Gloucestershire v Northamptonshire
Specsavers County Championship -
22 May 2016
Gloucestershire drew with Northamptonshire
Venue: The Brightside Ground, Bristol
The opportunity for a second successive Championship win was thwarted by centuries from Rob Newton and Steven Crook as Northamptonshire salvaged a draw from this Division 2 match at the Brightside Ground.
Newton’s dismissal for 108 shortly after the second new ball was taken appeared a key moment, only for Crook and Prasanna to counter attack with some venom in adding 48 in only eight overs.
Crook continued to score quickly after Prasanna was out and completed the fourth first class hundred of his career, finishing 103 not out. It was his century stand either side of tea with Gleeson for the eighth wicket which took the game out of Gloucestershire’s reach, and the captains shook hands when Northants had reached 399-8 in their 2nd innings, 157 runs ahead.
Listen to head coach Richard Dawson’s thoughts on the draw here :
Gloucestershire began the final day as the only team with a realistic hope of winning the match, and optimism among the members was enforced in only the seventh over when Richard Levi (23) played a loose shot at David Payne and Roderick made no mistake with the catch.
Adam Rossington’s appearance at number six came after he dislocated a finger in his left hand while keeping wicket on Monday, and although the deficit was 98 when he joined Rob Newton – who was 58 not out overnight – both went for their shots with the off side, especially square of the wicket, proving a profitable area.
Payne and Miles had shared the first 11 overs when skipper Roderick made a double change by introducing Noema-Barnett and Shaw, but the pattern and the modest threat with an ageing ball remained largely unchanged, Rossington welcoming Jack Taylor into the attack with a straight six towards the pavilion.
In the end it was Craig Miles who was the stand breaker in a short spell before lunch, Rossington scooping a ball low to mid on where Payne held his fourth catch of the match to dismiss the Northants wicketkeeper for 39.
Steven Crook survived until the interval when Newton, like Michael Klinger 24 hours earlier, was 99 not out. Northants were still in 18 runs in arrears at 224-5, and the result seemed sure to hinge on the second new ball which was seven overs away.
Newton duly completed his hundred upon the resumption from 208 deliveries and with 17 boundaries, and Northamptonshire had cut the deficit to a single run at 241-5 when the new ball was due.
Gloucestershire looked to have an hour to take a grip on the game, and the joy which greeted Newton’s stumps being splayed by David Payne for 108 belied what was to follow.
Both Crook and the incoming Prasanna took the view that to ensure a draw their best option was to attack as every run tilted the equation in Northamptonshire’s favour. In eight overs they added 48, Crook continuing to pepper the off side square of the wicket and Prasanna even picking up a delivery from Payne and clearing the long boundary towards the Mound Stand for six.
The Sri Lankan’s brief cameo was halted by substitute fielder Callum Gregory, who was positioned at deep square leg for the hook and safely took the chance when the spinner, having made 26, got underneath a short ball from David Payne.
Richard Gleeson then joined Crook with Gloucestershire still marginal favourites, and while Gleeson concentrated on survival, Crook’s brisk collection of boundaries continued. His fifty contained nine of them, and by tea he was 82 not out and Northamptonshire’s lead was 115 with a maximum of 34 overs left in the day.
A last burst from Miles and Payne failed to produce the required breakthrough, and Crook went to his hundred from only 127 balls with 17 fours. Gleeson, in only his sixth first class match, was lbw to Graeme Van Buuren for 31 shortly before the close, but adding 101 with Crook for the eighth wicket had been a stand too far for the Gloucestershire attack.
Gloucestershire take 11 points from the draw and Northamptonshire 7.
At the major golf tournaments across the globe, the third round is often referred to as “moving day”, when the serious challengers get into position.
Gloucestershire’s push towards victory here over Northamptonshire centred around an innings of 140 by Michael Klinger who, helped by the lower order, helped Gloucestershire to add 178 runs to their overnight score.
They were eventually dismissed for 418, a first innings lead of 242, with Klinger the last man out having batted for almost six and a half hours. David Payne continued his run of useful scores with 32, adding 76 alongside Klinger for the ninth wicket.
Tea was taken between innings, and it left Northamptonshire 42 overs to bat in the final session. They lost Duckett and Wakely cheaply but a resolute stand between Newton and Keogh saw them reach the close 122 runs behind at 120-3, Keogh having been dismissed shortly before stumps for 30.
Listen to Michael Klinger’s close of play thoughts here :
Gloucestershire began the day looking to bat as far into it as possible, with a greater eye on their first innings lead rather than any batting points they might collect on route.
With Hamish Marshall dismissed off Monday’s final delivery, Michael Klinger was joined – albeit briefly – by George Hankins, who misjudged the line of a ball from Ben Sanderson in the third over the day and saw it dislodge the off bail.
Adam Rossington’s dislocated finger again kept him off the field so Ben Duckett once again kept wicket for Northants, and their skipper Alex Wakely used Sanderson and Richard Gleeson throughout the first hour, as Klinger and Kieran Noema-Barnett slowly set about extending Gloucestershire’s lead.
Klinger didn’t score a run for until half an hour’s play had elapsed, and then drove Sanderson down the ground towards the pavilion for four. Noema-Barnett was also watchful until leg spinner Prasanna was introduced, hitting him with the spin over the mid wicket boundary for six before mistiming a similar stroke and allowing ‘keeper Duckett to come from behind the stumps and take the catch.
The left hander had made 23 out of a stand of 58 in 20 overs with Klinger, and while the Australian played at his own pace, two more wickets were to go down before lunch at the other end, both to catches at the wicket.
Jack Taylor’s breezy 24 was ended when Duckett held onto a chance off Prasanna, and the deputy for the injured Rossington also held a routine opportunity to remove Craig Miles off Gleeson for a duck. It meant Klinger, who had scored 35 runs in the session, went to lunch on 99 not out, Gloucestershire’s lead standing at 157 with two wickets in hand.
When Klinger and David Payne returned to the middle, the popular Australian had been in for almost five hours, and he completed his century in the grand manner, cleanly lifting leg spinner Prasanna over the rope in front of the pavilion five balls after the resumption.
The Sri Lankan bowled an unchanged spell of 14 overs and as Klinger’s relentless accumulation continued Payne’s confidence grew, picking off anything short from the leg spinner and the belatedly introduced Azharullah, who didn’t bowl at all in the morning session.
Payne’s share of a stand of 76 with Klinger was 32 when Prasanna switched ends and decieved Gloucestershire’s number ten as he came down the pitch and Duckett had an easy stumping, and the wrist spinner finished with 5-97 as he finally removed Klinger for 140, a marathon effort which spanned 286 balls, and which included two sixes and 14 boundaries.
Tea was taken early to absorb two overs into the interval, and with a lead of 242 Gloucestershire went hunting the 10 wickets that would give them back to back wins in the Championship at the Brightside Ground.
Craig Miles drew blood virtually straight away, as Ben Duckett chipped a ball in the second over straight to substitute fielder Callum Gregory at mid on. Both Miles and Payne beat the bat as Rob Newton and Northamptonshire skipper Alex Wakely tried to entrench themselves until stumps, only for Wakely to be undone by a bowling change as he was trapped lbw for 14 in Kieran Noema-Barnett’s first over with only 28 on the board.
Thereafter, as the ball got older, the balance between bat and ball gradually favoured Northamptonshire’s third wicket pair of Newton and Rob Keogh, the latter taking three fours in an over off Noema-Barnett.
Together they added 71, Newton playing a lot between mid on and mid off as Gareth Roderick used six different bowlers trying to get another breakthrough before the close. It finally arrived with less than seven overs remaining, as Rob Keogh (30) saw George Hankins cling on – in orthodox fashion – to a chance off Jack Taylor at short leg.
Newton completed his half century of 99 balls with nine boundaries, but Northants will start the final day still 122 runs in arrears, and with Gloucestershire seven wickets away from their second Championship win of the summer.
Gloucestershire took a methodical grip on this Division 2 Championship match against Northamptonshire with the brisk collection of their three remaining first innings wickets, and then 81 overs of steady batting which produced a first innings lead of 64 by the close.
It could have been even better had Chris Dent not been dismissed for a patient 93 in the penultimate over of the day, and then Hamish Marshall fended a delivery from Gleeson with the new ball straight to Northamptonshire skipper Alex Wakely at leg gully without scoring.
It meant Gloucestershire closed on 240-4, with Michael Klinger 62 not out. Earlier in the day Craig Miles took the last three Northamptonshire first innings wickets as they were dismissed for 176, Miles finishing with figures of 5-65.
Listen to head coach Richard Dawson’s close of play thoughts here :
Gloucestershire began the day looking to isolate Steven Crook as the one recognized batsman remaining in the Northamptonshire batting order tried to take the bulk of the strike.
43 not out overnight, Crook completed his half century from 69 balls with his ninth boundary, played through cover on the up off the bowling of David Payne, who shared the opening eight overs with Josh Shaw before Craig Miles accelerated the start of Gloucestershire’s innings.
In only 2.4 overs he took all three remaining wickets, starting with Gleeson’s gentle lob to Payne at mid-on for 10. Crook, having made 60, then clipped Miles straight to Dent at point before Azharullah – who had already been dropped by Van Buuren – gave Payne his third catch of the innings, again at mid on.
Miles’ short burst meant he finished with 5-65, while the consolation for Josh Shaw was that final analysis of 4-52 was still a career best as Northamptonshire were dismissed for 176, the third match in a row where they had failed to register a batting point.
Gloucestershire openers Chris Dent and Gareth Roderick had an hour to bat in the morning session, Roderick being promoted up the order to leave Michael Klinger to bat at number four, and against new ball bowlers Ben Sanderson and Richard Gleeson both men were content to leave a high proportion of the deliveries outside the off stump.
It was a while before Dent a shot with any force, and only three boundaries – all to Roderick – were scored as Gloucestershire reached lunch on 40 without loss.
The Northamptonshire attack continued to struggle with the right hander/left hander combination after the resumption, Dent picking up a couple of boundaries in Sanderson’s first over. Otherwise it was an innings reminiscent of his double hundred against Glamorgan last season, with the 25 year old content to let the ball come to him and work it efficiently away.
Roderick had started to time the ball a little more fluently – punching one lovely shot straight past Gleeson – when he pushed half forward to Sanderson and was lbw for 40. The opening stand had been worth 76, and cut the deficit against Northamptonshire’s first innings total to exactly 100.
Graeme Van Buuren’s stay alongside Dent was brief, Gleeson trapping him lbw for 13, but 60 runs had been added in the afternoon session when Michael Klinger walked to the crease. Both teams probably knew his innings might shape the rest of the match.
There were a couple of optimistic appeals early on – one for a catch down the leg side, and one for lbw – and while Klinger was getting acclimatized Dent broke out of his relentless progress to hit three boundaries in one over off leg spinner Prasanna.
His fifty ticked up in three hours from 124 deliveries, with all five boundaries being confined within two overs. Tea was reached with Gloucestershire only 31 behind, and with the familiar Dent/Klinger partnership beginning to look very much at home.
The pace of Gloucestershire’s batting remained largely unchanged for the bulk of the final session, Dent showing some deft placement against off spinner Keogh both straight and square of the wicket.
Klinger’s first Championship innings of the summer didn’t hit the heights some members have come to expect, but there were still some well timed strokes among eight boundaries in his 108 ball half century.
Northamptonshire were disrupted by a hand injury to wicketkeeper Rossington, so Duckett took the gloves for the last 14 overs, and as Azharullah applied the brake at one end, Dent and Klinger – having put together a century stand – increasingly had one eye on a safe passage to the close.
It was a route headed off by leg spinner Prasanna, who in his last over of the day drew Dent forward on 93 and Levi took the catch at slip. The new ball was then taken for the one over that remained, and in it Gleeson also dismissed Marshall for a duck to turn a dominant position into merely a good one.
Gloucestershire will resume on Tuesday at 240-4, with Michael Klinger 62 not out. The lead is 64, and Gloucestershire will want to extend it as far as they can before Northants get the chance to bat again.
Less than half a day’s play was possible at the Brightside Ground on the opening day of this Championship match with Northants, but Gloucestershire’s bowlers made the most of a truncated day with five quick wickets as Northamptonshire – who had surprisingly decided to bat – were reduced to 59-5 at one stage.
The first bowling change brought a wicket for Josh Shaw in his first over, and thereafter it was a procession as the Northamptonshire top order, Rob Newton apart, successively perished to a series of edges to the Gloucestershire close fielders.
A lively sixth wicket stand between Richard Levi and Steven Crook halted their progress for a while before Shaw picked up two more wickets shortly before play was abandoned for the day after a second interruption for rain. At stumps, Northants had reached 134-7, with Crook 43 not out.
Listen to Josh Shaw’s thoughts on the day’s play here :
Michael Klinger’s inclusion at the expense of Cameron Bancroft was the only change to the team which had beaten Glamorgan in the previous Championship game, although the team sheet submitted to the umpires suggested he would bat at number four, with Gareth Roderick moving up to open the batting alongside Chris Dent.
As it was, both men would be busy in the slips alongside Roderick after Northamptonshire captain Alex Wakely declined the offer to bowl first, won the toss and decided to bat.
The first nine overs were deceptive, as the visitors proceeded to 22-0 with few alarms for opening pair Ben Duckett and Rob Newton, but the introduction of Josh Shaw and a switch of ends for Craig Miles changed all that.
First the left handed Duckett was caught behind by Roderick for 11, and then in Shaw’s next over he bowled a beauty which hit the middle of off stump to remove Newton for 18.
After six economical overs at the pavilion end Payne made way for Miles, who beat Wakely through the gate almost immediately. The Northamptonshire skipper looked uncertain, and he was missed by Roderick – a difficult low chance down the leg side off Shaw – before Rob Keogh (5) attempted to force Miles through the off side and was caught at third slip by Klinger.
The same combination ended Wakely’s uncomfortable stay in Miles’ next over, and although Adam Rossington deposited Noema-Barnett into the stand in front of the Graveney apartments, the bowler had his revenge almost immediately as Chris Dent snapped up another edge to leave Northants at 59-5. all five wickets having gone down inside an hour.
Richard Levi and Steven Crook survived until tea, and after it tried to disrupt the line and length of the Gloucestershire bowlers with some aggressive stroke play.
They were particularly severe on anything short from the pavilion end, with Craig Miles conceding 37 runs in four overs, chiefly towards the short boundary on the off side.
Together, Levi and Crook added 51 in 10 overs before Levi was bowled by Shaw for 23, a dismissal which brought in Sri Lankan leg spinner Prasanna. He was nearly bowled by Miles before he had scored, but under darkening skies, and after a cleanly hit straight six off Shaw, he top edged a short ball to Payne at long leg, who took a well judged catch.
Gleeson saw out the over, at which point umpires Burns and Saggers took the players off because of light rain, and with the light closing in, play was called off for the day with Gloucestershire well on top despite losing the toss.
Northants will resume on Monday at 134-7, and with the responsibility for a respectable score firmly in the hands of Steven Crook.
Northamptonshire won the toss and elected to bat.
Michael Klinger | Christopher Dent | Graeme van Buuren | Gareth Roderick | Hamish Marshall | George Hankins | Kieran Noema-Barnett | Jack Taylor | Joshua Shaw | Craig Miles | David Payne |
Robert Newton | Ben Duckett | Alex Wakely | Richard Levi | Adam Rossington | Robert Keogh | Steven Crook | Richard Gleeson | Ben Sanderson | Mohammad Azharullah | Seekkuge Prasanna |