Saturday, 5 September 2015

Weather saves Glos from second Surrey slaughter

Gloucestershire 233 (8 points) drew with Surrey 349 - 6 (11 points)

Gloucestershire remained unbeaten in the Championship since the two wins during the Cheltenham Festival, after a game ruined by the rain. The scorecard doesn't tell the true story though, as the match one in which Surrey would likely have pressed for a victory (and promotion) after dominating proceedings on Day 2 of the match before the weather intervened.

Gloucestershire batted first after being put in by Gareth Batty and it didn't go well as the talented Curran brothers reduced us to 63-4 inside the first hour, with Tavare, Dent, O'Mish and Howell all departing cheaply. The 'shire were indebted to Gareth Roderick's 71 for getting us on the way to an even passable first innings total, as he punished some wayward bowling, striking 12 fours on his way to a 100 ball 71. However, having seen a patient Roderick and Gourmet-Burger partnership take us 103-4 at the interval, wickets continued to fall after lunch.

First to go was the Kiwi, for yet another low score (his highest championship knock of the season is just 61) and Jack Taylor and Roderick soon followed. This brought together James Fuller and Tom Smith and the Kiwi decided he wasn't going to die wondering- he struck several crisp boundaries in a 40 ball 48, before he was bowled by Tom Curran who completed a 5-fer. Smith then put on a second fifty partnership with David Payne, taking us to 203-8 at tea and beyond, before Payne was caught off Curran on his way to 6-61. Norwell was soon bowled by Batty and we were all out for a below-par 233. Surrey reached 74-2 at the close, with Norwell strangling Arun Harinath down the leg side and Rory Burns caught by Fuller off Benny the Frenchman.

Day 2 was very much a batting day, with one of Surrey's many wicket keepers, Ben Foakes to the fore. The wasn't an awful lot to write home about from a 'shire perspective, as good batting conditions saw Foakes reach a career-best 140*, ably supported by 17 year old Sam Curran who hit 49 and Jason Roy who chipped in with 39. Glos used seven bowlers in the day and it said a lot that economical medium pace trundler Gourmet-Burger was the pick of the attack with two wickets.

All this put Surrey in a very strong position at the close, with power to add to a handy on Day 3 and a high-quality bowling attack raring to have a crack at our flaky batting lineup. Thankfully this became academic when it subsequently poured down with rain for the next two days, meaning no further play was possible after Day 2. The result was we escaped with a handy draw, not bad considering the stuffing we received from Surrey at the Oval back in late June.

Video highlights below:
Day 1

Day 2

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