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

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