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