Gloucestershire v Essex
Specsavers County Championship -
13 July 2016
Gloucestershire beat Essex by 61 runs
Venue: Cheltenham College
Gloucestershire’s quick bowlers propelled the side firmly into the Division 2 promotion picture with a 61 run victory over table toppers Essex at the Brewin Dolphin Cheltenham Festival.
Essex began the day on 16-1 in pursuit of 213 to win but they were dismissed 35 minutes after lunch for 151. Craig Miles, Liam Norwell and David Payne shared the wickets, Miles completing a hat trick across two innings when he bowled Ravi Bopara with his first ball.
The win leaves Gloucestershire 11 points behind Essex in the table with a game in hand.
Listen to the thoughts of skipper Gareth Roderick here :
Craig Miles also spoke to the official club website after the match :
Nearly 900 runs had been scored across the first three days of this match, but repeatedly in close of play interviews the bowlers had said the pitch offered encouragement if they bowled the right length.
Gloucestershire knew there was little margin for error with a modest total to defend, and it’s to the credit of Norwell, Miles and Payne that together they collectively produced probably their best day’s cricket of the summer.
They would have hoped to remove night watchman Porter early on, and when he edged Norwell’s first delivery of the day, Roderick spilled the chance only to collect it between his knees. Little then happened for the home crowd to cheer for half an hour, Westley and Browne collecting half a dozen boundaries in between some tentative pushing and prodding outside off stump, but the spectators knew it might only take one wicket to shift the momentum.
Norwell it was who opened the door, Westley edging to Dent at second slip, only for the ball to slip though his hands and be taken by Noema-Barnett. Five balls later Payne, who had shared the opening attack, trapped Browne lbw and Essex had two new batsmen in against a ball which was starting to swing.
At 52-4, Lawrence and Bopara tried a different approach with a greater emphasis on defence, but Miles produced the moment of the morning when his first delivery sent Bopara’s off stump cartwheeling towards the chapel. Having taken two wickets with his final two deliveries in the Essex first innings, it completed the first hat trick of his career.
Still Essex appeared a threat as ten Doeschate joined Lawrence, especially as there was no issue over time. The lull,however, didn’t last long once Roderick plugged the leg side field and encouraged Lawrence to drive through a big gap between point and mid off. He managed it once, but then mistimed his attempt to repeat the shot and gave Klinger a comfortable catch.
It seemed unlikely Essex would go into their shells at this stage, so either way the match was storming headlong towards its conclusion, and two further wickets fell before lunch. Ten Doeschate took three boundaries off an over from Miles before edging to Roderick, and then Foster – having pulled Norwell for six – also fell to a catch at the wicket.
The morning session had seen Essex score 107 runs but critically seven wickets had gone and Gloucestershire were on the verge of a memorable Cheltenham win.
Payne was recalled to the attack after lunch and removed Napier with the aid of Roderick’s fourth catch, which left Quinn and Zaidi between Gloucestershire and 21 Championship points. The tall Kiwi hung around for a while but Zaidi knew it was a lost cause, and it was appropriate that Norwell – having begun the day with a wicket – finished it by re-arranging Zaidi’s stumps via an inside edge.
None of the Essex batsmen had reached 30 in their second innings, and they had lost for only the second time in the Championship this season. It was Gloucestershire’s third win, and one which should give real belief that a tilt at the one promotion place is still very much on.
Seasoned watchers at Cheltenham Festivals down the years know the cricket is rarely dull. Something is always happening, and Friday’s play against Division 2 leaders Essex at the College Ground was the epitome of a Cheltenham day.
At first Gloucestershire appeared to heading for a position of power, as Gareth Roderick shared a century opening stand with Chris Dent and went on to complete his first hundred of the season, but his dismissal shortly before tea for 102 started a sequence where Essex took the last eight Gloucestershire wickets for 62 runs.
Despite Dent’s 72 and an unbeaten 53 from Michael Klinger, Gloucestershire’s second innings ended with their total at 290, leaving Essex to score 213 to win. At stumps, having faced seven overs, they had reached 16-1.
Listen to Gareth Roderick’s close of play thoughts here :
Under overcast skies and and with a cool breeze evident Roderick and Dent’s batting was almost a mirror image of Wednesday’s morning session with the Gloucestershire openers playing firmly on the front foot (sic).
Their running between the wickets made up for the small number of boundaries as they sought to wipe out Essex’s first innings lead, Roderick in particular being quickly into his stride, while Dent was more patient and had made only 11 despite taking the majority of the strike when drizzle temporarily forced the players off. His boundary off Quinn’s first ball following the resumption not only brought up the fifty partnership but indicated he can become happier with his timing than earlier in the day.
Quinn looked much less dangerous than during his devastating spell in the first innings, and Roderick’s sixth boundary both completed a 43 ball half century and put Gloucestershire ahead overall.
When a second bout of drizzle forced an early lunch Roderick and Dent had put on 88 without a great deal of concern in fewer than 20 overs play, and the first part of the afternoon continued in the same vein although now it was Dent who dominated the scoring.
The left hander brought up the 100 partnership in an over from Porter where he collected two stylish boundaries, and his fifty was duly completed from 91 deliveries. Two more well timed drives off Quinn suggested a big score until, having made 72 and with the opening stand at 148, he dragged a ball from Bopara into his stumps.
A brief cameo from Graeme van Buuren (25) maintained the momentum until the South African edged Quinn to Foster and didn’t wait for the umpire’s decision, whereupon it was no surprise that the scoring slowed briefly as Klinger bedded in and Roderick neared his first Championship hundred since 2014.
Finally it was a single off Porter which brought a congratulatory hug from Klinger for his captain, who had hit 11 boundaries and faced 134 balls, and an excellent afternoon session was only spoiled when Roderick was lbw to Bopara just before tea for 102. The lead still looked healthy at 153 with seven wickets in hand, only for the plot to take a different twist as Cheltenham’s reputation for eventful cricket again came to the fore.
Quinn, as he had in the first innings, bowled a long spell from the Chapel End and soon had Marshall lbw without scoring. Four balls later Jack Taylor cut Napier to Lawrence at point, and Noema-Barnett had made only 10 when he edged Quinn to Browne at first slip.
It was Quinn’s his 10th wicket in the match, but he hadn’t finished as after being pulled into the Members stand at mid wicket for six by Miles, another short ball was guided straight to Ryan ten Doeschate at leg gully..
It left the lower order to support Michael Klinger, and while Payne, Norwell and Shaw stayed long enough for Klinger to complete a patient half century, all three were caught behind off Graham Napier as Essex found themselves batting earlier than they could have anticipated barely two hours before, having dismissed Gloucestershire in their second innings for 290.
Seven overs remained and Gloucestershire will have gained some encouragement from David Payne’s dismissal of Jaik Mickelburgh for a single via a inside edge.
At 16-1, Essex need 197 to win on the final day. Gloucestershire need nine wickets. They would have liked another 100 runs to play with, but they aren’t available. It’s a question of making the those they have sufficient, and if Roderick’s body language at the close said anything, they won’t lack the desire to make it happen.
Four wickets for Josh Shaw were not enough to secure Gloucestershire a first innings advantage against Essex at the Brewin Dolphin Cheltenham Festival, as a polished century by Daniel Lawrence helped to give the team at the top of Division 2 a lead of 78 runs at the close of the second day.
Lawrence, who was 19 on Tuesday, batted for just over four hours in making 127, and was given valuable support by his captain Ryan ten Doeschate (52) after three wickets in Shaw’s first spell had reduced Essex to 80-4.
By stumps, they had recovered to 333 all out, with the last two wickets falling to Craig Miles after the second new ball was taken shortly before the close.
Listen to Josh Shaw (4-72) at the close of play here ::
Gloucestershire began the day on 218-8, and with Miles and Norwell aware that they had 12 overs batting before the second new ball was due they looked to play positively from the outset, Miles soon adding the five runs he needed to complete his second half century in the Championship this summer.
Norwell hoisted the first six of the match off left arm spinner Zaidi to bring up Gloucestershire’s second batting point before Miles was bowled by Porter for 58, an innings which included eight boundaries.
When Norwell edged the same bowler to Browne at first slip for a useful 31, Gloucestershire were all out for 255, with all ten wickets falling to bowlers from the Chapel End.
An hour and a quarter remained until lunch, a phase of play where the Gloucestershire seamers, aided by some smart catching, put Essex firmly on the back foot.
Norwell and Payne shared the new ball and it was the latter – from the College Lawn End – who provided the initial breakthrough, Dent taking the first of two low chances at second slip to remove Nick Browne for 14.
Opening partner Mickelburgh had taken 22 balls to get off the mark but at the other end Westley was soon into his stride, twice straight driving Payne to the boundary before square cutting with equal efficiency.
It was to be Josh Shaw’s burst either side of lunch that raised Gloucestershire’s hopes of a first innings lead. Westley was adjudged lbw for 24 from the last ball of his first over, and from the first ball of the next Dent again showed secure hands as Bopara edged into the slips. Lawrence survived the hat trick delivery, and went on to prove difficult to dislodge.
The teenager who learned his cricket at Chingford CC had opened the batting for England at under 19 level, and his patience was soon evident in his shot selection as Essex were watchful in the early overs after lunch until the persistent Shaw reduced the visitors to 80-4, opener Mickelburgh (34) clipping a ball straight to a tumbling Jack Taylor at mid wicket.
Head coach Richard Dawson had made the point pre-match that Essex’s batting order was deep, and his analysis was to be borne out as skipper ten Doeschate joined Lawrence in the day’s most significant stand.
It was an absorbing spell, with the tall right handed Lawrence playing with confidence all round the wicket, and his captain scoring steadily off the back foot in a manner reminiscent of former Gloucestershire favourite Chris Taylor.
Both completed their half centuries before tea, Lawrence with eight boundaries and ten Doeschate seven, the last of which also brought up the hundred partnership, so it was Gloucestershire who were relieved when Shaw’s second burst brought a welcome breakthrough before the interval, ten Doeschate being adjudged lbw for 52. It left Essex to take tea at 192-5, 63 behind but with Lawrence 57 not out.
Unflustered by the break – or the loss of Ashar Zaidi to a nonchalant catch by Noema-Barnett off Norwell for 21 – Lawrence and wicket keeper James Foster erased the remaining deficit to nudge Essex ahead with four wickets in hand.
They added 50 in nine overs, Lawrence completing a chanceless hundred off 162 balls with fourteen fours. That was the cue for both to accelerate, Lawrence finally perishing on 127 by giving Miles a simple catch at square leg off the nagging Noema-Barnett.
Napier fell to the same bowler for a duck – Graeme van Burren with a fine catch – and with only Porter and Quinn to come, Foster chanced his arm too, taking 16 off Miles’ first over with the second new ball before Marshall perfectly judged a running catch at point to remove the Essex ‘keeper for 47.
Quinn’s dismissal in the penultimate over of the day – again to Miles – meant Gloucestershire had secured maximum bowling points is bowling Essex out for 333. Their first innings deficit is 78, and getting into the black on Friday morning will be their first target.
The 2016 Cheltenham Festival started with a day which resembled a sandwich. In two of the sessions batting appeared relatively straight forward, but in between Essex’s New Zealand swing bowler Matt Quinn producing a career best display taking 6-22 in 49 balls after Gloucestershire’s top order had negotiated the morning’s play with minimal damage.
Chris Dent (37) was the only man out before rain forced an early lunch at 98-1 and a delayed start to the afternoon’s action, but Quinn then proceeded to swing the ball and cause constant trouble from the Chapel End as single handed he gave the scorecard a very different look between lunch and tea as Gloucestershire went from 98-1 to 164-7 in the session.
Under brighter skies Craig Miles and David Payne then demonstrated why both had made useful runs in the season, adding 64 for the 8th wicket. At stumps Gloucestershire had reached 218 for 8, with Miles 45 not out.
Listen to the close of play thoughts of Gareth Roderick here…
Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate exercised his right to ask Gloucestershire to bat, with Josh Shaw’s inclusion in place of Benny Howell the only change to the side which drew the last Championship match at Leicester.
There was no hint of what was to follow early on, as Dent and Gareth Roderick profited from some bowling of variable length from both Quinn and new ball partner Jamie Porter.
Porter in particular was guilty of over pitching in the first of two spells, with Dent clipping him off his legs through mid wicket and Roderick playing the first of series of excellent straight drives which were a feature of the morning’s play.
Quinn extracted some bounce but it took a while for the New Zealander, along with Graham Napier, to establish some measure of control and there was little sign of a breakthrough in the first hour until Dent thick edged a drive past Zaidi to bring up the fifty partnership with his captain.
The slow outfield after both overnight and morning rain didn’t stifle the scoring appreciably although Porter did benefit from a change of ends, with greater economy and consistency bringing reward with the wicket of Dent, who had breezed his way to 37 before edging low to Westley in the slips.
The left hander had put on 77 with Roderick for the first wicket, and the Gloucestershire captain added a further 21 with Graeme van Buuren before rain forced the players off ten minutes before the scheduled lunch interval.
An hour was lost in mopping up and the day was reduced to a maximum of 79 overs play when the players returned, and it was Quinn who immediately made an impact.
Bowling from the Chapel End he produced swing which neither his team mates or the Gloucestershire batsmen could match, trapping Graeme van Buuren lbw with his first ball for 12, and then beating Gareth Roderick’s defensive push without finding the edge. It was a pointer to the next hour’s play.
Klinger (5) was bowled by one that came back from outside off stump, and Westley dropped Hamish Marshall before skipper Roderick – who had completed his half century off 83 balls with seven fours – was trapped lbw for 61 by the tall Kiwi who joined Essex at the start of the season.
Westley atoned for his earlier error by taking a second chance offered by Marshall off Quinn, and Noema-Barnett dragged a thick inside edge onto his stumps. When Jack Taylor played around a full length ball Quinn had taken six wickets in a sustained spell which had made a nonsense of the relative comfort with which Roderick and Dent had started the day.
Craig Miles and David Payne held things together until tea, and with the skies clearing for the resumption even Quinn couldn’t replicate his earlier devilment. Essex captain Ryan ten Doecshate rotated his bowlers, using seven in all but with no initial success as Miles in particular stood tall and played some crisp shots off both the front and back foot.
The pair brought up a fifty partnership in 13 overs, and when the dark clouds rolled in again, one batting point had been secured and the eighth wicket partnership was still intact.
Six further overs were possible after a break for bad light, long enough for Quinn to add a seventh wicket to his tally for the day, Mickleburgh taking a sharp chance to remove Payne for 26.
Norwell kept Miles (45*) company until stumps, and the pair will resume on Thursday morning on 218-8 knowing a new ball is only 12 overs away and that a repeat of their big stand against Worcestershire in 2014 could make a big difference to the match.
Essex elected to bowl.
Christopher Dent | Gareth Roderick | Graeme van Buuren | Michael Klinger | Hamish Marshall | Jack Taylor | Kieran Noema-Barnett | Craig Miles | David Payne | Liam Norwell | Joshua Shaw |
Nicholas Browne | Jaik Mickleburgh | Thomas Westley | Ravinder Bopara | Daniel Lawrence | Ryan ten Doeschate | Syed Zaidi | James Foster | Graham Napier | Matthew Quinn | James Porter |