 55*) beat Gloucestershire 162 for 6 (Marshall 74, Masters 2-17) by eight wickets 
Hampshire 180 for 6 (Adams 69*) beat Gloucestershire 178 for 8 (Howell 50, Smith 3-26) by two runs

We then lost back to back t20 matches in different fashion. First, we were stuffed by a Ravi Bopara-inspired Essex. Then we were very unlucky not to chase down 181 for victory against Hampshire. We suffered a trademark batting collapse after Maxi and Gidders (A.) got us off to a flyer, but some late fireworks from Benny the Frenchman took us close, but no cigar.

Gloucestershire 391 (Marshall 109, Tavare 77, Cockbain 51, Hogan 4-57) and 165 for 5 (Gidman 47*) drew with Glamorgan 615 for 7 (Wright 123, Rudolph 139, Smith 57*, Allenby 57, Cooke 52)

Back to the Championship and another draw snatched from the jaws of defeat, this time courtesy of a gritty Will Tavare knock of 41, which ate up over 3 hours in a style his uncle Chris would doubtless have approved of. Skipper Klinger missed the match with a broken toe and stand-in skipper O'Mish struck his second ton of the year in our first innings. The game also featured yet another injury to a keeper, with Cam Herring's finger this time causing the issue, necessitating a debut for 17 year old Patrick Grieshaber from the Glos Academy.

Back to the t20, for another two matches against Middlesex (no result, rain) and Kent (thrilling final ball win). The most notable feature of these two games was the encouraging debut of loan keeper Adam Rouse, whose unbeaten 35 from 16 balls, including 3 fours in the last over, guided us to a tight victory against Kent.

Essex 541 (Bopara 147, Ryder 133, Westley 71, Browne 65, Taylor 4-125) and 10 for 0 beat Gloucestershire 224 (Topley 5-53, Masters 4-67) and 325 (Gidman 53, Rouse 49, Ryder 3-43) by 10 wickets

The less said about this next game, the better. Quick summary, bat first, under perform. Concede a stack of runs, again to Bopara and also Jesse Ryder. Again fight hard in second dig, but inevitably get bowled out and they knock off the 10 needed for a crushing win.

Gloucestershire 138 for 7 (Cockbain 52) beat Sussex 125 (Taylor 3-12) by 13 runs

Finally, another t20 win versus Sussex, this time televised and thus one of the first times we've watched Glos live this season. Another good knock by Ian Cockbain (arguably one of our players of the season so far) saw us post 138 after the match was reduced to 15 overs per side. We bowled and fielded well in poor light to bowl out Sussex for 125 and keep our hopes of a QF place alive. Sadly, the 2 point penalty we incurred for last season's dodgy pitch seems like it could possibly cost us that place unless our remaining 4 matches in the group stage go to plan.

Right, that's it for now. It's time to focus on football for another week today's LVCC match v Hampshire at the Rose Bowl for the next few days, before a crucial t20 derby v Somerset on Fridfay, then the Cheltenham festival starts next week. Feeling fatigued yet?