Skipper Hamish delighted with win over Steelbacks
Gloucestershire Gladiators captain Hamish Marshall was full of praise for his side's efforts in the field after the county kick-started their Friends Life t20 campaign with an eight-run victory over Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Bristol.
Defending a modest 139-9, the Gladiators took a grip on the game by reducing the visitors to 18-4 inside four overs. Kyle Coetzer (44) threatened to win it for the visitors, but they eventually ended on 131-8, which will send the Gladiators into Saturday's game against the Welsh Dragons in Cardiff in good heart.
Marshall told this website: "The first six overs can be a tough patch if the opposition get quick runs. so early wickets can put a halt to that and I thought our bowlers up top did a fantastic job. We also hunted well in the field and did a good job.
"We put them under pressure throughout the innings. We bowled pretty straight and pretty heavy early on, knowing that our total wasn't massive but on that wicket it gave us a chance.
"By getting the early wickets we stopped them getting that run rate going early. We squeezed them a bit and then they had to bat well, which they did through Coetzer and Middlebrook. They got them into a position where they could have won, but our bowlers, credit to them, took wickets and kept the pressure on."
No-one did that better than Ian Saxelby (4-16) and Muttiah Muralitharan (1-16), who both bowled excellent four-over spells.
Looking ahead to Saturday's game with the Welsh Dragons, Marshall added: "Often after a good win, you take confidence with you and we've got to make sure we stay on our game."
Kane Williamson, who made a fluent 39 tonight, wil be playing his last game for the county tomorrow before he joins his New Zealand team-mates for their tour of the Caribbean.
For a full report on tonight's game, see the match reports section.