Gloucestershire v Sussex
Royal London One-Day Cup -
24 July 2016
Gloucestershire beat Sussex by 51 runs
Venue: College Ground Cheltenham
A Man of the Match performance with bat and ball from Tom Smith helped Gloucestershire end the 2016 Brewin Dolphin Cheltenham Festival with a victory by 51 runs over Sussex and keep alive their hopes of a place in the knockout stages of the Royal London Cup.
The holders were put into bat and made 242-8, with Smith contributing an unbeaten 43 and taking 4-26 from his 10 overs as Sussex were dismissed for 191 in the 46th over, despite Harry Finch (87 not out) comfortably making the highest score of the match.
With wins elsewhere for Middlesex, Somerset and Surrey, Gloucestershire are only three points off top spot with three games left in the South group.
Listen to Tom Smith’s post match thoughts here :
Gloucestershire left Jack Taylor and David Payne out of their squad of 13, and gave a List A debut to teenage wicket keeper Patrick Grieshaber. Both teams played two spinners which as it turned out offered them good control over the scoring rate.
Gloucestershire’s innings lacked a pillar to build it around. Michael Klinger was swiftly into his stride after losing the toss, picking up four boundaries in quick succession off Shazad and Archer but Chris Dent (10) and Ian Cockbain (8) went cheaply and when Hamish Marshall’s last Cheltenham innings was ended by a big inside edge to a ball from Chris Jordan Gloucestershire were 66-3.
Van Buuren and Klinger played sensibly against Sussex’s two slow bowlers, Beer and Briggs until Klinger was adjudged lbw to Beer’s leg spin for 46, although he clearly thought there was an element of bat in his shot. Beer bowled straight through his 10 overs and also had Benny Howell caught behind for 19, so with 20 overs remaining Gloucestershire were five wickets down and needed to be pragmatic over the time they had left.
The middle and lower order provided the necessary common sense with careful shot placement into what Tom Smith afterwards called the “pockets” of the College Ground where you can turn singles into twos. Van Buuren was bowled by Jordan for 38, but Noema-Barnett and Smith added 42 and then Smith and debutant Grieshaber 45, the latter with only one boundary. Grieshaber was bowled off the last ball for 20, but he had been a fine foil for Smith, whose 43 not out came from only 46 balls.
Michael Klinger spoke after the T20 win over Essex that wickets in the powerplay can make a big difference and once again here Gloucestershire got a good start, Joyce chipping Taylor to Van Buuren at mid wicket and Grieshaber gleefully clutching an edge from Salt off Miles.
Harry Finch soon made it clear he would play the anchor role and with skipper Luke Wright and Chris Nash in Sussex’s middle order it appeared the right tactic, only for both their most experienced batsmen to be out with only 12 overs of Sussex’s run chase having elapsed.
Wright’s leg glance to Marshall at mid wicket was unerringly accurate, and Nash was the first of Smith’s four victims. It would have been easy for Sussex to be out of the game early from that position, but Finch and Ben Brown had seen what the Gloucestershire lower order had achieved and adopted the same policy, adding 70 in 19 overs with only three boundaries.
Smith bowled seven miserly overs during that period, and with three saved for later, Benny Howell lured Brown into a delicate cut shot and Cockbain took a comfortable catch in the gully. Jordan threatened briefly before giving Grieshaber his second catch, again off Smith, but thereafter Finch didn’t get the necessary support to push Sussex close to Gloucestershire’s total.
The biggest cheer came when Smith turned and ran towards the Chapel End to take a towering catch off his own bowling to remove Archer. Shazad (also to Smith) and Beer quickly followed before Howell bowled Briggs in the 46th over, leaving Finch without a partner having made 87 not out from 115 balls with eight fours and a six.
The result gave Gloucestershire a third win in a third different competition at this year’s Festival, and means there is still everything to play for in the day/night match against Surrey on Wednesday.
Sussex won the toss and elected to bowl.
Christopher Dent | Michael Klinger | Ian Cockbain | Benny Howell | Kieran Noema-Barnett | Patrick Grieshaber | Hamish Marshall | Tom Smith | Craig Miles | Matthew Taylor | Graeme van Buuren |
Luke Wright | Chris Nash | Philip Salt | Edmund Joyce | Harry Finch | Chris Jordan | Ben Brown | Danny Briggs | Will Beer | Ajmal Shahzad | Jofra Archer |