Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Glos seal a dominant win in casual style

Day 3: Glos 245 and 114 - 1 hammer Essex 159 and 199 by 9 wickets

If the first two games of the season indicated a Gloucestershire team in 2015 who teetered on the brink of being both half decent and half terrible then lets hope that a Liam Norwell-inspired victory tilts the balance in favour of the former, rather than the usual latter.

Glos have been here before in recent years. Many times. Many, many times. They look good. They look bad. A young player emerges and looks good. Then looks bad. A veteran player suddenly remembers the years when they were good. Then they look bad. You get the picture.

When Liam Norwell made his debut in 2011 with an impressive 6 for 46 that indicated a young fast bowler with plenty of wicket taking potential. Injuries have really prevented Norwell from progressing beyond being more than a rotation bowler used in the squad rather than a frontline leader of the attack. Maybe this will all change after he pretty much single-handedly won this match for Glos. Or maybe he will go back to being bad.

His second innings 6 for 33 were career best figures (as were his match figures of 10 for 65) but it was the bursts of wickets that made the difference. 4 wickets in 16 balls in the first innings was followed up with 3 wickets in 11 balls in the second innings, both spells essentially deciding the match as Essex failed to recover from either.

Remarkably, Glos then didn't then make us sweat as they knocked off the runs. The Jessop Tavern View would have had good money on a fifty partnership last stand for Essex coupled by a comedy collapse leading to a nervous run chase. No chance.

After their struggles in the last game against the mighty sabre of Martin Guptill, this performance from the bowlers demonstrated a real show of character to produce a win on a ground that hadn't seen a Gloucestershire win since 1930.

Slightly worryingly however seems to be the role of leading Gloucestershire bowler Craig Miles. Having started the season with 6 for 63 against Northants Miles seems to be struggling to make an impact. Glos seem to have decided he is better used as a second change bowler and so far this season Miles has barely been trusted with the new ball. Exactly why, we have absolutely no idea. The fun part of being a county cricket fan is that whilst you may be able to pick up on this sort of detail you'll be damned if you can find an answer to it.

Still, this aside, Glos now have one win, one loss and one draw on the season. A far from terrible start. We have a young bowling attack finding its feet, and a batting line-up who whilst being century-shy are at least all contributing. A tail that starts at 8 with either Craig Miles or James Fuller is still the real weak link but hey, this is division two. Teams at this level are supposed to have glaring flaws.

Video highlights from Days 2 and 3:

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