Specsavers County Championship - 21 July 2019

Venue: Cheltenham College

Gloucestershire v Worcestershire


David Payne claimed his 250th first class wicket as Gloucestershire’s Specsavers County Championship clash with Worcestershire moved towards a potentially exciting conclusion on the third day at sweltering Cheltenham.

The home side closed on 149 for eight, with a lead of 210, and all results are still possible on a pitch that has continued to give some assistance to the seam bowlers.

Payne’s landmark came when he dismissed Dillon Pennington lbw after Worcestershire had begun the day on 232 for six in reply to 354. At one point they slipped to 246 for nine before a defiant last-wicket stand of 47 between captain Joe Leach and Adam Finch.

That meant Gloucestershire, without seamer Matt Taylor because of a side strain, led by just 61 on first innings.

Soon they were in trouble at 47 for four as Leach, Ed Barnard and Wayne Parnell made good use of the new ball. Ryan Higgins steadied things with an aggressive 36, but Worcestershire kept chipping away, Parnell ending the day with three for 29 from 12 overs.

With the second new ball only three overs old at the start of the day, Gloucestershire made early inroads. Only eight runs had been added by Worcestershire when Parnell edged Ethan Bamber through to wicketkeeper James Bracey and two more quick wickets followed.

Brett D’Oliveira had added only two to his overnight 66 when caught at second slip by Miles Hammond, who had dropped him in the same position on three. Bamber was again the successful bowler in the second and final game of his loan from Middlesex.

When Payne sent back Pennington, it was a sweet moment for the 28-year-old left-arm seamer, warmly applauded by another 2,000-plus Festival crowd.

But from then on Leach farmed the strike intelligently to frustrate Gloucestershire for 22 overs before being bowled by Ryan Higgins, while Finch, twice struck by short balls from Payne, managed to see out 52 deliveries to end unbeaten on a gutsy eight.

Leach’s dismissal brought a delayed lunch and with his third ball of Gloucestershire’s second innings the skipper had opposite number Chris Dent caught behind for a duck.

Momentum was with Worcestershire and so it continued as Gareth Roderick, Miles Hammond and James Bracey fell cheaply to the new ball, which was occasionally keeping low.

Higgins counter-attacked in typical style, with 6 fours in his 35-ball innings. But he was then caught behind driving at a wide ball from Pennington and at tea the home side were 105 for five, leading by 166.

Tom Smith continued his excellent Festival with the bat by again looking more comfortable than most. But he and the normally aggressive Jack Taylor had to battle for every run against some accurate bowling in the final session.

They had taken the total to 132 when Smith edged Parnell to Riki Wessels at first slip and departed for 25. Taylor reined himself in to contribute a responsible 20 off 91 balls before Barnard had him caught behind.

At 143 for seven, Gloucestershire led by 204. Without addition, Benny Howell clipped a catch tamely to mid-on to gift leg-spinner D’Oliveira a wicket and left the arena with head bowed having made only four.

David Payne commented: 

"We walked out for our second innings with a 60 lead and have somehow managed to put ourselves on the back foot again. That has happened a few times this season and there is no excuse for it.

As a team, we haven't been taking enough responsibility with the bat. Now we have to come out tomorrow morning and graft as hard as we can to set up a chase before bowling our socks off to try and force a win."

Incredibly, after a day of unbroken sunshine, a shower then ended play two overs early. Taylor is expected to bat at number 11 tomorrow, but not to bowl in Worcestershire's second innings.


Gloucestershire head into the third day of the Specsavers County Championship match against Worcestershire in a positive position.

Ross Whiteley and Brett D’Oliveira came to Worcestershire’s rescue on the second day of the Specsavers County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

Having bowled out the hosts for 354 in their first innings, from an overnight 339 for seven, the visitors plummeted to 68 for five, an all too familiar tale in recent games.

But D’Olivera was then dropped on three, a routine chance to Miles Hammond waist-high at second slip off Ryan Higgins with the total on 86, and it proved an expensive mistake.

Worcestershire’s sixth-wicket pair went on to share a stand of 146 in 43 overs, Whiteley leading the way with a hugely responsible 88, while D’Oliveira grew in confidence to contribute an unbeaten 66 to a total of 232 for six at the close.

The day began with Gloucestershire adding only 15 to their overnight score as Joe Leach claimed their last three wickets for figures of six for 79.

Worcestershire’s skipper bowled David Payne and when Ethan Bamber fell to a fine diving catch by wicketkeeper Ben Cox, it gave Leach his 300th first class victim.

Tom Smith was last man out for 83, just one short of his career-best score made in the previous Championship match against Leicestershire. He fell to a boundary catch, which saw D’Olivera flip the ball up for Ed Barnard to pouch just before stepping on the rope.

Worcestershire’s reply had reached 24 when Riki Wessells, on 12, edged Bamber to Benny Howell at first slip. With only a run had added, Callum Ferguson was taken at second slip by Hammond off Payne.

It was 40 for two at lunch. The afternoon session began with Barnard falling to a diving catch down the leg side by James Bracey, keeping wicket in place of Gareth Roderick who is nursing a slight knee problem, off Ryan Higgins.

Higgins then took his Championship wicket tally this season to 30 by having Daryl Mitchell caught by Bracey, standing up to the stumps, for 18 to leave Worcestershire 44 for four.

A shortage of top order runs has been a major reason for the county finding themselves at the wrong end of the Second Division table. Soon they were 68 for five as Howell took another catch at first slip, this time off Payne, to send back Ben Cox for 13.

All the momentum was with Gloucestershire. But after Hammond’s drop Whiteley and D’Oliveira set about turning the tide.

Whiteley reined himself in for the good of his team and took 43 balls to strike his first boundary. But gradually his attacking instincts took over and he lofted sixes off Bamber and Matt Taylor on the way to a 103-ball half-century.

D’Oliveira also began to find the boundary and there were 7 fours in his fifty, compiled from 92 deliveries. With the sun shining, the penetration went out of the previously tight Gloucestershire attack and batting looked comfortable for the first time in the day.

From 135 for five at tea, Whiteley and D’Oliveira played with increasing freedom, treating another large Festival crowd to some fine stroke-play until Matt Taylor found the edge of Whiteley’s bat and, although Bracey spilled the chance in front of his face, the ball looped to Howell beside him, who took his third catch.

Seven overs remained in the day. The fourth of them saw Taylor bowl five balls before limping off with an injury and one delivery later the second new ball was taken. 



Ryan Higgins smacked 13 fours in a sparkling 76 to delight a 3,000 Cheltenham Festival crowd on the opening day of Gloucestershire’s Specsavers County Championship match with Worcestershire.

And, with Tom Smith hitting an unbeaten 79, the hosts could feel well satisfied with a first innings total of 339 for seven. Chris Dent also contributed a half-century, while opposing skipper Joe Leach claimed three wickets.

Higgins’ innings took his tally of Championship runs for the season past the 700 mark at an average of 70.8. The 24-year-old former Middlesex player also boasts 28 wickets and is emerging as one of the most prolific all-rounders in the country.

Smith is relishing a move up the batting order, having made a career-best 84 in the previous game against Leicestershire at the College Ground, his only other Championship appearance this season.

The day began in encouraging fashion for Worcestershire after exercising their right to field first in overcast conditions. With only the fourth ball of the game, Leach found the edge of Miles Hammond’s bat and wicketkeeper Ben Cox held a routine catch.

Dent and Gareth Roderick then saw off the new ball with a half-century stand in 17 overs. They had taken the total to 70 when Roderick, on 40, attempted to drive Dillon Pennington and Callum Ferguson took a sharp chance at gully.

It was 86 for two at lunch and 92 for three when James Bracey, who hadn’t looked comfortable, departed in unusual fashion to Leach, Ferguson parrying a high catch at third slip into the hands of Riki Wessels at first.

Dent went to a solid fifty off 114 balls, with 5 fours, and was looking well set when edging Leach through to Cox, who claimed his 300th first class catch for Worcestershire, only the sixth wicketkeeper to do so in the county’s history.

At 125 for four, Gloucestershire appeared in some peril. But Higgins quickly went on the counter-attack, at one point hitting 6 fours in the space of ten deliveries faced with sweet shots all around the wicket in reaching a 32-ball fifty

He and Smith added 60 in just six overs to transform the innings and by tea had taken their stand to 126, with Higgins on 75 and Smith, having reached a 110-ball half-century off the final delivery before the interval.

The second over after tea saw Higgins well caught by Cox attempting to sweep Brett D’Oliveira with the total on 253. Jack Taylor contributed only ten before driving a catch to mid-on off the same bowler.

But Smith, who had been dropped on 39 by Wessels at short cover off D’Oliveira, moved relentless on and found another effective partner in Benny Howell, who helped add 58 before cutting Wayne Parnell straight to gully and departing for 36.

Smith produced some fine shots of his own amid watchful defence. When bad light ended play four overs early, Gloucestershire were 11 runs short of a fourth batting point and had 18 more overs to claim a fifth.


Worcestershire elected to bowl.

Christopher Dent | Miles Hammond | Gareth Roderick | James Bracey | Tom Smith | Ryan Higgins | Jack Taylor | Benny Howell | David Payne | Ethan Bamber | Matthew Taylor |

Daryl Mitchell | Mattheus Wessels | Callum Ferguson | Brett D'Oliveira | Ross Whiteley | Edward Barnard | Oliver Cox | Wayne Parnell | Joseph Leach | Dillon Pennington | Adam Finch |

Gloucestershire win by 13 runs
Gloucestershire second innings
184 all out
Worcestershire second innings
232 all out

Gloucestershire First Innings How out Runs Minutes Balls 4s 6s
Miles Hammond Caught Ben Cox Bowled Joe Leach 0 2 4 0 0
Chris Dent Caught Ben Cox Bowled Joe Leach 58 162 121 7 0
Gareth Roderick Caught Callum Ferguson Bowled Dillon Pennington 40 96 81 6 0
James Bracey Caught Riki Wessels Bowled Joe Leach 8 31 21 1 0
Tom Smith Caught Ed Barnard Bowled Joe Leach 83 276 220 7 0
Ryan Higgins Caught Ben Cox Bowled Brett D'Oliveira 76 94 59 13 0
Jack Taylor Caught Wayne Parnell Bowled Brett D'Oliveira 10 27 29 1 0
Benny Howell Caught Ed Barnard Bowled Wayne Parnell 36 61 35 4 0
David Payne Bowled Joe Leach 8 33 27 1 0
Ethan Bamber Caught Ben Cox Bowled Joe Leach 3 16 21 0 0
Matt Taylor Not Out 4 9 10 0 0
Extras 5b 2lb 16nb 0p 5w 28
Total 354

Fall of wickets

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
0 70 92 125 253 271 329 345 349 354


Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Joe Leach 24 4 79 6
Dillon Pennington 21 5 55 1
Adam Finch 14 0 74 0
Wayne Parnell 15 5 47 1
Ed Barnard 14 2 46 0
Brett D'Oliveira 15 2 46 2

Worcestershire First Innings How out Runs Minutes Balls 4s 6s
Daryl Mitchell Caught James Bracey Bowled Ryan Higgins 18 75 56 1 0
Riki Wessels Caught Benny Howell Bowled Ethan Bamber 12 22 12 2 0
Callum Ferguson Caught Miles Hammond Bowled David Payne 1 5 8 0 0
Ed Barnard Caught James Bracey Bowled Ryan Higgins 6 38 28 1 0
Ross Whiteley Caught Benny Howell Bowled Matt Taylor 88 231 184 7 3
Ben Cox Caught Benny Howell Bowled David Payne 13 58 46 1 0
Brett D'Oliveira Caught Miles Hammond Bowled Ethan Bamber 68 223 169 8 0
Wayne Parnell Caught James Bracey Bowled Ethan Bamber 17 50 29 1 0
Joe Leach Bowled Ryan Higgins 38 112 93 7 0
Dillon Pennington L.B.W. David Payne 1 7 7 0 0
Adam Finch Not Out 8 95 52 2 0
Extras 1b 10lb 12nb 0p 0w 23
Total 293

Fall of wickets

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
24 25 41 44 68 214 240 245 246 293


Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
David Payne 27 9 73 3
Ethan Bamber 24 6 59 3
Matt Taylor 15 3 50 1
Ryan Higgins 24 5 52 3
Benny Howell 7 2 11 0
Tom Smith 15 2 37 0

Gloucestershire Second Innings How out Runs Minutes Balls 4s 6s
Chris Dent Caught Ben Cox Bowled Joe Leach 0 1 3 0 0
Miles Hammond L.B.W. Ed Barnard 17 69 48 2 0
Gareth Roderick Bowled Wayne Parnell 12 39 29 1 0
James Bracey Bowled Wayne Parnell 16 42 35 3 0
Tom Smith Caught Riki Wessels Bowled Wayne Parnell 25 130 91 3 0
Ryan Higgins Caught Riki Wessels Bowled Dillon Pennington 36 44 35 6 0
Jack Taylor Caught Ben Cox Bowled Ed Barnard 20 112 91 3 0
Benny Howell Caught Wayne Parnell Bowled Brett D'Oliveira 4 53 41 0 0
David Payne Caught Daryl Mitchell Bowled Ed Barnard 22 57 48 2 0
Ethan Bamber Not Out 12 51 36 1 0
Matt Taylor Caught Ben Cox Bowled Adam Finch 1 5 7 0 0
Extras 5b 4lb 10nb 0p 0w 19
Total 184

Fall of wickets

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
0 21 35 47 103 132 143 143 183 184


Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Joe Leach 12 3 27 1
Dillon Pennington 9 3 13 1
Wayne Parnell 17 5 37 3
Ed Barnard 15 6 17 3
Adam Finch 9 2 41 1
Brett D'Oliveira 14 6 40 1

Worcestershire Second Innings How out Runs Minutes Balls 4s 6s
Daryl Mitchell Caught James Bracey Bowled David Payne 0 1 1 0 0
Riki Wessels Caught James Bracey Bowled Tom Smith 42 64 44 5 1
Callum Ferguson Caught James Bracey Bowled Benny Howell 63 246 166 6 0
Ed Barnard Caught James Bracey Bowled Ryan Higgins 10 32 26 1 0
Ross Whiteley L.B.W. Ryan Higgins 0 19 16 0 0
Ben Cox Caught Ryan Higgins Bowled Ethan Bamber 42 115 104 4 0
Brett D'Oliveira Caught (Sub) Bowled Benny Howell 11 33 27 1 0
Wayne Parnell Bowled Ryan Higgins 15 51 38 3 0
Joe Leach Not Out 15 50 29 2 0
Dillon Pennington Bowled Ryan Higgins 0 2 2 0 0
Adam Finch Caught (Sub) Bowled David Payne 0 13 3 0 0
Extras 5b 18lb 10nb 0p 1w 34
Total 232

Fall of wickets

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
0 73 96 100 181 189 198 229 229 232


Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
David Payne 19 4 55 2
Ethan Bamber 17 3 44 1
Ryan Higgins 21 6 64 4
Benny Howell 12 4 32 2
Tom Smith 6 1 14 1