Saturday, 16 May 2015

Something in the water as Glos wrap up consecutive away wins

Gloucestershire 388 (Dent 116, Marshall 58, Tavare 53, Jarvis 4-121) and 275 for 9 dec (Marshall 92, Handscomb 76, Siddle 4-39) beat Lancashire 364 (Horton 168, Norwell 4-95) and 208 (Petersen 63, Davies 58, Miles 4-58) by 91 runs

Away Championship wins are a rare treat for Gloucestershire fans. Back-to-back away wins are rarer than rocking horse dung and has the Jessop Tavern View pondering where this rich vein of championship form has come from. The easiest conclusion was to look to the impact of assistant coach Ian Harvey. Harv was legendary for his refuelling exploits (who can forget the time when Craig Spearman had to act as his driver after a drink-driving ban) and the Tavern wholeheartedly approves of any oversight he may have had on the team's hydration regime.

This being 2015 of course, we suspect Harv's impact may simply consisted of adding a different sachet to the latest energy drink swilled by the bowlers between overs. Whatever it was, it has worked an absolute treat as the boys romped to a convincing victory over league leaders Lancashire.

The match went about as well as coach Richard Dawson could have hoped. Glos batted first and scored almost 400 on first innings, with Chris Dent again impressing with 116 and O'Mish and Tavarare ably supporting him with 50s. We then managed to bowl out Lancashire's high-powered batting lineup for a slim first innings lead of 24. Liam Norwell again excelled with 4-95, while Craig Miles managed 3-71 while maintaining an excellent economy rate of under 3 an over. This was fine bowling effort in an innings anchored by Paul Horton's 168.

Glos encountered a spot of bother in the second innings, falling to 76-3 with a lead of just 100, before Kiwi Irishman O'Mish and Aussie Brit Handscomb came together for a match-defining partnership of 134 which took the Shire to a handy lead of 230, before a final day collapse left Lancashire 300 to win in a minimum of 70 overs.

A superb start by the bowlers reduced Lancashire to 22-4, but we then had to deal with a couple of minor scares as Petersen and Alex Davies put on 100 for the 5th wickets before falling either side of tea. Lancashire managed some lusty blows off Tom Smith, who took some serious tap in the second innings (8-0-71-0!) to get the target under 100, but when Clark and Buck departed in quick succession it was only a matter of time. The wild scenes of celebration when Miles takes the final wicket in the video below shows how much this win meant to the boys.

A superb result and one which, amazingly, takes the Shire to second in the table after 4 matches heading into the first T20 games at the weekend. A home game against strugglers Kent follows on Monday. If the boys can continue the momentum from two excellent away wins, we could be in the dreamland of chasing promotion come mid-season.

Promotion, you say? Well, a blog named after a former drinking establishment at Nevil Road can hardly be criticised for ideas that could well be seen as having been conceived while under the influence of something a little stronger than one of Harv's energy drinks.

Match highlights below:

Day 4

Day 3

Day 2

Day 1

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