Gloucestershire v Nottinghamshire
Specsavers County Championship -
9 June 2017
Gloucestershire drew with Nottinghamshire
Venue: The Brightside Ground, Bristol
Graeme van Buuren ended a run of low scores with a season’s best 88 not out to frustrate Division 2 leaders Nottinghamshire and secure a draw for Gloucestershire in their last Championship game at the Brightside Ground until September.
The 26 year old also passed 4,000 first class runs during an innings that lasted over five hours, and with stoic support from Chris Dent (71) and Phil Mustard (39), two stands of 91 and 92 thwarted the visitors after two wickets fell early on.
When the teams shook hands Gloucestershire were 254-5 in their 2nd innings, 22 runs ahead with only 10 overs play remaining.
Listen to the thoughts of head coach Richard Dawson on the draw here:
Only 19 wickets had fallen in the game when Chris Dent and Will Tavare left the pavilion at the start of the final day, and with all the talk on Sunday evening being of Samit Patel’s low risk approach to his unbeaten 257, Gloucestershire needed them to replicate his methodical approach to avoid defeat. The start was hardly ideal.
Harry Gurney was the bowler to cause the trouble, sending back both Tavare (7) and Roderick (2) with deliveries that swung from around the wicket to get lbw decisions. 30-1 had become 35-3, and Nottinghamshire’s field placing showed creativity as they tried to split Dent and van Buuren’s partnership for the fourth wicket.
For Dent in particular, such a rearguard position was not unusual. Three of his four previous centuries at the Brightside Ground had been in the second innings of drawn matches, and at times here Nottinghamshire had four men in catching positions in front of the wicket, such was the pace of the pitch. He did spoon one delivery from Hutton short of mid on, but otherwise mirrored the application of his efforts against Durham earlier in the season, and reached his half century on the stroke of lunch from 115 balls with six boundaries.
Dent’s partnership with van Buuren had by that stage added 65 with the strike being almost equally split. Nottinghamshire captain Chris Read had tried six bowlers, and the sight of Riki Wessels in the attack shortly after the resumption showed the pair were beginning to win this war of attrition. It was checked half an hour later by another lbw, Dent playing around a ball from Brett Hutton having made 71, and added 91 with van Buuren in 36 overs.
At 126-4 Gloucestershire still trailed by 106 so Phil Mustard’s defensive guard was up immediately. One straight drive by van Buuren off Hutton was the best of the day and he had faced 170 balls when a punch past point off Fletcher brought up his own half century. A long hop from the occasional spin of Pujara was despatched shortly before tea as the match equation tipped further in Gloucestershire’s favour, and even 14 bowling changes couldn’t dislodge a fifth wicket stand which took tea just 43 runs behind.
The last throw of the dice for Nottinghamshire came with the second new ball, taken with 26 overs left and with Gloucestershire still in arrears on the scoreboard. Mustard, having grafted for 39 and added 92 with van Buuren in 33 overs, cut Fletcher to Libby at point. The job was almost done, but not quite, and it was left to Jack Taylor to quell his natural exuberance and bat for an hour with van Buuren until Gloucestershire edged ahead and the draw was secured, Taylor passing 2,000 first class runs in the process.
This, however, was van Buuren’s day. He didn’t make a hundred, but his long stay at the crease (242 balls) provided the glue Gloucestershire’s second innings needed against a side likely to return to Division 1 at the end of the season. Moreover it should have boosted his confidence for when the first team return to action in the Championship at Hove on June 26.
A career best score by Nottinghamshire all rounder Samit Patel saw the Division 2 leaders tighten their grip on this game during the third day at the Brightside Ground.
Having started the morning 78 not out, Patel not only completed his hundred but then added another one to it as Nottinghamshire built a lead that not only left Gloucestershire playing for a draw, but also maintained a chance of the visitors recording a victory.
The declaration, at 535-8, came when Patel reached 257 not out, beating his previous best score in first class cricket. Ten overs remained for Gloucestershire to survive, and although Bancroft went cheaply, Dent and Tavare were together at stumps when Gloucestershire had reached 30-1, 202 runs behind.
Listen to the close of play thoughts of head coach Richard Dawson here:
An increasingly pale Bristol wicket greeted the players at the start of the day, and even with a new ball at their disposal the Gloucestershire bowlers would have known that based on the first two days play the seven remaining wickets were unlikely to fall in a clump. Indeed from a Nottinghamshire viewpoint, the day went almost perfectly to script.
Craig Miles’ removal of night watchman Luke Fletcher for a duck after an edge to ‘keeper Gareth Roderick took only four overs, but for some while afterwards the game reverted to the steady – some might say slow – tempo of the previous six sessions. There was no devilment in the wicket, but equally attacking shots bore an element of risk few batsmen were prepared to take, hence runs were accumulated in largely unspectacular fashion.
It seems hard to talk about a double hundred in such tones, but in terms of strokes Patel’s innings was, chiefly, unremarkable. He did have moments of fortune, but his concentration to knuckle down and double his score after reaching his first hundred with a succession of carefully placed rather than powerful shots highlighted a ruthless approach borne of a career played almost exclusively in Division 1. The even pace of his innings also showed excellent game awareness.
Left hander Michael Lumb was first to join Patel after Fletcher was out, and they added 54 in measured fashion until Lumb (23) was lbw to Chris Liddle. By lunch the overnight deficit had been erased by Patel and Riki Wessels, who was the first to offer a change of gear in the period just before the interval.
Wessels’ cameo ended when he played back to Jack Taylor and was lbw for 18 , but Nottinghamshire skipper Chris Read was just the man to pick up the baton. In his final season as a player, the former Gloucestershire ‘keeper put together a stand of 83 with Patel, driving crisply through the covers and lofting Noema-Barnett over long-on for six.
In making 40, Read passed 16,000 first class runs before Noema-Barnett bowled him with the lead at 105, but Hutton – who was at the other end when Patel completed his double hundred with a square drive off Noema-Barnett – and Wood, who played freely for an unbeaten 38, were good foils for the painstaking patient Patel. When the declaration came, he had batted for more than eight hours, and struck 23 fours and one six.
On such an unresponsive pitch, it was no surprise that Gloucestershire skipper Phil Mustard shared the work amongst his bowlers. Their control in the conditions was commendable, and it was only in the final hour or so – when Nottinghamshire scored 96 runs in 20 overs – that the run rate significantly increased.
It left Gloucestershire an awkward ten overs to negotiate before stumps, only for Cameron Bancroft to depart to the second delivery, lbw to Luke Fletcher. Dent and Tavare stood firm until the close but at 30-1, 202 behind, Gloucestershire are firmly on the back foot with one day remaining.
Championship cricket takes many forms. Some burst into life early on and bubble along in similar fashion throughout. Saturday’s play at the Brightside Ground was the complete opposite, as both Gloucestershire and Nottinghamshire tried to wrestle control of the match only to find the other wouldn’t give way.
Batsmen on both sides found free scoring more difficult than pure occupation of the crease, so much so that the day produced a modest 268 runs and only six wickets, although Gloucestershire critically removed Indian Test player Cheteshwar Pujara for 67 just before the close.
At stumps, in reply to Gloucestershire’s 303 all out, Nottinghamshire had reached 221-3, and they’ll start the third day 82 runs behind.
Listen to the close of play views of Graeme van Buuren here:
Play started with Gloucestershire on 256-7, and with 14 overs to try and secure a further batting point. The sub plot was whether Gareth Roderick could find another dozen runs to complete a century on his return to first team action. One was achieved, while the other was agonisingly short.
Roderick and Craig Miles resumed their eighth wicket stand against Gurney and Wood, with Miles comfortably punching Wood past point twice for four when any width was offered. A flat batted pull by Roderick took him to within one scoring stroke of his hundred, only to play around a full length ball on 96 and see Wood splay his stumps.
The pair had added 48, and David Payne’s departure to the next delivery left Chris Liddle, as Phil Mustard had been on the first afternoon, facing a hat trick ball. He survived, and stayed long enough for Miles to manufacture nine runs off the 110th over to bring up the 300. A sixth first class fifty for Miles was also now within sight, but the spin of Patel ended affairs as Miles was trapped lbw for 47 in his first over of the day. He would later prove a thorn in Gloucestershire’s side with the bat too.
45 minutes remained until lunch for Nottinghamshire to respond to Gloucestershire’s 303, and despite the experiment of Kieran Noema-Barnett sharing the new ball with David Payne, openers Mullaney and Libby quietly ticked up 32 runs without undue fuss.
Any pie chart for the pattern of run scoring by both players would have shown deep colours square of and behind the wicket, with the dab to third man and a flick off the pads being the dominant shots, although only Chris Liddle failed to exert any control.
It was Graeme van Buuren’s left arm spin – initially introduced so Craig Miles could change ends – which provided the breakthrough at the start of a marathon 22 over spell, Mullaney (38) playing an ugly stroke and lofting a straight forward catch to Payne at mid on.
Now bowling downwind, Miles then removed Libby for 30 in the next over, Roderick taking a routine catch from the faintest of edges. He was the seventh batsman in the match to get out between 25 and 50, although it was a marker passed by both Nottinghamshire’s third wicket pair.
Soon after they joined forces it was clear Cheteshwar Pujara and Samit Patel were booking in for a long stay. Neither of them was ruffled by van Buuren whipping through his overs or by an extended and economical spell by Miles, and although by tea they had added 51 the stand had taken 22 overs as timing remained challenging.
Gloucestershire captain Phil Mustard will have been pleased that his bowlers plugged away to contain such an experienced pair until late in the day when both completed fifties which had called for hard graft, Patel’s coming from 120 balls, and Pujara’s 132. Between them, there were 12 boundaries.
With the new ball due on Sunday morning it was therefore a bonus to see Pujara miscue Jack Taylor to Noema-Barnett at short cover for 67 in the penultimate over. Patel’s share of their stand of 146 was 78, and he’ll resume alongside night watchman Luke Fletcher with Nottinghamshire 221-3, 82 runs behind.
Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick showed patient application for over four hours to even up the first day of this Division 2 Championship match at the Brightside Ground.
Roderick’s first Championship appearance of the summer saw him justify his selection with an unbeaten innings of 88, and he shared a fifth wicket partnership of 83 with captain Phil Mustard (37) which dragged Gloucestershire’s innings round from a jittery position at 77-4 shortly after lunch.
A further workmanlike stand of 65 for the seventh wicket between Roderick and Kieran Noema-Barnett (35) further redressed the balance as Gloucestershire reached 256-7 against the unbeaten league leaders at the close.
Listen to head coach Richard Dawson’s close of play thoughts here:
George Hankins and Matt Taylor were left out from the squad of 13, which allowed Gareth Roderick and David Payne to come in after illness and injury respectively. Roderick, however, did not resume as skipper, with Phil Mustard on duty when Chris Read decided Nottinghamshire would field first without the need to spin a coin.
Notts almost struck in the first over, as 6’7 Luke Fletcher had a strong appeal for lbw against Cameron Bancroft turned down, and with his height and the shorter and more skiddy appproach of Luke Wood at the other end Gloucestershire’s start was circumspect.
The first hour saw little beat the bat, and Bancroft and Chris Dent had to content themselves with a lot of watchful defence as they accumulated 37 careful runs.
Steven Mullaney, on as first change at the Ashley Down Road end, typified procedings by conceding only one scoring shot in his first five overs, although it was Harry Gurney who provided the first breakthrough as he trapped Chris Dent lbw for 27.
Head coach Richard Dawson had spoken before the game about coping with any pressure built up by the accuracy of the Nottinghamshire attack, and only half a dozen boundaries had been conceded when Will Tavare was deceived by a Luke Fletcher yorker and adjudged lbw for six on the stroke of lunch. Within half an hour of the resumption, Mustard had joined Roderick with some repair work to be done.
The damage had been caused by Brett Hutton, who turned Bancroft around and induced an edge to ‘keeper Read in his first over of a new spell. The Australian had made 37, his second highest score of the season, and he was joined in the pavilion one ball later by Graeme van Burren, who was bowled off an inside edge.
Mustard avoided the hat trick and the rest of the afternoon session was about a determined partnership with Roderick rallying the innings. The left handed Mustard, who had scored 53 and 49 in the game at Trent Bridge, picked up early boundaries off Mullaney and Gurney while Roderick batted at his own measured pace, collecting what runs he could chiefly on the leg side.
The half century stand took 17 overs but the pair had more than doubled the score by tea, at which point two sessions batting seen Gloucestershire reach 159-4. Once again, however, two wickets soon after the resumption dragged back the scoreboard.
Mustard, having grafted for 37, edged the recalled Gurney to ‘keeper Read in the first over from the Pavilion end, and Jack Taylor (5) gave Pujara a straight forward catch at point off Wood.
The applause which greeted Roderick’s fifty, made from 115 balls with five fours, will have been music to the right hander’s ears in his first Championship match of the season. It didn’t contain any great volume of glorious stroke play, but it helped to stabilise the innings as well as build his own confidence and secure a batting point by the time the second new ball was taken.
14 overs remained on the day when Fletcher and Wood were recalled to share it although neither lasted long as Noema-Barnett, batting with increased freedom at number eight, accelerated the run rate on the day with a flurry of boundaries before being bowled by Gurney for 35. The pair had added 65, and Roderick had closed to within twelve runs of a century when stumps were drawn.
Nottinghamshire elected to bowl.
Christopher Dent | Cameron Bancroft | William Tavare | Gareth Roderick | Graeme van Buuren | Phil Mustard | Jack Taylor | Kieran Noema-Barnett | Craig Miles | David Payne | Christopher Liddle |
Steven Mullaney | Jacob Libby | Cheteshwar Pujara | Samit Patel | Michael Lumb | Mattheus Wessels | Christopher Read | Brett Hutton | Luke Fletcher | Luke Wood | Harry Gurney |