Non First Class Match - 5 April 2019
Venue: Bristol County Ground
Gloucestershire v Oxford MCCU
Gloucestershire's last warm-up game before the first class season begins on Thursday finished as a draw after Oxford MCCU resisted stubbornly on the final day.
Resuming at 21-0, opener Tom Heathfield occupied the crease until midway through the afternoon session before he was lbw to Benny Howell for 85. His contribution gave the scorecard a lop sided look, as after three early wickets for Ryan Higgins - including that of first wicket partner Seward for 23 - only David Scott (26) made a significant contribution in a total of 175.
Harry Hankins, on his first team debut, took his first wicket for the club, and with Gloucestershire captain Chris Dent regularly rotating his bowlers the remainder were shared with Higgins, Howell and Matt Taylor picking up three wickets each.
It left Gloucestershire, despite a lead of 291, with the bulk of the final session to get some more batting practice before stumps were drawn, openers Miles Hammond and skipper Chris Dent occupying the crease for ten overs before the captains shook hands with Gloucestershire 33 for no wicket, 324 runs ahead.
At the close, here were the thoughts of head coach Richard Dawson...
The overall pace of the final day's play wasn't a surprise, as the Oxford MCCU batsmen generally found it easier to survive than pierce the field. In the end, they batted for just over two sessions, but could have lost wicket keeper James Seward in the first over had Harry Hankins gathered a chance right on the rope at long leg.
Seward and Tom Heathfield added 27 runs on the day before Seward edged Higgins to skipper Dent at second slip. Matthew Taylor was clean bowled two balls later, and when McBride was lbw, also to Higgins, three wickets had gone down for four runs in 27 balls.
Benny Howell was the other successful bowler before lunch, trapping Harrison lbw, but the tall frame of Heathfield remained at one end throughout, contributing 37 of the 66 runs scored in the session and completing his half century from 120 balls with a thick edge off Matt Taylor to the third man boundary.
Five bowlers, including spinner Graeme van Buuren, had been used by this point and the concept of sharing the workload continued after lunch with James Bracey taking over wicket keeping duties in place of Gareth Roderick. He took two catches, one of them giving Harry Hankins his first Gloucestershire wicket in a first team fixture as Shaw (7) edged into Bracey's gloves.
Scott and Heathfield added 33 before Benny Howell split their sixth wicket stand by removing the patient Heathfield for 85, and in his next over Pettman edged to the safe hands of skipper Dent at second slip. Matt Taylor's three wickets came in a clump either side of tea, the last two in the same over mopping up the tail to leave him with figures of 3-60. Higgins (3-30) and Howell (3-37) also had useful workouts.
Hammond and Dent spent 45 minutes in the middle as Gloucestershire's second innings occupied the remaining time up until the start of the final hour, when the teams shook hands and the match was drawn.
Gareth Roderick and George Hankins both completed centuries as Gloucestershire batted deep into the second day against Oxford MCCU at the Bristol County Ground.
Resuming as the overnight pair, Hankins (118) and Roderick (115) took their stand to 224 for the fourth wicket before Hankins retired, and later Roderick also walked off without being authentically dismissed to allow the remainder of the Gloucestershire batting line up some time in the middle.
It was Benny Howell (87*) and Ryan Higgins (74*) who made the most of their opportunity, adding 131 together for the eighth wicket before Gloucestershire declared at 466-7, leaving Oxford MCCU half an hour to bat before stumps.
At the close they were 21 without loss.
With the Championship season less than a week away, head coach Richard Dawson will have been heartened that two specialist batsmen played long innings in a red ball game. True, the runs won't count in any first class records and the Oxford MCCU attack lacked experience but both Roderick and Hankins showed the concentration they'll need if selected against Derbyshire next Thursday.
The tempo initially was measured, Hankins bringing up his own fifty with a low edge past slip off Wilkinson. It had taken 90 balls, and the same shot also saw the fourth wicket pair complete a century stand from 31 overs.
Roderick punched Ackter pleasingly through the off side when he had his first bowl of the day, and a shot whipped through mid wicket off Murphy brought up his half century in a session with few false strokes.
The wicket keeper did however have the one escape, being dropped on 65 at deep square leg off Wilkinson, the fielder spilling a low catch after appearing to misjudge the flight of the ball. That apart, both batsmen scored steadily, forcing effectively through the covers off the back foot against a seam attack that bowled all but one over in the pre-lunch session. 113 runs were added with 16 boundaries, and it was no surprise that there were two hundreds on the scoreboard soon after the resumption.
Hankins reached three figures first, working leg spinner Harrison into the off side. He had hit 14 fours, and a wide arc of the bat outside off stump saw him send the same bowler over the rope in front of the apartments before making way after more than four hours at the crease.
Roderick's century ticked up after a push into the covers off Murphy, the 27 year old having faced 227 balls and struck 10 boundaries. An hour before tea and with 115 against his name, Roderick was replaced by Jack Taylor, only for the all rounder to be caught behind off Zamar Ackter before the session was out.
Graeme van Buuren also went cheaply but Benny Howell, striving for a place next week in a competitive area of the side, will have pressed his case with a steadily compiled half century, which included a spell batting against the second new ball.
He was 87 not out when the declaration came but having made nearly 30 of his first 60 runs in singles, there was some late acceleration alongside Ryan Higgins, who added 131 with him in 17 overs for the eighth wicket. Batting in a manner which would have been welcomed in the imprending white ball cricket, Higgins took 20 runs off one over from spinner Scott and struck four sixes and five fours against a tiring attack on his way to an unbeaten 74.
With a total of 466-7 on the board, Chris Dent gave Matt Taylor and debutant Harry Hankins the new ball. Both had attacking fields against Oxford MCCU openers Heathfield and Seward, but neither could secure a breakthough in the final eight overs of the day.
The first day's cricket of the 2019 season at the Bristol County Ground was restricted to just 27 overs, with Gloucestershire making 84-3 in their first innings after losing the toss and being asked to bat.
The three left handers at the top of the order - skipper Chris Dent, Miles Hammond and James Bracey - were all back in the pavilion with only 17 runs on the board, so it was left to the right handed pair of Gareth Roderick and George Hankins to bring some stability to proceedings before the rain intervened shortly before tea.
When the pair returned at 5.15pm, Gloucestershire were 51-3 and they added another 33 runs in 10 overs before the light became too gloomy to continue.
Play didn't start at all until 2.50pm, chiefly because of intermittent drizzle which came and went for much of the morning. After an early lunch was taken the weather cleared, but it was predictable that the successful captain at the toss would choose to field. Toby Pettman called correctly and decided his Oxford MCCU side would bowl against a Gloucestershire team that included Harry Hankins, younger brother of George, for the first time in a first XI fixture.
Pettman and Alex Wilkinson shared the new ball and it was left armer Wilkinson who enjoyed a productive first spell. In his second over Miles Hammond got underneath an attempted pull and lofted a chance high into the leg side which was safely taken by 'keeper Seward, and soon afterwards James Bracey dragged a ball into his stumps.
Four slips were in place when Pettman bowled Dent with a ball that moved a long way off the seam, and had McBride held onto an edge from Roderick off Wilkinson, the first 40 minutes play would have look even more one sided on the card.
The Oxford MCCU new ball pair bowled 11 overs between them, but the introduction of David Murphy brought two boundaries to George Hankins, the first past point and the second closer to extra cover, an area where he has scored heavily on warmer, sunnier days.
Drizzle was threatening once more when Hankins despatched a loosener from Ackter through the off side, and the players were forced off soon afterwards with Roderick and Hankins having added 34 for the fourth wicket.
The delay at that point was more than an hour, but the light lifted sufficiently to allow a resumption, George Hankins producing one of the crispest shots of the day to bring up the 50 partnership. Roderick, having scored a century against Worcestershire in a 50 over game on Monday, also had another useful 90 minutes in the middle and with the forecast better for day 2, both will want to capitialise on the starts they made in murky conditions.
Oxford MCCU won the toss and elected to bowl.
Christopher Dent | Miles Hammond | James Bracey | Gareth Roderick | George Hankins | Jack Taylor | Graeme van Buuren | Benny Howell | Ryan Higgins | Matthew Taylor | Harry Hankins |
Thomas Heathfield | James Seward | Matthew Taylor | Christopher McBride | Calvin Harrison | Louie Shaw | David Scott | Zaman Akhter | Toby Pettman | Alex Wilkinson | David Murphy |
|Match Drawn||Gloucestershire second innings|
33 - 0
|Gloucestershire First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Miles Hammond||Caught James Seward Bowled Alex Wilkinson||5||16||10||1||0|
|Chris Dent||Bowled Toby Pettman||7||32||23||1||0|
|James Bracey||Bowled Alex Wilkinson||3||10||4||0||0|
|Gareth Roderick||Retired Out||115||295||241||13||0|
|George Hankins||Retired Out||118||260||173||16||1|
|Benny Howell||Not Out||87||168||110||9||0|
|Jack Taylor||Caught James Seward Bowled Zaman Akhter||7||38||36||0||0|
|Graeme van Buuren||L.B.W. Alex Wilkinson||15||36||28||2||0|
|Ryan Higgins||Not Out||74||65||51||5||4|
|Extras||16b 9lb 8nb 0p 2w||35|
Fall of wickets
|Oxford MCCU First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Tom Heathfield||L.B.W. Benny Howell||85||228||199||12||0|
|James Seward||Caught Chris Dent Bowled Ryan Higgins||23||59||43||4||0|
|Matthew Taylor||Bowled Ryan Higgins||0||3||2||0||0|
|Christopher McBride||L.B.W. Ryan Higgins||0||16||7||0||0|
|Calvin Harrison||L.B.W. Benny Howell||4||43||33||0||0|
|Louie Shaw||Caught James Bracey Bowled Harry Hankins||7||65||53||0||0|
|David Scott||Caught James Bracey Bowled Matt Taylor||26||71||50||4||0|
|Toby Pettman||Caught Chris Dent Bowled Benny Howell||2||9||4||0||0|
|Zaman Akhter||Not Out||13||39||28||2||0|
|Alex Wilkinson||Caught George Hankins Bowled Matt Taylor||2||17||6||0||0|
|David Murphy||Bowled Matt Taylor||4||4||4||1||0|
|Extras||0b 3lb 6nb 0p 0w||9|
Fall of wickets
|Graeme van Buuren||11||6||16||0|
|Gloucestershire Second Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Chris Dent||Not Out||5||42||27||0||0|
|Miles Hammond||Not Out||28||42||33||5||0|
|Graeme van Buuren|
|Extras||0b 0lb 0nb 0p 0w||0|
Fall of wickets