Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Glos triumph against the odds

Gloucestershire 220 (Jones 50, Dernbach 6-35) beat Surrey 214 (Sangakkara 60, Burns 56, Taylor 3-43) by six runs

It was the worst of finals, it was the best of finals. We arrived, heard we had lost the toss and been put in. We were worried. We sat down and then Maxy Klinger was out third ball. Hamish was stumped down the leg side. Jade Dernbach ended up with six wickets for not many, including a dubious hattrick. We battled hard for our runs.  Jack Taylor upped the tempo but got out. Geraint hit a gritty fifty but then got out. We finished on 220 with more than two overs left to bowl. It didn't feel like anywhere near enough. We were not feeling confident.

Then there were early wickets for a fired up James Fuller. Kumar Sangakkara and Rory Burns put on a hundred together and things looked bad. But Kumar got out by chipping a Jack Taylor full toss to the fielder when well set. Burns then danced past one to be stumped soon after, followed by a slow squeeze applied by bowlers and fielders.

It should still have been easy for Surrey though, 73 runs in 13.4 overs was not hard. However, we continued to take wickets and it got tighter and tighter. Sam Curran looked like he would see them home right up until the point where he holed out off the first ball of the final over from Payne. The release of tension in the Edrich when Benny the Frenchman took that catch was palpable- the roar was loader than you would have imagined. It was ever better when Batty slapped one straight down Jack Taylor's throat at midwicket to complete a famous and nerve-wracking victory.

Our first final appearance since 2004 led to a 10th win out of 11 one day finals. What a day. It wasn't a high quality match, particularly from a batting standpoint, but who cares. The boys were magnificent when it mattered and it clearly meant a lot the players, judging by the scenes at the end.

Well done Maxy and the boys. You made all of us there and all of Gloucestershire proud.

Video highlights below:

Update- cracking video of the catches in the last over and the celebrations- from the guys just in front of us!

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Klinger or bust

It's an early start for the Jessop Tavern View. The 6am train made all the tougher by a lack of change for a coffee at the station. Still, the sun appears to be shining and after 11 long years we are heading back to Lords.

How much hope does the Jessop Tavern have? A quick scan of the squads sends a slightly dampening shiver down our spine. Sangakarra, Roy, the two Currans, wily Azhar Mahmood, Steven Davies. Even Jade Dernbach. It's hard to see Surrey finding room for Kieran Gourmet-Burger. So, is there hope?

15 years ago Gloucestershire teams bonded together to regularly defy perceived wisdom and defeat their much fancied rivals packed full of international superstars. Can the 2015 vintage summon up similar collective spirit? Can David Payne become the new James Averis. Can Chris Dent bat like Phil Weston? Will Gareth Roderick don a silly hat and keep like Jack did? Time will tell.

In fairness, the boys have done exceptionally well to get here. A season that has seen their batting ravaged by injuries has been heavily reliant on people contributing at key times. Forget Maxy Klinger for one moment and this season has been full of key little cameos to get Gloucester home. Benny's bowling. Jack Taylor's biffing. It has all been vital.

And then there is Klinger. A frnakly other-worldly one day season has seen Klinger make one day and t20 hundreds seem like the most mundane occurrence. Can he fire one more time? You wouldn't bet against him, and the man deserves to sign off with runs on the big stage. The question will be what if he fails? Where do the runs come from? Can Chris Dent finally come good? Will Gareth Roderick rediscover his early season form and announce himself as a player of substance? Could O'Mish roll back the years? Lets hope all of the above. All complimenting another glorious Klinger hundred.

The Jessop Tavern is just ever so slightly haunted by the visible mental collapse of Somerset many years ago in the cider final of 1999. Cox had similarly dominated all season, and was Somerset's one key wicket. Smudger removed early on (dubiously lbw) and Somerset visibly wilted. Lets hope a similar story is not about to unfold.

So come on Glos. Good luck boys. And frankly, the Jessop Tavern is just excited to finally have something to cheer about when it comes to the Shire!!

See you at the Grace Gates!!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Promotion hopes extinguished after another drawn championship game

Leicestershire 415 (Ali 80, Robson 61, Raine 51, Norwell 4-97) and 155 for 9 dec (Redfern 74) drew with Gloucestershire 269 for 8 dec (Dent 73, Handscomb 53) and 212 for 5 (Tavare 52, Dent 52)

We're late in writing this game up so aren't planning to dwell on the game too much ahead of our final two fixtures, beginning today away to 7th placed Kent.

Will Tavare, skipper in the absence of globetrotting Maxy Klinger, won the toss and elected to field first. Rain took 48 overs out of the day's allocation and we didn't bowl all that well when play began just before 1pm. Angus Robson hit a fifty on Day 1, before becoming Norwell's second victim when he nicked off to Roderick. Day 2 saw further good batting from Leics, as they passed 400 for only the second time at home all season. Aadil Ali hit a career-best 80 and the batting continued right down the order, with even number 10 Ben Raine contributing 51.

Day 3 didn't go well for Glos, who closed 17 runs shy of the follow on target with just two wickets remaining. Despite the first century partnership of the match between Dent and Handscomb, once they were dismissed by Rob Taylor wickets fell at regular intervals. Bad light intervened during the afternoon allowing the boys to escape the day without being bowled out short of the follow on target.

Day 4 saw a much better performance, as two sporting declarations set up a chase for Glos which was sadly curtailed by bad light with 90 needed and 9 overs still to play. Glos sneaked past the follow on target and immediately declared 146 runs behind. This enabled Leics to crack on and set a target, which led to four wickets before lunch, including two more for Liam Norwell. Leicestershire moved the game along quickly after lunch, with Dan Redfern hitting a quickfire 74 as wickets fell around him before Cosgrove declared on 155-9, leaving us 302 to win.

Dent and Tavare started well, putting on 108 at 4+ an over. They both fell after reaching fifty and Roderick failed for the second time in the match in what has been a mixed season with the bat. Handscomb bedded in and continued to tick the scoreboard along, but O'Mish (typically) and Benny both departed cheaply. This brought GBK to the crease and he and Handscomb put on a robust 40 before the light curtailed proceedings.

A mixed bag from the 'Shire, perhaps understandable with the Royal London semi final looming, but we did at least make a decent fist of a 4th day chase. The draw leaves us 6th with two to play, away to Kent and then at home to Glamorgan who are currently 4th. All to play for in the final matches then, as even third-placed Essex are just 11 points ahead of us and Glamorgan and Northants are closer still.

Video highlights below:

Day 4

Day 3

Day 2

Day 1

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Maxy-mum Klinger takes 'Shire back to Lords

Gloucestershire 267 for 2 (Klinger 137*, Marshall 78*) beat Yorkshire 263 for 9 (Lyth 96, Howell 3-37) by eight wickets 

Gloucestershire secured a first trip to a Lords final since 2004, courtesy of yet another knock of the highest quality from skipper Michael 'surely the next Aussie test player off the rank' Klinger.

When Glos fans think of our greatest overseas one day performers over the years, some great names spring to mind; Zaheer Abbas (whose 5 consecutive scores over 50 Klinger equalled on Sunday), Mike Procter, Craig Spearman, Ian Harvey and Dan Christian. (OK, the last one was a joke).

Michael Klinger might just be the best of the lot. The Aussie hit a magnificent 137* to lead Glos' comfortable chase of Yorkshire's ultimately below par 263-9. Klinger put on an unbeaten 177 with O'Mish, who also looked in good touch throughout and ended unbeaten on 78 as victory was achieved with over 3 overs remaining. He struck 4 sixes, included the game-winning blow over mid off which secured a famous victory.

Yorkshire's innings was built around Adam Lyth's flashy, but technically loose 96- as an aside we can't see him having much long-term success at test level if he continues to flash away outside off stump regardless of bowler, line or match situation. Benny Howell helped Glos' bowlers recover from an awful start, taking 3-37 from 10 overs of wily seam bowling which helped choke Yorkshire of runs and momentum in the crucial middle overs. Despite recovering from a nightmare start, which saw 60 taken off the opening 10 overs, to bowl well overall, the boys fielded poorly throughout, including a comic dropped caught and bowled from Liam Norwell which temporarily reprieved Jonny Bairstow. Luckily Norwell recovered to trap Bairstow LBW in his next over to save his blushes. The fact that Bairstow's 34 was the next highest score of the innings shows how Yorkshire lost their way after a great start and a target of under 300 was always going to be chasable on a good, if slightly two-paced surface at Headingley.

Klinger's scores in this season's Royal London Cup are hugely impressive, 531 runs in 7 innings at 132.75, including 3 centuries in his last 5 innings. When you add this to his stellar Natwest Blast t20 form (another 3 hundreds and 654 runs at 81.75) and the strong Australian domestic season which preceded it, you have some consistently impressive form. An argument can surely be made that Maxy is currently enjoying one of the finest runs of form of all time over the last 18 months of white ball cricket.

You would hope that he will get a chance to represent his country against Bangladesh later this year. His performances for his adopted county here in England have certainly warranted it. In to the final at Lords on September 19th. The Jessop Tavern View will be there cheering the boys on and hope to see some of our readers there, too.

Long and shorter video highlights below:

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Glos upset Hampshire to secure rare knockout win

Gloucestershire 218 for 6 (Klinger 87, Jones 39*, Arafat 3-56) beat Hampshire 217 for 7 (Adams 97, Smith 50) by four wickets 

This was great. Unexpected, but great nonetheless. Glos booked an away quarter final against Yorkshire at Headingley but beating Hampshire by four wickets, due in large part to yet another fine knock of 87 from skipper Maxi Klinger. The big Aussie recovered from a dropped catch while on 0 from opposing skipper Jimmy Adams to anchor the chase and another violent Jack Taylor cameo got us over the line after Klinger was dismissed to leave the match in the balance.

Yet more August rain forced the reduction of the game to 34 overs per side and Hampshire managed a handy total based around Adams' 97 and a late flurry of runs from Will Smith, who took advantage of a bizarre decision by Glos to play but not bowl economical left arm spinner Tom Smith. His 50 from 25 balls helped Hampshire plunder 77 from the last 6 overs to set a challenging target of 218.

Glos began the chase with Adams failing to cling on to a sharp chance at cover from Klinger and the drop proved crucial as Dent, Roderick, O'Mish and Howell as fell cheaply to leave the boys 104-4 after 21 overs. Geraint Jones' arrival at the crease at least provided Klinger with decent support and they added 59 at a good clip, before the wily Yasir Arafat got the big wicket of Klinger while on 87. This put pressure on the new man Jack Taylor, with 55 still needed from under 6 overs. Fidel Edwards didn't do much to apply continued pressure however, as his next over cost 19 including 5 wides and 3 boundaries. The next over broke the back of the chase, as Taylor settled in nicely by hitting Arafat for two huge blows over cow corner in the course of 17 from the over. He then got out, but only 11 were needed and Geraint Jones won the match in style with another driven six off Arafat (see the end of the video below for his delighted celebration of the win).

A cracking victory achieved in difficult conditions and one that set us up nicely for the semi final against Yorkshire.

Video highlights below:

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Weather saves Glos from second Surrey slaughter

Gloucestershire 233 (8 points) drew with Surrey 349 - 6 (11 points)

Gloucestershire remained unbeaten in the Championship since the two wins during the Cheltenham Festival, after a game ruined by the rain. The scorecard doesn't tell the true story though, as the match one in which Surrey would likely have pressed for a victory (and promotion) after dominating proceedings on Day 2 of the match before the weather intervened.

Gloucestershire batted first after being put in by Gareth Batty and it didn't go well as the talented Curran brothers reduced us to 63-4 inside the first hour, with Tavare, Dent, O'Mish and Howell all departing cheaply. The 'shire were indebted to Gareth Roderick's 71 for getting us on the way to an even passable first innings total, as he punished some wayward bowling, striking 12 fours on his way to a 100 ball 71. However, having seen a patient Roderick and Gourmet-Burger partnership take us 103-4 at the interval, wickets continued to fall after lunch.

First to go was the Kiwi, for yet another low score (his highest championship knock of the season is just 61) and Jack Taylor and Roderick soon followed. This brought together James Fuller and Tom Smith and the Kiwi decided he wasn't going to die wondering- he struck several crisp boundaries in a 40 ball 48, before he was bowled by Tom Curran who completed a 5-fer. Smith then put on a second fifty partnership with David Payne, taking us to 203-8 at tea and beyond, before Payne was caught off Curran on his way to 6-61. Norwell was soon bowled by Batty and we were all out for a below-par 233. Surrey reached 74-2 at the close, with Norwell strangling Arun Harinath down the leg side and Rory Burns caught by Fuller off Benny the Frenchman.

Day 2 was very much a batting day, with one of Surrey's many wicket keepers, Ben Foakes to the fore. The wasn't an awful lot to write home about from a 'shire perspective, as good batting conditions saw Foakes reach a career-best 140*, ably supported by 17 year old Sam Curran who hit 49 and Jason Roy who chipped in with 39. Glos used seven bowlers in the day and it said a lot that economical medium pace trundler Gourmet-Burger was the pick of the attack with two wickets.

All this put Surrey in a very strong position at the close, with power to add to a handy on Day 3 and a high-quality bowling attack raring to have a crack at our flaky batting lineup. Thankfully this became academic when it subsequently poured down with rain for the next two days, meaning no further play was possible after Day 2. The result was we escaped with a handy draw, not bad considering the stuffing we received from Surrey at the Oval back in late June.

Video highlights below:
Day 1

Day 2

Friday, 21 August 2015

50 over recap: The good, the bad and the irrelevant

The Royal London Cup has surprised a few people so far this season. Very much the third domestic trophy, it traditionally takes place towards the end of the season when more than half the counties have basically given up the ghost and are merely playing for pride.

Previous incarnations saw a slightly weird qualifying system used where two groups went straight to the semi finals, which meant that early losses soon proved terminal for even the best limited over sides. Thankfully we're now settled back into an international standard 50 over format, with a quarter final stage to further help separate the wheat from the county chaff.

Even more pleasingly, Gloucestershire have proven themselves a passable side in the format thus far. The shire finished their group stage matches with a home quarter final birth secured after five wins from eight with a no result v Yorkshire. We'll discount the fact that the home draw was in fact secured following bad weather which ensured Yorkshire's match at Scarborough was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

So to a brief recap of the completed matches so far. We'll skip the Yorkshire game which we were in a great position to win until bad weather intervened.

The Good

July 29
Gloucestershire 205 for 4 (Roderick 54) beat Derbyshire 274 for 5 (Rutherford 110, Madsen 106*) by six wickets - D/L 

First up was a wild game at Nevil Road, which was secured when Benny and Jack Taylor struck an outrageous 69 from the final four overs to secure a fortunate D/L victory. Having fielded poorly in conceding two individual tons to Hamish Rutherford and Wayne Madsen, we were always going to be up against it.

Rain altered the target to 284 from 48 and again to 204 from 35 overs and at 136-3 we looked dead and buried. However, Taylor came in and immediately set about the bowling, hitting leggie Critchley for 3 sixes in an over to begin the carnage which concluded with Taylor being caught off the final delivery off which 6 were needed. Miraculously a no ball was called, for too many fielders on the leg side of all things, and a single was taken to add to the two extras, Benny Howell then smashed the final delivery for a four to complete a unlikely victory

Video highlights

July 31
Gloucestershire 315 for 6 (Roderick 104, Jones 87, Klinger 50) beat Leicestershire 314 (Aadil 84, Burgess 49, Taylor 42*, Smith 3-45) by one run

Another interesting contest and an unexpectedly tight one, given the opposition and match situation. Gareth Roderick's maiden List A hundred and Geraint Jones' career high 87 (a bit worrying when you score that in your final season, at the age of 39?) saw the boys post over 300 and we then reduced Leics to 128/5 in response.

However, a couple of fine partnerships; 96 between Aadil Ali and Burgess and then 44 from Clint McKay and Rob Taylor (in just 4.4 overs) left McKay needing 3 from the final ball to complete an unlikely victory. Luckily enough, Glos' excellent fielding came to the rescue as captain Maxi Klinger made a diving stop before running out the Aussie to restrict Leics to a single run.

A tight victory was thus secured, although the worrying James Fuller no ball beamer problem returned, seeing him withdrawn from the attack for the second time this season. Not ideal to lose one of your strike bowlers at a key moment and hopefully the Kiwi can get this under control from now on. When firing he's a fine bowler and a handy batsman, to boot.

Video highlights

August 2
Gloucestershire 247 for 7 (Klinger 107, Groenewald 3-53) beat Somerset 244 for 7 (Hildreth 85*, Gregory 62) by three wickets

The next match, against West Country rivals Somerset, saw a sight as familiar as a pint of cider in the hand of supporters on either side, Maxi Klinger acknowledging the crowd's applause for another fine hundred. The man's form this season has been nothing short of remarkable- he's averaging over 100 in this competition as well as over 80 in T20 and 46 in the championship. One could argue that if the travelling Australian circus wanted to add another performer to the troupe then they could do a lot worse than calling on our skipper.

This would obviously be bad news for the 'Shire, as Klinger runs again turned a tight game in our favour. A lowish chase of 245 proved tricky, with Dent falling early to Groenewald and Roderick also departing cheaply. Klinger however anchored the innings superbly, scoring his 107 off 133 balls with nine boundaries including 4 sixes. The game was still in the balanced when he fell with 43 still needed and when Gourmet-Burger departed with the score on 213 there was work to do. Luckily Jack Taylor was at the crease and he put on a useful partnership with James Fuller. Taylor then struck two sixes in the penultimate over from Groenewald and the victory was secured with two balls remaining. A good win.

Video highlights

August 4
Gloucestershire 289 for 7 (Klinger 135*, Jones 54) beat Durham 214 (Hastings 46, Payne 5-40, Miles 2-29) by 71 runs D/L

There doesn't appear to be a match report available on Cricinfo for this game, so we'll stick to the facts. A dominant batting performance saw Glos post an excellent 289 from just 41 rain-affected overs. The demon Klinger carried his bat for another hundred, his highest score of the summer so far, despite an injury requiring a runner towards the end. Geraint Jones continued his streaky run of form with 54 and Benny Howell chipped in with a quickfire 45 from 24 balls towards the end.

Durham were never really in the contest, losing wickets throughout, before a late flurry from John Hastings saw them limped past 200, before being dismissed for 214 in the final over. Sid Payne took an excellent 5-40, including most of the lower order and Miles also bowled economically in what has been a fine season in all formats for the 21 year old.

Video highlights

August 5
Gloucestershire 265 for 6 (Tavare 61, Jones 58, Roderick 56) beat Worcestershire 264 for 8 (Clark 131*) by four wickets (D/L method)

Glos secured a quarter final place with their 5th consecutive win against bottom side Worcs who lost their 5th straight Royal London fixture. The boys performed well without the injured titan Klinger, who missed out with a hamstring strain. Worcester actually posted a decent total, based around a superb 131* from 19 year old Joe Clarke. The 'Shire bowling was relatively expensive in this game, with only the wicketless James Fuller keeping the economy rate below 4 an over.

Glos managed a tricky chase well, with all of the top 4 chipping in. The recalled Will Tavare, hitherto fairly useless in white ball cricket, hit 61 and Roderick and Geraint also hit 50s. Even Chris Dent, who had slumped into a terrible rut recently, managed 43 in an opening stand of 106 with Tavare. Despite losing late wickets we got over the line comfortably and booked a quarter final place early with two fixtures yet to play.

Video highlights

The Bad

August 17
Northamptonshire 217 for 6 (Cobb 58, Taylor 3-45) beat Gloucestershire 215 (Howell 80, Roderick 57, Crook 4-37, Stone 3-34) by four wickets 

This game wasn't that important for the 'Shire and it showed. We're running out of steam on these recaps, so we'll stick to saying that Glos underperformed with the bat and did ok to reach 200 plus in the end. Northants were always looking favourites after an opening partnership of 80 took a large chunk out of the chase. Despite losing a few middle order wickets along the way, a calm 31* from skipper Alex Wakely got them over the line with 9 overs still to bowl.

Video highlights

The Irrelevant

August 18
Surrey 291 for 8 (Burns 95, Fuller 3-26) beat Gloucestershire 279 (Howell 60, T Curran 4-65) by 12 runs 

This game proved to be a complete dead rubber once Yorkshire's fixture against Northants was rained off in mid-afternoon. Good job too, as Glos again failed to chase down a Surrey target anchored by
Rory Burns' List A-best of 95. James Fuller returned 3-26 and Benny Howell continued his all round form with 2-54 from 9 tidy overs.

Glos struggled with a challenging chase, although the Frenchman again batted solidly for a team-high 60 and put on 90 in 15.4 overs with Fuller, who scored his one day high of 45. Chris Dent managed an attractive 49 before getting out as his first List A 50 of the year seemed on the cards.

It ended up mattering little as the weather allowed Glos the luxury of a home quarter against Hampshire on August 26th.

Video highlights

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Ode to the Gidman brothers

How much of a step up in class is there from Division 1 to Division 2?

Why not ask the Gidman brothers. The two principal mainstays of Gloucestershire's team for the past several years, both headed off to try their hand in Division 1 this year. This is how they have been getting on.

Will Gidman

County Championship

7 Matches
213 runs at an average of 19 with 1 fifty.
4 wickets at an average of 89.

No appearances in either the one day cup or the t20.

In 2014 Will scored 850 runs, including 3 hundreds at an average of 53. He took 40 wickets at an average of 24.

Alex Gidman

County Championship

11 Matches
374 runs at an average of 23 with 2 fifties.

1 appearance in the one day cup. 1 appearance in the t20.

In 2014 Alex scored 1,200 runs, including 4 hundreds, at 45. In 2013 he scored 1,100 runs at 51.


Re-appearing at Nevil Road next year???

When did Dent and Tavare score these runs?

With nothing better to do on a Wednesday evening, the Jessop Tavern put the kettle on and settled down for good statistical analysis.

With 4 championship games of the season left it is quite possible that 3 of Gloucestershire's young batsmen could reach 1,000 runs for the season. Dent, Roderick and Tavare all have over 700 runs, which might not be setting the world on fire, but represents something in their young careers. Both Dent and Tavare have reached 1,000 runs before. Admittedly only once, but in the case of Tavare he has only played one full season, and in the case of Dent…..well, frankly he has the talent to be cruising to 1,000 runs every season and just never has. Roderick has never reached 4 figures in a year.

Tavare is 25, Dent, 24 and Roderick, 23. Could these three form the bedrock of a the Shire's batting for many years to come? And more importantly, when the hell did Dent and Tavare score these runs this year!

Cruise control and radical thinking in the Royal London cup

Three County Championship victories on the bounce. Five consecutive one day cup victories on the skid. It was ever thus down at Nevil Road. Take away Craig Miles' comic long hop to Azhar Mahmood in the T20 and Gloucestershire could really have been laughing this last month. As it is, third in the county championship and a home quarter final in the the one day competition will have to do.

With Maxi Klinger leading the way with two hundreds, Glos powered their way into the quarter finals of the Royal London carnival of poorly scheduled one day cricket. Enjoying some hard earned good fortune, including a truly bizarre last ball win against Derbyshire, the Shire have looked a very competitive outfit in the 50 over format of the game. And this despite managing to carry Kieran 'Gournet Burger' to the tune of 76 runs and one wicket spread across all 8 one day games.

Its good to see a Gloucestershire one day team operating as a unit once again. Whilst Klinger has been the obvious standout there have been vital runs also coming from Gareth Roderick, Benny, Will Tavare and Jack Taylor. Hell, even Geraint Jones has contributed, which means things have been going our way. None of these guys have dominated, but all have made vital contributions at vital times. Similarly the scatter gun group of seamers have all chipped in. All of Fuller, Payne, Miles and Howell have at least 10 wickets apiece.

Such was the Shire's comfort at qualifying for the quarter finals that forward thinking coach Richard Dawson even had time to display his acute cricketing brain by pioneering a completely unseen team selection in Gloucester's final two group matches. Convention would normally state that sides need a level of balance between bat and ball, but Glos threw this to the wind when revolutionising the game with a bold selection of only two batsmen supplement by two wicketkeepers, five bowlers and two other random players that no-one was sure why they were in the team. One wonders what the team talk in both Northants and Surrey's dressing rooms went like. "Get one and we're into the tail", was probably heard emanating from the dressing room at some point, although only once the laughter had died down.

Admittedly, this team selection was forced upon Glos by injuries. But its not a great sign if two batsmen go down and you have no one else to call on. The academy has been pretty productive at producing bowlers, but it would be interesting to know if any young batsmen are floating about. The Jessop Tavern was scratching around trying to find Kadeer Ali's number at one point.

Can Gloucestershire progress any further? Well, the Jessop Tavern's glass has never known to be half full, but if both Klinger and O'Mish can recover from injuries then they will fancy their chances.

Tickets for Lords anyone!?

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Glos triumph despite lack of obvious batsmen

Gloucestershire 416 (Marshall 70, Meschede 4-89) and 108 for 3 (Dent 65*) beat Glamorgan 299 (Salter 73, Payne 4-73) and 224 (Ingram 45, Payne 4-50) by seven wickets

The 'shire interrupted their 50 over winning run for a trip down to Swansea to face 3rd placed Glamorgan at their festival ground. This was a tricky fixture, especially as injuries left the boys without much in the way of batting firepower. Ian Cockbain and Klinger both missed out through knocks and O'Mish only played after being summoned from Bristol after Craig Miles pulled up injured on the eve of the match.

This proved a handy move however, as the Irishman struck a useful 70 in Glos' first innings in partnership with all round genius and newly-promoted number 4 batsman Benny Howell (67). Their partnership was the stand out of the entire match and again the only one above 100 on either side. Which doesn't paint Division 2 batting in a favourable light, but there you are.

Glos were in the field after losing the toss and quickly struck early blows through Payne and Norwell, before Jacques Rudolph settled in for a patient 68. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals, before an excellent couple of partnerships involving Adam Salter saw Glamorgan rebuild from 186-8. Luckily enough he failed to add to his 73 on the second morning and we polished them off for a below par 299, with Payne impressing with 4-79. A six man bowling attack with Gourmet-Burger at first change and Benny Howell fourth seamer held up well, with both spinners returning economical figures, too.

Dent (11) fell typically early in our response, as did Roderick for 19 although acting skipper Will Tavare did better, posting 47 before falling to off spinner Salter. Then came the Marshall-Howell partnership and the lower order also delivered invaluable runs- taking us to 416 all out from 262-6.

Day 3 saw another excellent team bowling effort, with Glamorgan again failing to build meaningful partnerships on the way to 224 all out. Payne added 4 more to his tally for 8 wickets in the match and even Noema-Barnett chipped in with 3 of his own. Norwell took out the dangerous Chris Cooke, breaking a handy partnership with Ingram and had the last wicket not added 59 then the game could have finished inside 3 days.

As it was, Glos finished things off with ease on the final day, despite a worrying rain delay which saw 15 overs lost before lunch. Chris Dent recovered a semblance of 4 day form with 65 not out and we cruised to victory inside 40 overs, for an impressive third win on the trot and 23 points.

The win has lifted the 'Shire to 4th in the table (albeit level on points with Northants) and was especially impressive given the limited batting resources available. Well done lads, now back to the 50 over stuff before we face Surrey at Nevil Road on the 21st August.

Video highlights of a cracking win below

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Monday, 10 August 2015

Championship review: Glos on the rise after consecutive wins

Regular readers will know that much like our beloved 'Shire, the Jessop Tavern View typically begins to slow down and lose interest in the season around this time of year. Results have begun to slide, key players are injured or out of form and our early season enthusiasm seems misplaced. What to make of the current situation then, with the boys already qualified for a 50 over quarter final and three wins on the bounce in the Championship leaving us handily place for a promotion push?

The Glamorgan game was so remarkable that it gets its own post, but first here's a brief summary of the festival games at Cheltenham last month. First up were Northants, who were dismantled inside two days, after a brutal career-best knock from Jack Taylor.

Gloucestershire 372 (Taylor 156*, Stone 4-91, Kleinveldt 4-129) and 38 for 1 beat Northamptonshire 246 (Wakely 104, Norwell 6-41) and 160 (Levi 64, Miles 5-28) by 9 wickets

This game was crazy: 4 innings inside 2 days and an easy Glos victory completed from the unpromising position of 108-6 on first innings. On Day 1 Liam Norwell took an excellent 6-41 as we bowled Northants out for 246. Glos then reached 82-4 by the close, before losing two cheap wickets to leave us well behind. Then Taylor game in and turned the game on its head, with stands of 113 with Howell and 104 with Miles on the way to a career-best 156* from just 125 balls. The last 4 wickets put on 264, a magnificent effort in the circumstances.

Then Miles got to work with the ball as well, ripping through the fragile top order alongside Fuller, to leave them 18-4. The whole seam attack contributed as Northants were skittled for 160, with Miles starring with 5-28 and only Levi (67) and Kleinvedlt (37) topping 20.

This left us 35 to win before the close of the second day and we knocked them off for the loss of just Dent. 23 points and our third Championship win of the season in remarkable circumstances.

Video highlights of the carnage below:

Day 1

Day 2

Gloucestershire 218 (Roderick 61, McKay 5-59) and 321 (Howell 102, Noema-Barnett 61, Klinger 60, Shreck 5-82) beat Leicestershire 215 (Cosgrove 74, Fuller 4-35) and 169 (Miles 3-27) by 155 runs

The Cheltenham festival concluded with another convincing  20 point win over bottom feeders Leicestershire. This was a more normal match, albeit one marked by a decisive 3rd innings partnership between hitherto run-shy pair Benny the Frenchman and Kieran Gourmet-Burger.

The pair put on a crucial 139 for the 5th wicket, comfortably the highest of the match, as Glos recovered from a disappointing first innings batting performance to post 321 on second innings and set the visitors 325 to win. Howell struck his maiden first class century (and first 4 day score over 50 this season) and the Kiwi hit 61, also his first 50 for the 'Shire before falling to Charlie Shreck. Michael Klinger continued his profitable run of form with 60 as injured skipper Cockbain 'runs' were barely missed.

The target was always likely to be too many for a poor Leicestershire side and so it proved once Miles dispatched Angus Robson and Ned Eckersley from consecutive deliveries and with just 20 on the board. The rest of the way was a team effort, with Fuller's 4-35 the pick and even the mighty Kiwi accounting for Matt Boyce. The win was completed just before tea on the final day, when Norwell got into the act by having Clint McKay caught behind to send Leics to their 8th loss of the season.

Video highlights below:
Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Final T20 group stage roundup: So many matches, so little interest

We'll keep it brief, with the exception of the Surrey match below, as Glos didn't ultimately qualify after a bad spell in the middle games cost us valuable ground on the leaders.

However, both halves of the The Jessop Tavern View were present at the Oval for one of our rare live county watching outings back on July 1st, and that game gets its own post.

July 3rd
Gloucestershire 178 for 2 (Marshall 93, Klinger 58) beat Somerset 174 for 6 (Ronchi 49) by eight wickets

A fine 93 from O'Mish saw the 'shire to a comfortable win in the cider derby. The only disappointment was that the Irishman failed to complete his ton. Klinger update: 58 more = 578 from 9 innings.

Video highlights below

July 12th
Kent 170 for 7 (Blake 59*, Northeast 49, Miles 3-27) beat Gloucestershire 166 for 7 (Klinger 75, Claydon 3-27) by three wickets

First Cheltenham T20. Alex Blake hits violent 59* as group leaders Kent (rare to hear those words in association with them) qualify after a three wicket win. Glos struggling to make the quarters at this point, Klinger update: 75 more = 653 from 10 innings @ 108.

Video highlights below

July 14th
Gloucestershire 117 for 5 (Jones 40) beat Hampshire 116 (Miles 3-25) by five wickets 

Second Cheltenham T20. GO Jones rolls back the years on his 39th birthday, after announcing his retirement at the end of the season a few days prior. Glos collapse to 44-4 chasing just 116 after Miles 3-fer, but the Welshman steadies the ship with 40 from 30 balls. QF hopes depends on favourable results in final group game v Glamorgan. Klinger update: Horrible failure as bowled for a duck by Jackson 'Dickie' Bird. 653 from 11.

Post-match video with Benny the Frenchman 

July 24th
Gloucestershire 51 for 2 (Dent 28*) beat Glamorgan 45 for 1 by eight wickets
Comedy 5 over thrash after epic rain sees easy 'shire win. Essex qualify for quarters at Glamorgan's expense. Glos bowl incredibly well, despite 17 run opening over. A Fuller maiden (!) and Howell 1 run over restrict them to 45. Dent shows rare T20 promise, finishing with a six in an unbeaten 28 in Glos chase of 46.

Shire fail to qualify as most of other fixtures around country rained off. Debate around whether Friday night T20 works continues to rage online. Klinger update: caught for 1, 654 from 12 innings @81, competition's leading run scorer in group stages.

Video with the great man below:

Monday, 27 July 2015

T20 v Surrey: Glos move from the ridiculous to the sublime and back again

Surrey 155 for 6 (Sangakkara 34, Roy 33,) beat Gloucestershire 154 for 5 (Handscomb 39, Jones 37*, Dunn 2-15) by 4 wickets

Being a Gloucestershire supporter is rarely dull, although it is frequently exasperating. See the forthcoming Northants write up from Cheltenham for more on this theme. Last week however was a T20 week, and we were both able to get to the Oval to see the game with some friends.

In scorching 36 degree weather described as 'the hottest day in London for a decade', we saw a curate's egg of of match. The pitch was slow, sticky and took turn in abundance, which belied the Oval's batsmen-friendly reputation. Glos lost star man Klinger early to Matt Dunn, then struggled to get going throughout the 20 overs, despite some steady partnerships and the loss of just 5 wickets.

A couple of typical 'shire moments occurred when both Ian Cockbain and  O' Mish perished the ball after striking sixes. Cockbain's was the more brainless shot, as he dragged on a slog, having just dispatched Dunn over long on the previous delivery. Marshall was caught behind off a gripping and turning Ansari delivery, an excellent response to having been pulled over deep midwicket.

The only real partnership of note came when Peter Handscomb put on 62 with Geraint Jones. Both men struggled to get the ball away to the boundary, but they ran hard and helped set a reasonable target above 150.

Things didn't start well for the boys though, as Jason Roy and Tom Curran opened up with a brisk 35 partnership which saw Roy strike several attractive boundaries through his favourite off side, plus a big six. However, once Roy departed stumped (off surprise T20 wicket-taking threat Tom Smith) for 35, wickets fell at regular intervals and Surrey also found boundaries hard to come by.

Sangakkara stuck around to anchor the innings and a good partnership of 53 with Ben Foakes was the second highest of the match. However, both Glos spinners bowled with excellent control and the run rate climbed to 10 an over from the last 4, despite some unnecessary extras from both Gourmet-Burger and Benny Howell in the middle overs. When Smith dismissed Sangakkara for 34, Surrey were in a bit of trouble and Surrey began the last over still needing 9 to win.

Craig Miles began with a wide, then dismissed Zafar Ansari via an excellent Liam Norwell catch at fine leg. The next three deliveries were all tight and things were looking good as Azhar failed to connect with the penultimate ball, leaving an improbable six needed from the final ball. The consensus among us sat in the crowd was that a yorker or wider full length ball was the way to go, especially with Azhar having missed an almighty swish at the penultimate (short) delivery from Miles. After much discussion with Klinger and the brains trust, the youngster ran in and bowled another short one. Sadly the wily 40 year old (twice Miles' age!) was ready and waiting. He swung the ball away over the leg side, over the head of Benny Howell and over the boundary for a improbable match-winning six, sending the home crowd wild. And us home with our heads in our hands.

Video highlights of the heartbreak below:

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Championship roundup: The slump is on after consecutive abject defeats

Gloucestershire's early season momentum is well and truly gone after two heavy Championship defeats in a week. Both efforts were pretty pathetic, but the innings defeat to Surrey was one of the low points of the season so far. We may be accused of trademark negativity here, but how else do you describe an innings and 180 run defeat inside three days, while failing to top 160 on either occasion. That was our 5th Championship loss of the season and it's hard to see us getting any better with the overall lack of quality in the squad and consequent absence of competition for places.

Essex 319 (ten Doeschate 73, Foster 63) and 117 for 5 (Westley 65*) beat Gloucestershire 116 (Napier 4-27) and 316 (Klinger 103) by five wickets

The Essex game actually started out reasonably well, with an even first day which saw Essex fight back from 169-5 to post 319 after Ryan Ten Doeschate's 73. Watching the video however, you can see the signs of things not going well, as stand-in keeper Geraint Jones shells an easy chance to dismiss Nick Browne off the bowling of Fuller. Gareth Roderick played in this match as a batsman only due to his damaged hand and let's hope it recovers soon. You can see why Jones has basically retired from keeping these days when you look at him shelling simple chances like this.

It all went downhill fairly rapidly from there though, as we were skittled for a meagre 116 on first innings (in 39 overs!) with Graham Napier taking 4-27. Best not to dwell on this other than the fact that this led to the inevitable follow on, with Glos ending the day still 77 behind at 126-3 on second innings. Day 3 saw one bright spot, as Michael Klinger completed his second championship century of the season, before we were bowled out for 316, leaving Essex 117 for victory.

They knocked these off without too many scares, despite losing Cook first ball and sent Glos to our 4th home Championship defeat in as many games. Not good to lose so heavily to a side like Essex who had struggled earlier in the season and who we beat comfortably by 9 wickets down at Chelmsford. That said, it only got worse below.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Surrey 448 (Foakes 118, Elgar 98, Ansari 64, Batty 50, Norwell 5-112) beat Gloucestershire 113 (Curran 7-20) and 155 (Tavare 58, Ansari 6-30) by an innings and 180 runs

We are not going to waste too much time on this, as the performance was fairly shambolic from start to finish. Once Surrey posted over 400 we were already predicting the follow on and it duly followed with yet another sub-150 total. A tenuous bright spot for 'Shire fans came as (son of sadly departed former Glos all-rounder Kevin) Tom Curran took a career-best 7-20 as he ripped through a wafer-thin Glos lineup stuffed with players either out of form or essentially un-droppable, due to lack of alternatives.

Predictably we were asked to follow on and this time it was the slow left arm of Zafar Ansari that did the damage. Despite a battling 58 from Will Tavare, his 6-30 hastened the second innings to a rapid close with Glos still 180 shy of making Surrey bat again. All in all a really bad performance and not one that bodes well for this week's T20 game against the same opponents at the Oval.

Both halves of the Jessop Tavern will actually be at the game, so heatstroke notwithstanding, readers will be able to read a surprisingly accurate recap (by our standards) later in the week.

Video highlights from 3 days of misery for 'Shire fans below.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Monday, 29 June 2015

T20 roundup MKII: Glos campaign stalls after Cidermen win derby and Luke Wright heist

Somerset 166 for 5 (Myburgh 63, Smith 2-23) beat Gloucestershire 165 for 8 (Klinger 44) by five wickets

It says something about Gloucestershire's marketing efforts, that when this half of the Jessop Tavern View called his Dad last Friday, to ask if he was going to use his T20 membership to go and watch the derby game, the response was, 'I forgot it was on'.

This is despite Freddie Wilde's assertion that 'it is hard to walk around Bristol and not see something about the NatWest T20 Blast.' Admittedly my Dad doesn't live all that near Bristol, but as a T20 member yet to attend a match this season, you would think Glos would have been ramming this fixture down his throat via all available mediums.

This was another important fixture for a 'shire side whose early season momentum seems to be grinding to a halt at the moment. It was even on TV, a rare occurrence for a team usually relegated to the outer reaches of the BBC Sport app and Cricinfo.

Anyway, it didn't go all that well, with Glos struggling to 165 for 8 on what was apparently a tricky pitch to bat on. 37-1 from the Powerplay tells a story of a batting side,  Klinger aside, lacking real fire power and the ability to really dominate a bowling attack. Once the big wicket of Klinger (44) was taken, we quickly slumped to 118-6 after Kieran Gourmet-Burger departed in the 16th over.

Some late scrambling from the lower order saw 42 taken from the last 18 deliveries, but 165 was surely under par, even for a Somerset side lacking the big enormous bat of the Caribbean Premier League-bound Chris Gayle. However, the bowlers managed to claw things back after Somerset got away and reached 59-1 after the Powerplay, with Aussie Jim Allenby hitting a rapid 27.

Spinners Tom Smith and Jack Taylor bowled tightly to help increase the run rate from overs 11 through 18, when Johan Myburgh departed for a solid 63. Things then went pear-shaped as Dutch-Aussie Tom Cooper struck two sixes helped get the cidermen over the line. It's always good to have a number of Kolpak and EU signings to be able to fall back on when you're missing the likes of Gayle and the rested Tres.

In a worrying portent of things to come below, James Fuller again proved unreliable when bowling a crucial over at the death, managing to let slip two wides when only 4 runs were needed for victory. Surely experience has proven that he's simply not reliable enough to bowl at the death in limited overs matches?

A disappointing loss and one which left the boys really needing a victory in a tough match versus Sussex the following Friday.

Jack Taylor's thoughts on the match below:

Sussex 188 for 7 (Wright 111*) beat Gloucestershire 185 for 4 (Klinger 61, Marshall 37) by 3 wickets 

Another Friday nightmare for Glos as (another) disastrous James Fuller bowling performance led to a defeat snatched from the stomach of victory. This was a match in which we did almost everything right until the end. We batted strongly to score an excellent 185, then bowled and fielded well to leave Sussex (basically in the form of Luke Wright) needing 43 from the final two overs.

The wheels then came off in spectacular fashion. Fuller was withdrawn from the attack after having bowled two no ball full tosses and having been struck for 3 sixes and a four by Wright. Craig Miles stepped up to bowl the final ball, which was also deposited for six by a fired-up Wright, who progressed to his hundred with the blow. 34 runs from the over and suddenly Sussex needed just 9 to win, a feat they achieved off Jack Taylor's final over with some ease.

Klinger was obviously distressed with the defeat and his comments in Cricinfo's match report seems to reveal some frustration with Fuller's inability to bowl death overs:

"It was a crushing defeat for us in the circumstances, but all the credit must go to Luke Wright for a fantastic innings. James Fuller had a plan for bowling to him in the penultimate over and simply couldn't execute it."

Freddie Wilde again hit the nail on the head in his synopsis, pointing out that Glos' lack of international experience compared to other counties is likely to continue to cost them matches in this competition

"However, they arguably lost this match, and may lose similar matches in the future, because they lack an international quality, standout player, be that with bat or ball, but especially ball. Of their starting XI, only Hamish Marshall and Geraint Jones have played international cricket, and neither have done so for almost a decade. The likes of James Fuller can't be relied upon to close out matches."

This rings true when you look at our side. Klinger could arguably be said to be of international calibre- albeit untested at that level until now. The rest of the side is either old like Jones and Marshall, young like Miles and Taylor or simply mediocre like Fuller, Noema-Barnett, Howell and others.

Not good enough and the defeat leaves us with a lot of work to do to make the quarter finals, beginning with an away game at fellow T20 strugglers Surrey at the Oval on Weds 1st July. Both halves of The Jessop Tavern View will actually be at this game, so we'll be well-placed to report back on what could be another tale of woe come Thursday morning.

Monday, 15 June 2015

T20 roundup: Maxi(mum) Klinger and not much else = top of the league

The Jessop Tavern View is going to argue that this T20 recap has been justifiably delayed by the Shire's trademark inconsistency in the tournament so far. That or laziness. A great start against Middlesex was followed by a narrow loss to Sussex before a comfortable win against Essex made it two wins out of three.

Since then we've played four more games, winning two, leaving the boys handily placed at the top of the south group after 7 games. This hides a slightly concerning over-reliance on Maxy Klinger, whose remarkable run of T20 batting form reached new heights with a 69 not out, followed by back-to-back hundreds on consecutive days. Sadly both of these came in losing causes, against Essex away then Glamorgan at home, but still took him to the ludicrous tally of 403 runs without dismissal in this year's competition. A failure yesterday against Middlesex finally enabled him to achieve a tasty average of 413 in just 5 matches, with three hundreds already.

We note (thanks to the excellent Cricket Archive) that these tons take him into equal third on the all time domestic T20 hundreds list, alongside David Warner on 5 and behind only Brendon McCullum and the great Chris Gayle (a surely unbeatable 15!)

These are outstanding figures and it's a testament to the form shown by a man who also scored a hundred in one of his two championship matches since arriving from Australia. The benefits of an extended off-season after the Australian domestic season are clear for all to see.

Gloucestershire 157 for 1 (Klinger 69*, Cockbain 54*) beat Kent 156 for 6 (Bell-Drummond 31, Howell 3-18) by nine wickets

First up were Kent at run-friendly out ground Beckenham. Kent were restricted to 156 by a parsimonious spell from Benny the Frenchman, including dismissing in-form Sam Northeast for just 14. The result was never really in doubt once Klinger and O'Mish got cracking, putting on 60 for the first wicket, before Hamish was bowled having struck a six the previous delivery. This brought Ian Cockbain to the wicket and an unbeaten partnership of 97 allowed the boys to cruise to an easy victory with Klinger ending 69*.

Video highlights below:

Essex 181 (Pettini 68, Smith 3-26) beat Gloucestershire 163 for 7 (Klinger 104*, Napier 3-30) by 18 runs

The return fixture against Essex didn't go so well. The bowlers restricted a fast-improving Essex side to 181 all out, having been 98 for 1 after 10 overs. Tom Smith took 3-26 and got rid of dangermen Tom Westley and Bopara, while Fuller and Payne chipped in with two wickets each in economical spells. The problems started while batting, as a series of failures left Klinger the last man standing. Aside from Klinger, only James Fuller passed 20 and the fact that their 8th wicket stand of 71 was comfortably the highest of our innings tells the story. Klinger completed his second consecutive T20 hundred against Essex with a six off Shaun Tait, but truth be told we were never close to reaching our target. A disappointing loss, this. 181 was not a huge target at Chelmsford and the batsmen let down a decent bowling effort.

Video high lowlights of the Glos innings below

Glamorgan 191 for 3 (Rudolph 101*, Howell 2-24) beat Gloucestershire 172 for 6 (Klinger 104*) by 19 runs 

Another day, another unbeaten hundred for the skipper, but another bloody defeat for the 'Shire. Not a lot to write about this, other than this time we let Glamorgan score a healthy 191 which was always going to prove a challenging chase in increasingly dark and wet conditions down at Nevil Road. Jacques Rudolph carried his bat for the first T20 hundred of his career and his dominance was shown by the next highest score being Colin Ingram's 28.

Glamorgan then executed an exemplary bowling and fielding effort, with only Klinger able to make batting look easy. We were never really in the contest after slumping to 90 for 4 in the 13th over and changing the batting order to bring in the sloggers early didn't really help matters. That said, Klinger stuck around while continuing to blast the ball to all parts and you can't help but think the chase would have been easier had anyone else been able to keep him company for more than a few overs at a time.

Gloucestershire 214 for 4 (Cockbain 75, Howell 57) beat Middlesex 171 (Simpson 74, Payne 5-24) by 43 runs

So, to yesterday's match at Old Deer Park in Richmond. Luckily Middlesex aren't very good at T20 and have actually not beaten the 'Shire in 8 attempts. This proud record continued, as the rest of the boys finally realised that Klinger can't continue to score almost 60% of the side's runs and upped their game accordingly. Ian Cockbain returned to some T20 nick with a commanding 75, including 6 sixes, and Monsieur Benny managed a T20-best 57. Cymbals even had an enjoyable thrash at the end in making an unbeaten 34, as Glos ran up an excellent total of 214 for 5.

As with so many T20 matches, losing early wickets when chasing a big target quickly signifies 'game over man'. Once Miles dismissed Paul Stirling for 13, it was left to David Payne to clean up with an excellent 5-24. His haul included John Simpson, one of the few Middlesex batsmen to show signs of life with 74, and were the best so far in this season's NatWest Blast.