Gloucestershire v Kent
Specsavers County Championship -
23 August 2016
Gloucestershire lost to Kent by an innings and 69 runs
Venue: Brightside Ground Bristol
A century from Hamish Marshall – during which he passed 14,000 first class runs in his career – could not prevent Kent wrapping up victory 40 minutes after tea in the penultimate home Championship match of the season at the Brightside Ground.
Marshall’s innings of 118 was his third Championship hundred of the summer and his second against Kent, having made 110 in the first innings at Canterbury back in May but after only losing the wicket of Phil Mustard before lunch, Kent slowly worked their way through Gloucestershire’s lower order to win by an innings and 69 runs after bowling them out for 243 in their second innings.
Listen to head coach Richard Dawson’s post match thoughts here :
Gloucestershire began the day 278 runs in arrears, so given their batting would err on the side of caution it looked unlikely that they would score enough runs to get themselves ahead on the board. The key was to keep the remaining six wickets intact as long as possible and frustrate the Kent bowlers in warm and virtually cloudless conditions.
The morning session went as well as could be expected. After three early boundaries from Marshall he went into his shell and both the Kiwi and wicket keeper Phil Mustard inched the score forward without undue alarm. Mustard had made only a single in the first 45 minutes when he clipped Coles through mid wicket for four, so having applied himself well to that point he will have been frustrated to cut Mitchell Claydon straight to Dickson at point shortly afterwards.
Jack Taylor quelled his attacking instinct to keep Marshall company until lunch, by which time Gloucestershire had reduced the deficit by 60 against a Kent attack where all six front line bowlers had been used.
Marshall had reached the interval on 49 not out, and completed a patient half century soon afterwards from 116 balls with seven boundaries. Five wickets were still in hand and little troubled Marshall or Taylor in the first 25 minutes after lunch when Taylor was tempted by a short ball from Coles and top edged a hook to ‘keeper Billings. The deficit was still 197 runs, and Marshall had only four colleagues left to help him.
His stance thereafter became less cautious and more that of the batsman Gloucestershire supporters have watched over the past 11 summers. When width was offered he played freely off the back foot, especially square of the wicket, and a pull to fine leg off Viljoen took Marshall past 14,000 career runs in first class cricket.
At the other end Kent – especially when Mitchell Claydon was bowling – set a field to Craig Miles that persistently threatened a short ball was coming. He did well for a while to steer away anything dropped short, one such shot bringing four runs off Viljoen past the hands of Stevens in the gully, only for the South African to remove one more obstacle to a Kent win with his next ball as Miles was bowled for 15.
The sub-plot at this point was whether Marshall would complete his hundred, and to warm applause the departing New Zealander did so with a flourish, twice using his feet to hit spinner Tredwell for four and then chopping Viljoen away to bring up his century, which had included 18 boundaries and come from 163 deliveries.
Liam Norwell was with him by this point after David Payne, in similar fashion to Miles, had offered hope of extended support only to have his stumps re-arranged by Tredwell for 14. Gloucestershire took tea at 191-7, and Marshall’s resistance was finally ended shortly afterwards when, with the new ball, Matt Coles trapped him lbw for 118 made in a little over five hours.
Kent were delayed a little further by a spirited last wicket stand between Norwell and Matt Taylor before Viljoen, who had bowled impressively on his Kent debut, deservedly took the last wicket as Norwell was caught behind for 24 to give Kent victory by an innings and 69 runs.
Gloucestershire also confirmed after the match that batsman Michael Klinger would be flying home to Australia on Sunday, earlier than originally scheduled. Klinger is to have treatment on a shoulder injury before starting the domestic season down under with Western Australia. This summer he scored 1,474 runs for Gloucestershire in all formats with five centuries, and he has already signed a contract to return to the club in 2017.
Listen to Michael Klinger’s final thoughts before flying home here :
Gloucestershire’s next first team fixture is a Championship game against Derbyshire at Derby which starts on Wednesday August 31st.
Kent wicket keeper Sam Billings hit a career best 171 in first class cricket as the visitors scored rapidly for the second successive day at the Brightside Ground to leave Gloucestershire needing to bat for four sessions to save the match.
When Kent declared their first innings at tea on the third day at 533-6, the lead was 312 despite an interruption for rain that brought an early lunch and trimmed 15 overs off the day’s allocation.
Their dominance was down to Darren Stevens – who took his overnight stand with Billings to 258 before he was out for 140 – and the England List A and T20 international, who struck 29 fours and a six in an innings that last just under five hours.
Left with 39 overs to bat until the close, Gloucestershire were 13-3 within half an hour and 34-4 when bad light forced the players off shortly after 5.30 with 278 runs still needed to avoid an innings defeat on the final day.
Listen to skipper Gareth Roderick’s close of play thoughts here :
Kent’s intent under overcast skies on the third day was clear from the outset. With the risk of showers they wanted to score quickly on what now appeared to be a near perfect batting wicket and set up a potential declaration late in the day. It was a plan their middle order batsmen delivered to a tee.
The morning session was truncated to less than 10 overs by rain, but that was long enough for Kent to secure a fourth batting point and for Billings, who was 86 not out overnight, to reach three figures with a lofted shot over mid wicket. It was his 18th boundary, and the stand, when lunch was taken, had set a new fifth wicket record for Kent against Gloucestershire.
It was finally ended shortly after the resumption when Stevens, who had scored heavily off the back foot square of the wicket and through the covers in his 140 runs, saw Klinger hold onto a low tumbling chance at slip off Miles. The 50 overs he had batted with Billings had seen Kent score at five an over, and put themselves in a dominant position.
Even with a reasonably new ball the Gloucestershire bowlers weren’t able to extract anything from the pitch, and Will Gidman’s knowledge of the Brightside Ground wickets made him an ideal foil for the increasingly belligerent Billings, who passed his previous best first class score with a straight drive off Payne.
As Gidman patiently played himself in, the 25 year old wicket keeper continued to accumulate runs quickly with a wide range of shots against a tiring attack, striking nine boundaries in the 62 balls it took him to get from 100-150.
Not since the first game of the season against Derbyshire had the bat been so dominant, and having hit Jack Taylor for the solitary six of his innings and added 91 with Gidman in 18 overs, Billings flat batted Norwell straight to Miles at mid off for 171. Even on a docile pitch, it was an innings that sent a strong reminder of his ability.
Gidman made it five scores above 50 in the Kent innings before drizzle brought an early tea with the former Gloucestershire all rounder unbeaten on 58, and having added 43 with Tredwell for the seventh wicket. Kent had scored 533-6, giving them a lead was 312, and Gloucestershire were faced with batting out a long post tea session in muggy conditions.
In such circumstances a solid start was essential, but three wickets had gone inside the first six overs. Dent was squared up by Stevens, who took a low caught and bowled catch : Roderick edged Viljoen to Tredwell at second slip and Tavare was bowled by Stevens having left a ball he thought was missing off stump.
The light became gloomy enough for the umpires to decide play should be suspended unless Viljoen was taken off, which made Klinger’s dismissal for 10 just before the the light worsened further all the more frustrating.
Only 54.2 overs had been bowled in the day, but Kent had dominated every session and Gloucestershire face the considerable challenge of batting throughout the last day with only six wickets in hand to secure a draw.
A mid afternoon spell by Matt Taylor in which he took the wickets of Daniel Bell-Drummond and Sam Northeast wasn’t in isolation enough to keep Kent within range of Gloucestershire’s first innings score of 221 on the second day of this Championship match at the Brightside Ground.
Brought together at 28-2, the pair added 98 in 29 overs either side of lunch, but their departures having both made half centuries only served to change the pace of the game as Sam Billings and Darren Stevens accelerated against an old ball and on a pitch that offered less and less to the bowlers.
98 runs in 20 overs until tea meant Kent were in front ahead of the final session, and wicket keeper Billings and veteran all rounder Stevens had added 205 together for the fifth wicket when bad light ended play early with the visitors 346-4, 125 runs ahead. Stevens had made an unbeaten 121 by stumps, while Billings will resume on the third day 86 not out.
Listen to head coach Richard Dawson’s views on the day here :
Gloucestershire knew their use of the new ball would play a big part on the second day, and David Payne and Liam Norwell’s opening burst brought two wickets and the threat of more.
Payne struck in the first over of the morning, getting immediate movement through the air to deceive Sean Dickson, who was lbw for 0 without playing a stroke. Norwell started with five successive maidens and Bell-Drummond survived a strong appeal for a second lbw in Payne’s favour as both the former Millfield pupil and Joe Denly were kept on the defensive.
Norwell’s miserly stint deserved a wicket and it was Denly (6) who pushed at a good length ball and wicktkeeper Mustard took a routine catch.
Bell-Drummond had played stylishly for the England Lions at the Cheltenham Festival and again here the majority of his runs came on the off side, though by no means as quickly as the Gloucestershire bowlers restricted early opportunities to score.
His partner Sam Northeast needed only five runs for 1,000 in the Championship this summer, and while he edged past that milestone the Kent skipper found runs equally hard to come by after Matt Taylor and Craig Miles were introduced.
It took 21 overs for Kent to accumulate 50 runs, and twice Miles was unfortunate not to remove Northeast. First he looped a false shot just over the head of Marshall at short cover, and then a confident appeal for a catch at the wicket was turned down by umpire Paul Baldwin but at lunch the third wicket pair were still together and Kent were 78-2, 143 behind.
Breaking what threatened to become the equivalent of the Marshall/Mustard partnership on the first day was important to retain a foothold in the game, and it was Matt Taylor who took two wickets in a spell where he switched to bowling around the wicket.
First Bell-Drummond, who had completed his fifty with a straight drive off Norwell – his ninth of his innings – was caught behind by Mustard for 65 after Taylor got one to lift sharply off a good length, and then Northeast, whose half century contained 10 boundaries, was smartly caught at slip by Klinger with Kent still 80 runs in arrears.
It was at this point that the day changed gear as Darren Stevens joined wicket keeper Billings, whose approach to batting had been more positive than anyone else in the match.
He set himself by sweetly timing a couple of straight drives and Stevens soon picked up his partner’s tempo as the boundaries started to tick up all around the wicket despite Gloucestershire captain Gareth Roderick regularly switching his bowlers.
More than 100 runs out of 161 scored in the afternoon session came in boundaries, with Stevens cleanly picking up a delivery from Miles and clearing the rope at long on. A reverse sweep off Jack Taylor by Billings not only brought up his fifty from 55 balls with 11 fours but also took Kent ahead overall, and by tea they were 18 runs to the good at 239-4 with power to add in the final session.
As on the first day, both teams knew there would be an hour’s cricket before the new ball became due, and with both batsmen well set Kent were in no mood to give away the momentum they had built up.
Stevens brought up his own half century, made from 70 balls with eight fours and six soon after the resumption, and he raced from 50-100 in only 44 balls with six further boundaries as well as striking Jack Taylor’s off spin into the crowd in front of the pavilion.
Billings – who reverse swept Taylor with confidence – also continued to score steadily and when the new ball was taken Kent’s patient start to the day had been transformed with a stand of 205 in only 38 overs.
Payne and Norwell had bowled only an over each with the second new ball when the light became too gloomy to continue shortly after 5.30pm.
14 overs were lost, and Gloucestershire start the third day in the same position as 24 hours earlier – needing early wickets to avoid scoreboard pressure being on them in the second innings for the second match running.
A gritty half century by Hamish Marshall and a doughty stand between the New Zealander and Phil Mustard were the backbone of Gloucestershire’s first innings on a slow scoring first day against Kent in glorious conditions at the Brightside Ground.
In what is the penultimate home Championship game of the season, Sam Northeast’s decision to field first was upheld by Kent’s five front line seam bowlers as the visitors reduced Gloucestershire to 84-4 at lunch, with veteran Darren Stevens taking two wickets in a nine over opening spell which cost only 14 runs.
It was then that Marshall and Mustard showed the patience head coach Richard Dawson had called for, adding 68 runs together as they batted throughout the afternoon session.
However Mustard’s dismissal for 38 in the first over after tea and Marshall’s departure for 58 after more than four hours at the crease checked Gloucestershire’s progress and Kent’s South African debutant Hardus Viljoen finished with 5-55 as they were dismissed for 221 in the penultimate over of the day.
Listen to Hamish Marshall’s thoughts at the close here :
Gloucestershire captain Gareth Roderick returned to the side after his finger injury, and it was on a pitch with a green tinge that Roderick and Chris Dent faced Kent’s new ball attack of Matt Coles and Darren Stevens, the latter’s medium pace causing problems from the outset on a pitch without any appreciable bounce.
Dent hadn’t scored when he chopped Stevens onto his stumps in the fourth over of the day with only six runs on the board, and Will Tavare was soon forced to play and miss by the 40 year old, who earlier in the week had indicated a desire to keep playing beyond the end of the season.
Roderick, after more than a month out, collected a couple of boundaries off Coles – one through mid wicket and one cut past point – although he too had trouble with Stevens, edging a chance to slip which Coles put down. It proved only a brief reprieve however, as two runs later a ball from Stevens kept low and trapped the Gloucestershire captain lbw for 23.
Tavare played the best shot of the morning, driving Stevens for four through the covers but his patience was tested by a series of bouncers from Mitchell Claydon, all of which Tavare left alone.
Umpire Alex Wharf turned down two big appeals for catches at the wicket before lunch was taken, and although Klinger survived one of them off Stevens, the Australian was trapped lbw by Hardus Viljoen for 10 as the South African maintained Kent’s grip on proceedings from the Pavilion End with a tight first spell.
It was left to former Gloucestershire favourite Will Gidman to further accentuate Kent’s authority on the scoreboard as Tavare (20) was bowled trying to pull a ball pitched further up than he anticipated.
Marshall – the other player to survive an appeal, in his case over a possible edge to ‘keeper Billings – and Mustard saw Gloucestershire to lunch with much to do from a position of 84-4, and the first hour after the resumption saw neither side give way as every run became a valuable commodity.
Stevens thought Marshall was lbw when he had made only 11 but umpire Wharf didn’t agree and thereafter the steady trickle of wickets and chances that threatened wickets to that point dried up until later in the day.
Both players’ natural game would be to play shots and score briskly, yet here their application to the cause was to be applauded as the pair took 24 overs to put together a valuable 50-run partnership with timing never appearing easy.
Catchers at short mid wicket and short cover indicated the pitch’s modest pace, and Marshall and Mustard had doubled the score from 67-4 to 134-4 when Kent turned to James Tredwell’s off spin for the first time but with no breakthrough by the tea interval, more than two hours of hard graft had significantly improved Gloucestershire’s position.
It remained a day, however, where control of the game was still in the balance so Kent’s immediate capture of Mustard – caught behind by Billings in Viljoen’s first over of a new spell for 38 – left a lot of responsibility with Marshall and new partner Jack Taylor, who maintained his record of playing every Championship game this season.
Only 15 overs remained until the second new ball so Taylor, after some watchful observation initially, reverted to his more usual approach and when spinner Tredwell switched ends he was lofted both over the infield for four and straight over the bowler’s head for six.
Marshall meanwhile, followed up his century at Canterbury earlier in the summer, with a half century from 166 balls with five boundaries before the new ball was due, although by that stage Miles had replaced Taylor who, having made 24 out of a stand of 40 with Marshall, clipped Claydon to Coles at short mid wicket.
It was then South African Viljoen who hastened the end of the Gloucestershire innings by trapping Marshall lbw for 58, made in a little over four hours. Payne, Norwell and Miles went for the addition of a further 21 runs, Viljoen taking two further wickets and ending the day 10 deliveries early when Miles edged to Stevens at slip.
6 wickets had gone down for 76 runs after tea, a session which Marshall felt had left the team short of a par score. It will now be down to the Gloucestershire’s bowlers to replicate Kent’s accuracy on the second day.
Kent elected to bowl.
Christopher Dent | William Tavare | Michael Klinger | Hamish Marshall | Phil Mustard | Jack Taylor | Craig Miles | David Payne | Liam Norwell | Matthew Taylor | Gareth Roderick |
Daniel Bell-Drummond | Sean Dickson | Joseph Denly | Sam Northeast | Darren Stevens | Samuel Billings | William Gidman | Matthew Coles | James Tredwell | G Viljoen | Mitchell Claydon |