Wednesday, 19 August 2015

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!?

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