Gloucestershire v Kent
Specsavers County Championship -
12 September 2017
Gloucestershire drew with Kent
Venue: Brightside Ground, Bristol
When Gareth Roderick left the field on the third afternoon with what was later diagnosed as a broken finger, he wasn’t expected to play again this season, let alone in this match.
However, the fall of Gloucestershire’s sixth wicket barely an hour after lunch with a second innings lead of only 198 called for a recognised batsmen to shut out Kent’s chances of victory on the final day, and with the aid of some pain killers and strapping on his right hand Roderick batted for more than two hours, making an unbeaten 78 to ensure Gloucestershire could save the game.
Earlier Cameron Bancroft, in his last innings of the summer, had added an important 72 to his first innings double hundred as Gloucestershire batted out time until declaring their second innings at 294-9, a lead of 293.
Listen to Gareth Roderick’s thoughts on the day’s play here :
The final day began with – according to the media interviews done on the third evening – differing views about how a potential finish might be brokered. The onus was therefore on Kent to bowl Gloucestershire out and Darren Stevens’ opening spell suggested that might be achievable.
The long serving all rounder induced an edge from Chris Dent from the first ball of the day, and three deliveries later had his appeal for lbw upheld by umpire Russell Warren as skipper Phil Mustard, promoted to number three, didn’t play a shot.
It left a challenging position for James Bracey, who joined Bancroft to try and steady the innings. Kent deployed two men at short mid wicket to stifle one of Bancroft’s lucrative scoring areas, and the lead was still only 90 when Stevens, who bowled unchanged for the first hour, trapped Bracey lbw for 13.
Time was an important factor but Gloucestershire could not afford to let the score crawl along, so a couple of Hankins cover drives for four off Stevens were more than welcome, as were two boundaries in an over to Bancroft off Milne.
Bancroft’s half century – made from 137 deliveries with eight boundaries – came up before lunch but he had lost Hankins by the interval, Mitchell Claydon finding the edge after Hankins made 30 in an hour. 69 overs still remained – Kent’s over rate had been slow – but with the lead at 155 there was still work to do.
If Kent were to force a victory they could ill afford to see catches go down, and Coles’ vain attempt to take an edge that would have removed Jack Taylor off Claydon with only eight runs added after lunch was one such opportunity. The game was still in the balance at that point, and even more so when Kent took three wickets in eight overs with a potential target still within range.
Bancroft’s patient vigil was ended when he played back to Milne and was adjudged lbw for 72, Coles returned to have Jack Taylor caught behind for 27 – the wicket which brought Roderick to the crease – and Kieran Noema-Barnett drove Stevens straight to mid off with the lead at 209 and still more than 50 overs available.
Three quick wickets then would have left Kent with a teasing chase so Gloucestershire needed an established batsman to see the game through, and although in obvious discomfort Roderick answered the call.
Protecting the right hand as much as he could, he was content initially to let any scoring come through using the pace of the ball. He survived one chance – Claydon seeing an edge to gully go down when Roderick had made 23 – and with some dogged support from Josh Shaw, they had just about reached secure water by tea at 233-7, 232 ahead.
The wickets of Shaw (2) and Norwell (8) came too late to be of any use to Kent in the final session as Roderick, with attacking fields, was able to complete an unbeaten half century, reaching fifty from 76 balls with eight fours. It was a gutsy effort, and a necessary one in the context of a hard fought match.
A solid first innings card – built around four half centuries and a cameo from Sam Billings that nearly brought a fifth – showed why Kent have lost just once in the Championship this season and have stayed in the promotion picture until the final month.
Resuming at 60-2, they only lost Daniel Bell-Drummond in the pre-lunch session, and it took two wickets in three balls to check the momentum built by a century stand between Joe Denly and Sam Northeast.
Billings was also scoring briskly when he was run out by James Bracey’s direct hit whilst keeping wicket in place of Gareth Roderick, but it was an attacking innings by Darren Stevens, who finished 65 not out, that saw Kent edge past Gloucestershire’s first innings total before being all out for 386, a lead of one. Loanee Josh Shaw finished with 5-118.
It left Gloucestershire 25 overs to bat until stumps, a period which Chris Dent and Cameron Bancroft negotiated safely in an unbroken stand of 67, putting Gloucestershire 66 runs in front ahead of the final day.
Listen to the thoughts of skipper Phil Mustard here :
Gloucestershire head coach Richard Dawson had spoken before the match of Kent’s positive approach, and throughout their batting order they displayed it on a pitch which continued to flatten out rather than deteriorate.
The tone was set early on by Daniel Bell Drummond, who had already found the boundary three times when he brought up the first of Kent’s fifties in the seventh over of the day.
Two went to third man, and a handful of shots went off the outside half of Bell Drummond and Joe Denly’s bats until Bell-Drummond (58) feathered an edge to ‘keeper Roderick in a long opening spell from Liam Norwell.
His departure brought together Kent’s leading run scorers in the Championship in Denly and skipper Sam Northeast, and for nearly two hours their confidence was evident as they played some crisp and well timed strokes.
Encouraged to drive, Northeast twice punched Matt Taylor straight down the ground towards the pavilion, but the same bowler might have split the fourth wicket pair had he managed to cling onto an awkward caught and bowled chance given by Denly when he’d made 32.
The flow of boundaries was temporarily stemmed in a tidy spell from Noema-Barnett but Denly was still able to reach 1000 Championship runs for the season just before lunch, when Kent were threatening a big score at 167-3.
The completion of Denly’s fifty took only one delivery of the afternoon session and Northeast – who came in when Denly had 20 – wasn’t far behind, clipping Norwell to the square leg boundary and then playing another trademark straight drive in completing his own half century from only 75 deliveries.
As then often happens, the stand was broken and the other established batsman was also out two balls later. First Noema-Barnett bowled Northeast for 66, and then Denly clipped Matt Taylor straight to Gloucestershire captain Phil Mustard at mid off.
At 210-5, Kent still trailed by 175 but one of the men out was night watchman Milne so there was still plenty of batting to come and Sam Billings, fresh from an unbeaten 70 in the second innings at Durham last week, showed he was in no mood to be bogged down. With the second new ball still some way off, his first four scoring shots were all boundaries off Noema-Barnett, and he continued to counter attack against Shaw from the other end, pulling him to the mid wicket boundary for six.
By this stage, James Bracey was keeping wicket in place of Gareth Roderick, who left the field with a finger injury later confirmed as a break. Bracey proved a competent deputy as he took three catches and without the gloves produced a fine piece of fielding to run out Billings for 47.
Zak Crawley also departed before tea – giving Bracey his first catch and Shaw his first wicket on a day of toil – and Kent might have been eight wickets down at tea if umpire Jeff Evans had given Darren Stevens run out after Matt Taylor appeared to deflect a drive from Haggett onto the stumps at the bowler’s end. Stevens had 16, and was to profit from his good fortune after tea, even though Gloucestershire had taken the second new ball.
The veteran all rounder has been offered a new one year contract, and from 307-7 at the start of the final session showed why with a 40 ball half century which was brought up with a straight six off Liam Norwell. Stevens dominated the scoreboard in making an unbeaten 65, edging Kent in front until he ran out of partners, Shaw taking the last two wickets to finish with 5-118.
Kent had scored 326 runs in 77 overs on the day, and with time being made up Gloucestershire still had 90 minutes batting ahead of them before the close.
Chris Dent accumulated the majority of the 67 he added with Cameron Bancroft by scoring heavily off his legs and ending the day 41 not out. Bancroft, is his last innings before flying home to Australia for their domestic season, closed on 25 not out, with the odds on the game heading towards a draw on the final day.
Day 2 :
A record last wicket partnership against Kent – put together through Cameron Bancroft completing an unbeaten double hundred and Matt Taylor making a career best score – saw Gloucestershire bat deep into the second day of the Championship match at the Brightside Ground.
After morning rain delayed a start until 1.30, Kent took four wickets in 45 minutes only to be foiled for 35 overs by the tenth wicket pair, who secured a third batting point before taking time out of the game Kent desperately needed to spend at the crease rather than in the field.
The stand was worth 111 when Taylor mistimed a push at Mitchell Claydon and was caught at short cover for 36, beating his 32 at Chelmsford against Essex in 2014, but Bancroft carried his bat for an unbeaten 206, made in eight and half hours with 23 fours and one six.
Facing a Gloucestershire total of 385, Kent had 20 overs to bat until stumps, and negotiated 15 of them before Josh Shaw struck twice, removing Sean Dickson for 20 and night watchman Adam Milne without scoring. They closed at 60-2, still 325 in arrears.
Listen to Cameron Bancroft and Matt Taylor’s reflections on their stand here:
A handful of showers during the morning meant the day’s play was confined to a little over two sessions, and with a nearly new ball at their disposal Kent’s opening pair of Adam Milne and Darren Stevens went looking for quick wickets to move the game forward
All went to plan initially from the visitors point of view, as Stevens trapped Jack Taylor lbw for 17 and shortly afterwards knocked out Kieran Noema-Barnett’s off stump.
Milne’s double strike in the day’s tenth over – as Josh Shaw steered him to point and Norwell was caught in the slip cordon by Bell Drummond – seemed to indicate Gloucestershire would fall short of a third batting point. Matt Taylor walked to the crease with Bancroft 137* and the pair were to put together a stoic and sensible stand on a docile pitch.
DOUBLE CENTURY! Magnificent from @cbancroft4
He hits from 390 deliveries.
— Gloucestershire CCC (@Gloscricket) September 13, 2017
The first target, with overs for bonus points still available, was to try and push Gloucestershire past 300, and they wouldn’t have made it if Sean Dickson had held an edge by Taylor into the slips off Matt Coles. It was to be an expensive miss.
Bancroft’s initial stance was to try and protect Taylor, which he did without undue alarm until a steer to third man saw him reach his own 150, made from 313 balls with 15 fours and a six. Kent then went on the defensive, offering him singles to expose Taylor to the strike, but as time went by and Taylor’s confidence grew the pair worked as a genuine partnership.
Runs largely ticked up in a functional rather than flamboyant way although Bancroft did play one particularly classy cover drive off Calum Haggett. Tea was delayed with the last pair together and by the time it was eventually taken Taylor and Bancroft had batted for nearly two hours and added 81 important runs, breaking the previous highest tenth wicket stand for Gloucestershire against Kent in the process.
The sub plots by this point were becoming personal milestones. Bancroft resumed on 187, and Taylor (27*) was only five runs short of his own highest score. Both had batted responsibly for themselves, their partner and the team so it was fitting that both achieved something tangible from the day.
A steer to third man gave Taylor his best first class score, and after a no ball brought up the hundred partnership, Bancroft punched a drive through cover off Claydon to reach his double hundred, made from 390 balls with 23 fours and one six.
Claydon finally brought closure by removing Taylor for 36, leaving Bancroft 206 not out and Gloucestershire in a position to pressurise Kent in the final phase of the day.
Taylor, no doubt energised by his innings, certainly troubled Daniel Bell-Drummond in his opening spell. Two lbw appeals were turned down and one edge fell between Dent and Hankins in the slips. Liam Norwell also had a big appeal for a catch at the wicket against Bell-Drummond rejected but at the other end Josh Shaw capped a decent day by having Sean Dickson caught behind by Roderick for 20, and also sent back night watchman Milne thanks to a catch by Bancroft at slip. Kent closed at 60-2, and on the back foot with two days remaining.
Day 1 :
Overseas batsman Cameron Bancroft reached three figures for the first time for Gloucestershire on a largely sunny September day at the Brightside Ground.
The 24 year old from Western Australia started steadily against promotion chasing Kent in Gloucestershire’s penultimate home fixture but accelerated after chalking up his fourth half century in Division 2 this season to reach his hundred shortly before tea.
His opening partnership of 141 with Chris Dent, who made 59, was by some distance the highest of the season in the Championship, and the pair batted for more than half the allotted overs on the first day without being parted – foiling Kent’s attack after Sam Northeast decided to field first after an uncontested toss.
Aided by the second new ball, Kent fought back in the final session and when bad light ended play shortly before 5 o’clock, Gloucestershire had reached 242-5, with Bancroft 124 not out.
Listen to Cameron Bancroft’s thoughts on his hundred here :
Gloucestershire named the same eleven that won at Leicester last Friday, and with the pitch looking to have some moisture in it, Kent backed their seam bowlers and asked Gloucestershire to bat.
Early indications suggested it was a fair decision, as Darren Stevens had big lbw appeals turned down in each of his first two overs against both Dent and Bancroft but the threat gradually died away despite Stevens and Adam Milne bowling accurate opening spells.
Both offered little which could be driven and the first boundary didn’t arrive until Bancroft clipped Milne through mid wicket in the seventh over. Kent wicket keeper Sam Billings was soon standing up to Stevens with Bancroft batting well outside his crease, but a punched drive by the Australian through extra cover showed he was settling in and determined to convert a start into a big score.
What an innings from the Australian @cbancroft4
A lovely boundary brings up the 100! Well played pic.twitter.com/5xWqT2V0Uh
— Gloucestershire CCC (@Gloscricket) September 12, 2017
Bancroft had the lion’s share of the strike in the first hour, but partner Dent played one of the shots of the morning off Calum Haggett, driving elegantly through the covers and a cut past point, also off Haggett, brought up the fifty partnership in the 23rd over. By lunch Kent’s six bowlers had conceded 81 runs, and the fifth over of the afternoon session brought up the century opening stand as Bancroft punched Stevens past point shortly after completing his fifty, made from 125 balls.
Milne and Coles continued to toil unrewarded until Kent captain Sam Northeast turned to the occasional leg spin of Joe Denly, who had bowled only 44 overs in Championship cricket this summer. Dent’s patient accumulation had taken him to 49, and he reached a seventh fifty of the season from 132 deliveries by sending Denly over the rope towards the apartments at long off. A cut to point followed two balls later only for Denly to prove the stand breaker, trapping Dent lbw for 59 with the Gloucestershire total on 141.
It was to be the start of a long spell for Denly, who bowled 16 overs from the Ashley Down Road end either side of tea. He had one loud appeal for lbw against Bancroft rejected with the Gloucestershire opener on 81, but he also offered the odd loose delivery, Bancroft striking a flat, straight six and visibly enjoying the celebration of his first Gloucestershire hundred after working his 12th boundary to mid wicket. His innings had lasted 197 balls and had been the backbone of the total.
By tea – taken with Gloucestershire 186-2 – Bancroft’s partner was James Bracey, Gareth Roderick (10) having clipped Mitchell Claydon to Zak Crawley at square leg, but the left hander who returns to University at the end of the month departed in the first over after the resumption, lbw to Denly for 10 playing a paddle sweep.
It marked the start of a good session for Kent, who kept Gloucestershire’s scoring in check until the new ball was due and then took two quick wickets, Hankins getting his feet in a tangle and being trapped lbw Stevens for 16, and Mustard edging Milne to the safe hands of Stevens at slip.
Bancroft, however, was resolute and had occupied the crease for nearly five and a half hours when the umpires brought the players off for bad light 35 minutes before the scheduled close. He’ll start Wednesday’s play with 124 not out against his name, and with some aggressive lower order support available to try and build a big first innings total.
Kent elected to bowl.
Christopher Dent | Cameron Bancroft | Gareth Roderick | James Bracey | George Hankins | Phil Mustard | Jack Taylor | Kieran Noema-Barnett | Joshua Shaw | Liam Norwell | Matthew Taylor |
Daniel Bell-Drummond | Sean Dickson | Joseph Denly | Sam Northeast | Zak Crawley | Darren Stevens | Samuel Billings | Calum Haggett | Matthew Coles | Adam Milne | Mitchell Claydon |