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

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