Gareth Roderick marked his return to LV=County Championship action with a fifty and three catches on a dramatic opening day against Kent at Bristol.
It ended with the visitors 33-6 in reply to Gloucestershire’s 252 all out as 16 wickets fell in apparently excellent batting conditions.
No one was surprised when Michael Klinger elected to bat first on winning the toss and it looked a good opportunity for the home batsmen to strike form.
Instead only Roderick, with 59, managed a half-century in what looked a below par total. Hamish Marshall (44), Will Gidman (31) and Tom Smith (30) were the other main contributors.
Gidman and James Fuller then launched a storming fightback with the ball, reducing Kent to 2-4 and 17-5, Will taking two of the wickets and James three.
Matt Taylor sent back Ben Harmison to make it 27-6 and the visitors looked in danger of failing to reach the 103 needed to avoid following on.
Kent still require 70 more to avoid that prospect. The pick of Roderick’s catches was a brilliant diving effort down the leg side to dismiss Sam Northeast off Fuller.
There was nothing untoward in the wicket as pitch inspector David Caple confirmed before leaving the ground.
At the close Will Gidman told this website: “It was one of those strange days that sometimes happen in cricket. The pitch and the weather were fine, but wickets kept falling.
“It is hard to explain. While we finished up in a good position we won’t let it escape us that we had a pretty poor day with the bat and need to improve in that respect.
“James Fuller bowled a fantastic spell at the start of Kent’s innings and the lads tell me he was in similar form at The Oval.
“He can bowl a heavy ball with apparently little effort and it is great to see him performing so well. He is gaining confidence all the time, which helps with rhythm, and is showing excellent control.
“The pitch is dry and may turn as the game wears on. But at the moment it is good and we will need to keep bowling well in the morning.”
For more details on day one against Kent click on Cricket and then Match Reports.