Monday, 18 August 2014

Wonders never cease as Glos storm to 3 day victory at New Road

Gloucestershire 378 (Gidman 146, Roderick 98) and 178 for 3 (Dent 51) beat Worcestershire 194 (Oliver 52, Miles 4-54) and 360 (Oliver 179, Norwell 4-69) by seven wickets

We're back for one of our monthly cricketing posts. This time we're tackling that rarest of beasts, the County Championship. Not only did the boys achieve a rare win on Sunday, it was in fact our first win at New Road since 1986. It seems hard to believe that this is out first Championship match since we were hammered in the reverse fixture at Cheltenham in late July, but that's the county cricket schedule for you.

Anyway, this time we have much better news. This time around the boys secured a convincing seven wicket win over Division 2 leaders Worcestershire inside 3 days. This was a superb performance, where we shook off the lack of an injured (and soon-to-depart) Will Gidman to dominate Worcs almost from start to finish.

There were encouraging performances all round, from stand-in skipper Gidders' dominant 146 in the first innings, to Gareth Roderick's impressive 98 batting at number 3 and on to Craig Miles, who again bowled well to take 4-54 in the first innings. Liam Norwell's excellent 4-69 in Worcs second knock polished off the tail in double quick fashion after Dent finally got rid of the dangerous Richard 'Bath' Oliver for a career-best 179. We then made short work of the 177 target, with Dent finding a semblance of form with a 50 and Gidders blasting a no pressure 45 to see us home with more than a day to spare.

What to make of this effort then? This is clearly an excellent win against a Worcestershire side who have dominated Division 2 so far this year. Miles did exceptionally well to dismiss the country's leading run scorer, Daryl Mitchell for just 4 runs in the match and the batting really fired when we needed it to in our first innings. Basically, a quality job which the boys should be proud of.

We lie 6th in the table, which is a decent, if not awe-inspiring return for the season. There are now just two Championship games left this season and they don't take place until September 9th. so, what's next for the boys?

Most pressingly, we have a crucial final Royal London group game away to Derbyshire on Thursday, a win in which would secure us a home quarter final next week. The semis follow the week after, before the final which splits the remaining two championship fixtures in September. Dare the Jessop Tavern View dream and risk booking Lord's tickets for September 20th? A home quarter would go some way to making the dream a reality, so let's cross our fingers for a convincing win on Thursday.


  1. 6th in the CC is by no means a decent return for the season! Once again the batsmen have not scored enough runs in the first innings of matches, and only Derbyshire have fewer batting bonus points -- and they have 2 games in hand over us.

    In fact, when all the teams have caught up with the games they have in hand, we will be bottom of both batting and bowling points achieved -- a very poor record. Surrey have won only one more match than us, but are 42 points ahead and challenging for promotion. For my money, it's the opening partnership that's the route of the problem. We won't get anywhere until we can achieve decent starts, and you count the number of times we've managed that this season one one hand!

    1. Geoff, when you put it like that, 6th doesn't sound all that great. We do have quite low expectations though, especially in 4 day cricket where we've been mediocre for years. We've been saying all season that batting isn't our strong suit. Klinger has been inconsistent and injury-affected and Dent seems to have plateaued. Gidders and Hamish have been typically hit-and-miss, too. In fact, Tavare's development has been the only real highlight, batting-wise.

      Perhaps we should stick to eulogising our reasonable 50 over performances instead...