LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two - Thursday 27 April 2023

Match drawn (3 points)

Venue: Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol

Gloucestershire v Sussex | LV= Insurance County Championship


Gloucestershire’s misfortune with the weather continued as only 16 overs were possible on the opening day of the LV= Insurance County Championship match with Sussex at Bristol.

Having seen their opening home game against Yorkshire washed out without a ball bowled and then been denied a probably victory at Worcester by rain, the hosts suffered more frustration when covers were brought on at the Seat Unique Stadium with little more than an hour played.

Sussex had reached 47 for one when the drizzle started. As forecast, it turned into heavier rain by early afternoon and further saturated an outfield, which was soft at the outset.

Umpires Billy Taylor and Mark Newell took the decision to abandon play for the day at 3.15pm, by which time there was casual water on several areas and seagulls wading on the covers.

What action there was saw Marchant de Lange strike an early blow after Gloucestershire had won the toss, Sussex opener Tom Haines being snapped up at gully by Miles Hammond looking to play a wide delivery off the back foot into the off side.

Haines departed for three with the total on nine in the third over, Ali Orr having already lifted Tom Price for a six over mid-wicket from the 11th ball of the match.

De Lange bowled with great accuracy and ended his opening stint from the Pavilion End with figures of one for five from five overs, including three maidens.

Orr had hit Price for another boundary off a no-ball and greeted the seamer’s switch of ends with a superb driven four through extra cover.

Ajeet Dale was the third Gloucestershire bowler used and he sent down five tidy overs for ten runs, having replaced Price at the Ashley Down Road End.

The floodlights were already on when play ceased at 12.05pm and, although the rain was light to start with, ground staff aware of the forecast for an afternoon deluge quickly brought on the heavy covers.

Orr was unbeaten on 31, having looked in good touch, while Tom Alsop was 11 not out.


Captain Cheteshwar Pujara batted Sussex into a controlling position on the second day of the rain-affected LV= County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Bristol.

After a delayed start at 1.50pm due to a very wet outfield, the visitors took their first innings total from 47 for one to 302 for four, India Test star Pujara leading the way with 99 not out, one short of his 58th first class century, while Tom Alsop contributed 67 and James Coles a career-best 74.

Zafar Gohar was the most successful Gloucestershire bowler with two for 67. But even his efforts could not unsettle the patient Pujara, who by the close had faced 190 balls and hit 13 fours and a six.

Warm sunshine and a drying breeze dispelled fears of a second day washout after only 16 overs had been possible on day one before persistent heavy rain created casual water on an already wet outfield.

Umpires Billy Taylor and Mark Newell decided play could resume after inspections at 11am, 12.30pm and 1.20pm. Gloucestershire skipper Graeme van Buuren opted to open the bowling with left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar and it paid quick dividends.

Ali Orr, having added five to his overnight score of 31, went to reverse sweep the first ball of the third over and only succeeded in top-edging a gentle catch to wicketkeeper James Bracey, making the score 58 for two.

Having advanced from 11 to 34, Alsop survived a sharp chance to Miles Hammond at gully off Marchant de Lange, the ball stinging the tips of the fielder’s fingers on the way to the third-man boundary.

It was all the good fortune the Sussex left-hander needed to progress to fifty, off 123 balls, with 6 fours, out of a total of 111 for two.

Experienced India Test batter Pujara exercised great caution, particularly against the accurate de Lange, who had figures of one for 17 after 11 overs, four of them maidens.

Pujara took 78 balls to reach 19, but then cut loose with a pulled four off de Lange and a square cut boundary off Gohar.

By tea, which was taken at 4pm, Sussex had made 138 for two from 49 overs, with Alsop on 63 and Pujara on 28. The visitors were clearly intent on only batting once in a match already heavily curtailed by the weather.

The final session began with Ajeet Dale going past the inside edge of Alsop’s bat, the ball swinging late and beating Bracey to add four byes to the total.

Dale troubled both batters from the Ashley Down Road End, working up decent pace on the slow pitch, and got his reward when Alsop edged a defensive shot to first slip where Chris Dent held the catch into his midriff.

At 158 for three, Sussex needed to rebuild. But by then Pujara had moved on to 40 off 108 deliveries and looked well set. He was joined by a player more than 16 years his junior in England Under-19 international James Coles.

With the Seat Unique Stadium bathed in sunshine, Pujara moved to his half-century, having batted for almost exactly three hours and hit 8 fours.

He celebrated with a glorious extra cover driven boundary off van Buuren, an indication of the fund of attacking shots in his locker when he chooses to unleash them, while Coles looked untroubled in sharing a century stand in 24 overs.

The nearest Pujara came to getting out was an inside edge past his leg stump off Gofar. He responded by cutting two boundaries off the left-arm spinner’s next over.

Gloucestershire took the second new ball after 80 overs, with the scoreboard reading 258 for three. But it made no impact as Coles reached a fluent and chanceless fifty off 85 balls, with 6 fours.



Substitute fielder Tom Clark’s direct-hit run out of Marcus Harris unlocked Sussex’s bid to push for victory in their LV= Insurance County Championship match at Gloucestershire.

Australian opener Harris’ dismissal, after his despairing dive failed to beat Clark’s throw from midwicket, began a chaotic 10-minute period for the hosts as Nathan McAndrew claimed the key wickets of James Bracey and Graeme van Buuren from successive balls on his way to a five-wicket haul.

Gloucestershire were suddenly four down at tea – after Chesteshwar Pujara’s 58th first-class century had underpinned Sussex’s 455 for five declared – as a rain-affected match came to life.

Sussex claimed a further five wickets in the final session, McAndrew finishing the day with figures of five for 53, as Gloucestershire slumped from 99 for one to 198 for nine at the close, still 257 runs behind.

Pujara ticked off the single run he needed his morning to reach his century before Sussex set about pushing for quick runs ahead of a pre-lunch declaration.

The visitors added 153 in the morning session with wicketkeeper Oli Carter contributing an unbeaten 59 off 78 balls, while Pujara reached 151 before he slapped Marchant de Lange to mid-off.

The skipper’s next act was the call his batters in – after Fynn Hudson-Prentice also added a brisk unbeaten 29 from 19 balls – after reaching maximum batting bonus points to leave Gloucestershire’s opener with a tricky period to negotiate before lunch.

Chris Dent and Harris managed that without concern and, while Dent played on attempting a square drive at Henry Crocombe in the afternoon session, the home side had looked set to reach tea without further alarm.

That all changed in the space of 13 balls before the break as first Harris, who had reached 37, turned the ball to midwicket and set off for a single he never made thanks to Clark’s arrow shot.

McAndrew then pinned left-hander Bracey lbw from around the wicket, before van Buuren was snapped up at second slip from the very next ball to cue Sussex celebrations as they headed off for tea.

Sussex have won just once in each of the previous two County Championship seasons and, after an opening-round win over Durham, the then still-distant prospect of a second win in three games to start this summer appeared to galvanise their efforts in the evening session.

McAndrew struck three more times during the session - Oliver Price and Zafar Gohar both edging behind to wicketkeeper Carter – before the Australian had De Lange bowled pressing forward in defence to complete his five-wicket haul.

In between time Crocombe’s pace and bounce caught the defensive edge of Jack Taylor, Tom Alsop holding on at second slip. Crocombe then turned catcher as he held on at point when Tom Price slashed at Hudson-Prentice.

Gloucestershire's number four, Miles Hammond, remained steadfast while the wickets tumbled around him to finish the day unbeaten on 42, from 123 balls, to showcase the resolve his team-mates will require on the final day if they are to secure a draw.


The weather was the only winner in the rain-ruined LV= County Championship match between Gloucestershire and Sussex at Bristol, which ended in a predictable draw.

Only 41.2 overs were bowled on a frustrating final day at the Seat Unique Stadium where the visitors might have secured victory, enforcing the follow-on after bowling Gloucestershire out for 248, from an overnight 198 for nine.

Miles Hammond finished unbeaten on 87, from 171 balls, with 12 fours, while Ajeet Singh Dale contributed ten to a crucial last-wicket stand of 61. Nathan McAndrew ended with figures of five for 63 before drizzle and poor light intervened.

With a lead of 207, Sussex asked Gloucestershire to bat again and when play resumed at 3.30pm, reduced them to 41 for four, left-arm seamer Sean Hunt claiming three of the wickets

But, with two runs added, more rain brought a second interruption to play. And, although it began again at 5.08pm with a possible 22.2 overs still to be bowled, only 18.2 were sent down before the players shook hands, the scoreboard reading 121 for four, with Graeme van Buuren 55 not out.

Sussex took 13 points after dominating what play there was in the match, while Gloucestershire had to settle for six.

The final day began with Hammond and Singh Dale looking to extend the home side’s first innings and bat for as long as possible.

With only a couple of overs until the second new ball, Sussex elected to start with spin at both ends and the decision should have paid quick dividends.

Hammond, unbeaten on 42 at the start, reached a 128-ball half-century with two fours off Jack Carson and then reverse swept a third boundary off James Coles.

But his valuable innings should have ended on 55 when he miscued a Coles full toss to mid-on where Hunt spilled a catch above his head that should have been taken.

The total was 211 for nine and the error cost Sussex time as well as 37 more runs as Hammond and Singh Dale batted comfortably against the second new ball, taken at 212 for nine, on what remained a flat pitch.

The pair had taken Gloucestershire to within two of an unlikely batting point when Dale fell lbw to Tom Haines. By then the floodlights were shining brightly under heavily overcast skies.

Hammond had suffered a painful blow attempting to pull a delivery from Hunt and the umpires were already showing concern about the light when Singh Dale was dismissed.

It was no surprise when, with both teams out and ready to start Gloucestershire’s second innings, they ruled conditions unfit for play to resume.

With heavy rain forecast during the afternoon, ground staff brought on the heavy covers. Lunch was taken and a draw seemed the only likely outcome.

But on the resumption, with a possible 44 overs left to bowl, excellent opening spells by Hunt and McAndrew plunged the hosts into trouble.

Chris Dent was pinned lbw by McAndrew’s second ball of the innings, while the impressive Hunt removed James Bracey, who edged a catch to wicketkeeper Oli Carter.

It was almost nine for three as Hammond nicked the ball at catchable height between Carter and first slip Tom Alsop.

Sussex needed to take such chances. But Hunt struck two more blows, removing Marcus Harris leg before and Hammond to another Carter catch before the weather closed in again with the total 43 for three.

Again the covers went on and were withdrawn for a final resumption. Gloucestershire skipper van Buuren, who had entered the fray at 16 for three on a king pair, went on the counter-attack and reached an entertaining fifty off 59 balls, with 11 fours.

Ollie Price provided solid support, but having been denied a probable victory at Worcester by rain in their previous game, van Buuren’s men had cause to be grateful to the weather this time.

Gloucestershire Head Coach Dale Benkenstein said:

“I’m gradually getting used to the Gloucestershire way. We have tendency to get ourselves into tight situations and then battle out of them.

“Today I was concerned when we were 41 for four, but then delighted at the fighting spirit shown to come out with a draw.

“In a way, it was a mirror image of our last game against Worcestershire. There we felt robbed by the weather and this time it helped us.

“After having our first home game against Yorkshire washed out, it was good to get onto the field and all credit to our ground staff for making conditions playable.

“It was not the way we like to play our cricket, but you will always get games like that in a season and the important thing is not to lose them.

“I always like to bat first when we win the toss and, with hindsight, perhaps we should have done. But there was still some dampness in the pitch at the start of the game and we weren’t sure how it would play.”