Second XI Championship - 28 June 2021
Northamptonshire 2nd XI won by 3 wickets
Venue: Rockhampton CC
Gloucestershire v Northamptonshire
Returning to 4 day Cricket, Gloucestershire had a youthful side to play against Northamptonshire however with plenty of experience behind them including Tom Lace who was leading the side. Lace lost the toss and Gloucestershire were put into bat to face the music at Rockhampton CC.
In the first innings, the notorious Gareth Berg got the away side off to a perfect start dismissing George Scott for a first ball duck. The return of Ben Charlesworth (25) from injury made sure Gloucestershire recovered by seeing off the new ball. Tom Lace (64) and George Hankins (77) came together in the middle order putting on a 4th wicket partnership of 74 which led to the home side reaching a strong position for 226 for 6. However, Simon Kerrigan made sure the tail couldn’t wag bowling an impressive spell taking 6 for 42 which led to Gloucestershire collapsing to 260 all out.
In reply, Northants built a steady start until Matt Taylor (3 for 45) took 2 quick wickets having E Gay LBW and C Thurston caught for a second ball duck. Wickets regularly fell throughout the innings as Gloucestershire continued to squeeze pressure on Northants batsman thanks to Harry Hankins (2 for 39), George Scott (2 for 16) and Ollie Price (2 for 55) all chipping in. However, James Sales was the difference in the sides for Northants hitting a brilliantly made 116 and was the last man dismissed taking the away side to 290 all out.
Gloucestershire looking to bat time and build a healthy lead, looked to do so at the top order with starts from Ben Charlesworth (27), George Scott (24) and Tom Lace (32). They were all dismissed by Simon Kerrigan as he once again looked dominant with his accurate spin. However, this brought to the crease Ollie Price (100*) and wicket keeper Ben Wells (55) who produced an 104 partnership in middle order as Gloucestershire declared on 311 for 6 to set Northants a target of 285 to win. Ollie Price batted superbly for his century which included 10 fours.
The final day got off to the perfect start for the home side with Dom Goodman taking the wicket of H Gouldstone for a duck, caught behind Ben Wells. Exciting young prospect for Northants Emilio Gay batting with great control and upped the gears when required hitting 74 building vital partnerships with the middle order at a pace to set up an exciting finish. Gloucestershire Academy Players Max Shephered and Will Naish took the crucial wickets of A Basra and S Kerrigan to halt proceedings, but this brought to the crease A Buchake (25*) and J Watson (28) who sealed victory in the closing moments of Day 4 crossing the line at 285 for 7.