Royal London One-Day Cup - 18 May 2018
Gloucestershire won by 8 wickets
Venue: Sophia Gardens
Glamorgan v Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire's top order batsmen produced a strong collective performance to seal a dominant eight wicket win against Glamorgan in the opening Royal London Cup fixture at Sophia Gardens.
In glorious conditions, skipper Chris Dent (80) and George Hankins (85) put on 147 for the first wicket after Gloucestershire were set a target of 265 to win, but when the partnership was split Benny Howell took up the baton, making an unbeaten 68 and striking the winning boundary in the penultimate over.
Earlier a double strike in mid-innings by Dan Worrall and three late wickets for Chris Liddle pegged back Glamorgan to 264 all out, a total local observers felt was below par. Their knowledge proved to be spot on.
REACTION: George Hankins reflects on a career best 85 in List A cricket in the 8 wicket win over Glamorgan pic.twitter.com/U2OkCT6WyQ— Gloucestershire CCC (@Gloscricket) May 18, 2018
Gloucestershire omitted Graeme van Buuren and Miles Hammond from the original squad of 13, and Glamorgan skipper Colin Ingram decided to bat first when he won the toss, which looked a sound decision early on as little went past the bat on an easy paced pitch. Indeed Dan Worrall - who opened with Matt Taylor - was to prove more efficient with an older ball later in the innings, as a flurry of fours from Nick Selman gave Glamorgan a brisk start.
It was bowling changes that brought the first two breakthroughs, Jack Murphy clipping Ryan Higgins straight to Howell at cover and then Selman wofting at Chris Liddle's opening delivery and edging to Gareth Roderick. At 47-2 skipper Dent brought Worrall back, clearly aware that splitting the experienced pair of Ingram and Shaun Marsh would give Gloucestershire a key advantage.
Both left handers survived without alarm, and methodically built what looked a pivotal stand which took Glamorgan to 123-2 at half distance with both men well set, Marsh having struck the first six of the match having completed a 60 ball half century.
At that point Glamorgan were threatening a score of over 300, but Dent's decision to give Worrall a third short burst paid off as the Australian dimissed both Ingram - caught at cover by Howell for 44 - and Marsh (57), who edged to Roderick after being hurried by a short straight bouncer. The pair had added 98 at virtually a run a ball.
With 20 overs left, Lloyd and Cooke shared the need to rebuild the earlier momentum and without peppering the boundary boards they accumulated 50 runs in ten of them, Lloyd bringing up the 200 with a crunching cover drove off Liddle.
When we was dropped - a hard chance to Cockbain at point - one wondered at what cost, but the damage was limited as first Howell bowled Cooke in his final over for 39, and then Liddle mopped up most of the tail, finishing with 4-60 after taking three wickets in nine balls including Lloyd, who was caught on the square leg boundary by Jack Taylor for 45.
Both sides were certainly in the game at this point, but Gloucestershire wrestled the initiative in the first batting powerplay and never relinquished it. The decision to push George Hankins up to open alongside skipper Dent was swiftly vindicated, as the 21 year old profited from some errant length bowling from van der Gugten and particularly de Lange, who he soon drove twice powerfully through extra cover.
Not to be outdone, Dent pulled both bowlers to the square leg boundary either side of offering a tricky caught and bowled chance to van der Gugten when on 16. It went to ground, and when Cooke and Lloyd made a mess of a skied catch in the 11th over off Hogan - neither reached it - you felt it would be Gloucestershire's day.
The key to the run rate was the volume of boundaries, with none of the Glamorgan bowlers able to apply the brake. Straight drives, cuts and paddle sweeps were within a full range of shots that brought both Dent and Hankins half centuries within 20 overs, Dent's off 51 balls and Hankins 57, with no fewer than 15 scoring strokes reaching the rope.
Glamorgan certainly needed snookers when, with the score on 147, Dent (80) attacked Graham Wagg's occasional off spin and found the safe hands of de Lange on the long on boundary. It was to prove only a temporary blip in Gloucestershire's progress as whilst Hankins slowed down, Benny Howell signalled his arrival by hitting leg spinner Ingram over long on for six.
Ahead of the run rate for most of their reply, Gloucestershire were rarely pressurised on the scoreboard. Howell's reverse sweeping of Salter showed his confidence on his way to an unbeaten half century, and Hankins only disappointment will have been that he missed the chance of a possible hundred. 39 runs were still needed when he was lbw to Salter for 85 but it was a still an invaluable contribution and a career best List A score.
It was left to Gareth Roderick to complete the victory with Howell, who lifted van der Gugten over mid on in the penultimate over to set off Gloucestershire's South Group campaign in the Royal London Cup firmly on the right foot.
Glamorgan won the toss and elected to bat.
Nicholas Selman | Shaun Marsh | Colin Ingram | Jack Murphy | Christopher Cooke | David Lloyd | Graham Wagg | Andrew Salter | Michael Hogan | Timm van der Gugten | Marchant de Lange |
Benny Howell | Christopher Dent | Ian Cockbain | Gareth Roderick | George Hankins | Jack Taylor | Ryan Higgins | Tom Smith | Daniel Worrall | Matthew Taylor | Christopher Liddle |
|Gloucestershire win by 8 wickets|
|Glamorgan First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Nick Selman||Caught Gareth Roderick Bowled Chris Liddle||32||45||39||6||0|
|Jack Murphy||Caught Benny Howell Bowled Ryan Higgins||9||24||17||1||0|
|Shaun Marsh||Caught Gareth Roderick Bowled Daniel Worrall||57||88||71||6||1|
|Colin Ingram||Caught Benny Howell Bowled Daniel Worrall||44||60||45||5||0|
|David Lloyd||Caught Jack Taylor Bowled Chris Liddle||45||78||57||3||0|
|Chris Cooke||Bowled Benny Howell||39||49||38||3||0|
|Graham Wagg||Bowled Daniel Worrall||9||13||10||1||0|
|Andrew Salter||Caught Tom Smith Bowled Chris Liddle||7||11||5||1||0|
|Marchant de Lange||Caught George Hankins Bowled Matt Taylor||10||16||6||0||1|
|Timm van der Gugten||Caught Ian Cockbain Bowled Chris Liddle||3||8||6||0||0|
|Michael Hogan||Not Out||4||5||4||0||0|
|Extras||0b 1lb 2nb 0p 2w||5|
Fall of wickets
|Gloucestershire First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|George Hankins||L.B.W. Andrew Salter||85||147||114||10||0|
|Chris Dent||Caught Marchant de Lange Bowled Graham Wagg||80||92||78||9||1|
|Benny Howell||Not Out||68||82||81||4||2|
|Gareth Roderick||Not Out||19||28||17||2||0|
|Extras||0b 9lb 0nb 0p 4w||13|
Fall of wickets
|Marchant de Lange||9||0||66||0|
|Timm van der Gugten||7||0||42||0|