|Photo from the Gloucestershire official site|
Gloucestershire clearly aren't the most talented team in Division Two. We don't have a great bowling attack and our batting remains flaky at times. However, we're invariably a tight unit in the field, have great spirit in the squad and we routinely battle hard from less than promising situations.
The Kent game began in such a fashion, with a nightmare early start seeing us slip to 14-4 after 17 overs of parsimonious Kent seam bowling. In the past we could easily have subsided to 150 all out from here, but a gritty ton from O'Mish (his second in consecutive matches) rescued the innings and enabled us to recover to 296-9 at the close. The last wicket pair of Payne and Shaw extended this to 337 on the second day, a thoroughly respectable effort in the circumstances.
We also have some really talented younger players who are starting to deliver. Chris Dent has a quiet match after his previous good run of form, but Jack Taylor continued his good form with the bat with two important knocks in this match. After Kent racked up an imposing 478-5 in response to Glos' total, the boys were in a world of trouble on Day 4 as we slumped to 158-8 after Miles was bowled by the wily Darren Stevens. Taylor's response was not to shut up shopm in the hope of seeing us to the close, but to play his shots in trademark fashion. His unbeaten 46 saw us safely past Kent's total to the close. The innings even impressed the watching BBC commentary team who described it thus:
Well-deserved praise for Jack, who despite going for nearly 6 an over from his 16 overs with the ball, also managed a handy fifty in the first innings in partnership with Marshall. While we clearly still lack the ability to bowl decent sides out we are gritty and hard to beat. The bowling attack will surely improve as Miles reaches match fitness and you can imagine a full strength seam attack with Norwell and Payne joining Miles as being capable of causing problems on more favourable surfaces.
Cameron Bancroft's poor form remains a concern however. He's averaging just 16.71 from 7 completed knocks with a high score of 41. The limited amount of footage we've seen on YouTube seems to show a mix of bad luck and poor shot selection. He's obviously new to county cricket and English early season pitches, but plenty of other people are scoring runs around the country and you really need your overseas player to make a difference in Division 2. So far he's not looked up to the job as an opener and the sooner that Klinger arrives the better.
Glamorgan up next at Bristol in the battle of two teams still looking for their first win.
Day 1 highlights
Day 2 highlights
Day 3 highlights
Day 4 highlights