Gloucestershire v Derbyshire
Royal London One-Day Cup -
Gloucestershire beat Derbyshire by 6 wickets
Venue: Bristol County Ground
Gloucestershire’s first home game in the group stages of the Royal London Cup saw them beat Derbyshire by 6 wickets at the Bristol County Ground.
Those bare facts hide an extraordinary finish where Benny Howell struck the last ball of the match for four after umpire Alex Wharf called a no ball because Derbyshire had infringed the fielding regulations with the field they had set for it.
Six runs had been required with Jack Taylor on strike. His heave into the leg side was caught by Derbyshire captain Wes Durston but with the delivery being called a no ball, the single they completed – plus the two runs for the illegal delivery – left Gloucestershire three runs short with an extra ball to come. Howell, whose new contract had been announced earlier in the day, gave himself room and clubbed Chesney Hughes straight down the ground for the winning runs that sparked jubilant scenes among the Gloucestershire players.
Listen to Jack Taylor’s thoughts on the win here :
The victory had looked unlikely after a second rain break meant that Gloucestershire’s run chase was cut to 204 in 35 overs, 31 of which had already been bowled. Skipper Michael Klinger confirmed afterwards that although 45 minutes still remained until the cut off time at the end of the innings when play resumed at 5.30, Derbyshire’s over rate meant that they would be penalised if they were asked to bowl more than four overs. It left Gloucestershire to make 68 off those 24 balls, which thanks to Howell and Jack Taylor they did.
The first of the four overs bowled by Ben Cotton cost 15, Howell’s cleanly hit six off the last ball making a real difference. Gareth Roderick’s run out, going for a second run after he had made 54 came from the first ball of the second over, bowled by leg spinner Matt Critchley. Jack Taylor, promoted to number six, then cleared the rope three times as he took 22 runs from the remaining five deliveries. 30 were still required with only two overs left.
Left armer Mark Footitt’s penultimate over contained only one boundary, and the ten runs collected still left Derbyshire as favourites, although with all their front line bowlers having bowled out it was down to the occasional left arm spin of Chesney Hughes.
Taylor took two runs off each of the first three balls and then swung another six towards the Mound stand. Scampering another two off the penultimate ball, it looked like Taylor, who by that stage had scored 40 off 13 balls, would have to hit the last ball for six to win the match until the most unlikely of twists.
Earlier in the day a stand of 182 between Hamish Rutherford (110) and Wayne Madsen (106*) saw Derbyshire convert a modest score at half distance to a daunting 274-5 after 48 overs. The innings was also interrupted for 30 minutes by rain, but in the final six overs Derbyshire rattled up 76 runs to set Gloucestershire a revised D/L target of 284.
After David Payne removed Billy Godleman with his first ball, and Tom Smith took a steepling catch off Craig Miles to account for Wes Durston, Derbyshire prospered as both Madsen and Rutherford were dropped on their way to centuries.
Kieran Noema-Barnett was the unlucky bowler on both occasions. Madsen had made only seven when Benny Howell failed to hold a low chance at mid on – he was to atone later with the bat – and David Payne juggled with and then spilled a cut by Rutherford to short third man when on 46. One wonders what Derbyshire’s total might have been if either chance had been held.
As it was, Gloucestershire toiled without a breakthrough for nearly 30 overs, Rutherford driving Tom Smith into the pavilion to bring up the 100 partnership and with ten overs remaining Derbyshire, with both men well set, had reached 182-2.
Chesney Hughes (6) and Poynton (8) perished cheaply in the final push, but Rutherford completed his century from 127 balls before he clipped Fuller to Klinger at cover for 110, and Madsen raced from 50-100 in only 24 deliveries, collecting seven fours and a six in the process. Miles, Payne and Fuller could do little to halt what became a torrent of runs as Madsen finished 106 not out.
Needing to score at six an over to win, Chris Dent and Michael set out knowing Gloucestershire’s reply couldn’t get caught in the blocks. Dent in particular batted as if it was a T20 match, striking six fours and a straight six before being clean bowled by Ben Cotton for 31. In the same over, the eighth, Klinger played on for 11 leaving Gareth Roderick and Geraint Jones to pick up the baton from 44-2.
They added 59 in 16 overs before Roderick called Jones for a sharp single and saw him run out by Alex Hughes for 27. In poor light Roderick and Howell were then falling behind the run rate when the first of the rain interruptions forced the players off, and Gloucestershire appeared no better placed when the second shower brought a longer delay. The fireworks, however, were still to come.
Gloucestershire won the toss and elected to bowl.
Michael Klinger | Christopher Dent | Gareth Roderick | Benny Howell | Geraint Jones | Kieran Noema-Barnett | Jack Taylor | James Fuller | Tom Smith | Craig Miles | David Payne |
Billy Godleman | Wes Durston | Wayne Madsen | Shivsinh Thakor | Hamish Rutherford | Chesney Hughes | Alex Hughes | Thomas Poynton | Matthew Critchley | Benjamin Cotton | Mark Footitt |