Specsavers County CHampionship - 11 May 2018
Middlesex v Gloucestershire
James Bracey's second century of the season saw Gloucestershire comfortably salvage a draw in their County Championship clash with Middlesex at Lord’s.
The Bristol-born left-hander mixed obdurate defence and steely concentration with a sprinkling of boundaries to lead the visitors to safety on the final day after they had been forced to follow on.
Bracey raised his ton with his 12th four, clenching his fist in celebration of 272 minutes of sterling effort, before finishing undefeated on 125.
CENTURY🏏— Gloucestershire CCC (@Gloscricket) May 14, 2018
What a remarkable innings this has been by the young @bobbybracey114
Not a bad place to complete your century.
He brings his 100 up with a crushing boundary! Take a bow👏👏#GoGlos #Century pic.twitter.com/2Ggos3WwZ9
Wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick (48) and Jack Taylor (41) lent staunch support on a day when the home side’s bowling attack toiled hard, but never looked likely to claim the eight wickets needed to force a win.
Middlesex, badly needing a win after a spluttering start to the red-ball campaign, were always going to need early wickets on day four, but in Bracey and Roderick met two batsmen determined to entrench.
Bracey survived two LBW shouts on 19, the latter from spinner Ollie Rayner the closer of the two, but those scares apart was relatively untroubled. One straight drive for four off Steven Finn underlined his burgeoning talent.
Roderick too offered no cause for optimism to the Lord’s tenants as they went wicketless to the lunch interval.
The breakthrough came soon after the resumption when Roderick pushed at one slanting across him from James Harris and edged to Rayner who took a smart low catch at second slip.
One wicket though failed to bring two as Jack Taylor took up the baton for the visitors.
Bracey soon had 50 and as the afternoon wore on the Middlesex bowlers tired, offering him the chance to expand his repertoire of strokes.
Taylor too played nicely, hitting delightful shots and showing confidence. The 26-year-old was out edging a ball from Harris (3-60) onto his stumps shortly before tea, but by then a draw was within Gloucestershire’s grasp.
The interval served only to delay what had long seemed an inevitable hundred for Bracey, a hugely creditable effort despite the increasingly benign pitch conditions.
Graeme van Buuren (46 not out) joined in the fun after tea until the inevitable handshakes came.
Gloucestershire face a thrilling battle on Monday against Middlesex at Lord's.
Visiting captain Chris Dent, top scored with 66 but it was not enough to prevent his side being bowled out for 210.
Middlesex’s Australian all-rounder Hilton Cartwright returned career-best figures of 4-33 in the first innings.
That left Gloucestershire 245 behind at the start of the second innings. The second innings on day three ended with Gloucestershire on 66/2.
Middlesex bowled well in the morning but initially without any reward as both Dent and James Bracey found the gap between slips and gully very efficiently.
The opening pair put together a stand of 72 before Cartwright made the breakthrough, persuading Bracey (28) to attempt a cut that saw him caught behind off the bottom edge.
Gareth Roderick lasted four balls, falling leg before to Cartwright for a duck, and Ollie Rayner reduced the Gloucestershire to 90-3 when his first delivery accounted for Graeme van Buuren (6).
Jack Taylor struck a breezy 22 before Finn pinned him lbw in the fifth over after lunch.
Benny Howell, who came in down the order after a stomach upset had kept him off the field the previous afternoon, showed resistance with a gritty knock of 47 from 87 balls.
Cartwright’s second spell earned him the wickets of Craig Miles (13) and Daniel Worrall (6) and he finished off the innings just before tea, taking a skier at mid-on to remove Howell.
With Middlesex skipper Dawid Malan enforcing the follow-on, Howell was soon back at the crease alongside Dent and the pair made a solid start to their second innings.
Malan rotated his bowlers without success until Howell (16) lost his wicket for the second time, chopping James Harris onto his stumps.
Gloucestershire captain, Dent departed soon afterwards for 35 as Helm found his outside edge.
Only 26 overs were possible before rain arrived 10 minutes before the scheduled lunch interval and prevented any further play at Lord's with Middlesex 455-8.
The morning session however did produce drama, notably when the hosts missed out on a fifth batting point after failing to score the four runs required from the last 15 balls.
Harris (24) was first to perish. Aiming a shot to leg off Craig Miles, the former Glamorgan quick instead got a leading edge and ballooned a catch to Daniel Worrall at mid-off.
Following a tight over from Ryan Higgins, Simpson (32) ratcheted up the tension another notch when he nicked a wide ball from Miles (2-85) into the gloves of wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick.
New batsman Tom Helm’s efforts to score the three runs needed from the final five balls foundered and despite a scrambled single off the last delivery, Middlesex came up two runs short.
Middlesex declared at lunch and Gloucestershire will be commencing the innings tomorrow morning – assuming the weather gods ever relent.
Latest Gloucestershire recruit Dan Worrall was in fine form on the first day at Lord's.
Nick Gubbins played well for Middlesex throughout the day until the Australian managed to strike, removing Gubbins on 99 who fell one short of a century.
Gubbins survived a couple of early scares, the first when wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick dropped him down the leg-side off the bowling of Worrall when on just 17.
The second shortly after saw him almost run out by a direct hit from Graham Van Buuren, the ball ricocheting to the boundary for a rare five.
It was an excellent spell from Australian quick Worrall who ended Robson's innings when the right-hander knicked a delivery to give Roderick a first catch behind the stumps.
Stevie Eskinazi was removed by Worrall after flashing wide which Kieran Noema-Barnett palmed upwards before claiming at the second attempt.
Skipper Dawid Malan (76), a current red-ball incumbent for the national side and England’s white-ball captain Eoin Morgan weighed in with 76 apiece - the latter in his first County Championship appearance in almost three years. The persevering Daniel Worrall was Gloucestershire's standout bowler with 3-59.
Malan fell to the new-ball, trapped LBW by Matt Taylor. Taylor soon struck again when new batsman Hilton Cartwright wafted a catch to slip and departed without scoring.
Morgan fell LBW just before the close to another ball which kept low from former Middlesex all-rounder Ryan Higgins, which ended the day well for Gloucestershire. At the close, Middlesex go into the second day on 356/6.
Gloucestershire elected to bowl.
Sam Robson | Nicholas Gubbins | Stephen Eskinazi | Dawid Malan | Eoin Morgan | Hilton Cartwright | John Simpson | James Harris | Ollie Rayner | Thomas Helm | Steven Finn |
Benny Howell | Christopher Dent | Gareth Roderick | James Bracey | Jack Taylor | Graeme van Buuren | Ryan Higgins | Kieran Noema-Barnett | Craig Miles | Daniel Worrall | Matthew Taylor |
|Match Drawn||Gloucestershire second innings|
|Middlesex First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Sam Robson||Caught Gareth Roderick Bowled Daniel Worrall||36||83||55||5||0|
|Nick Gubbins||Caught Gareth Roderick Bowled Daniel Worrall||99||189||138||18||0|
|Stevie Eskinazi||Caught Kieran Noema-Barnett Bowled Daniel Worrall||31||83||53||6||0|
|Dawid Malan||L.B.W. Matt Taylor||76||165||145||9||0|
|Eoin Morgan||L.B.W. Ryan Higgins||76||194||132||8||1|
|Hilton Cartwright||Caught Chris Dent Bowled Matt Taylor||0||10||6||0||0|
|John Simpson||Caught Gareth Roderick Bowled Craig Miles||32||110||72||5||0|
|James Harris||Caught Daniel Worrall Bowled Craig Miles||24||60||48||4||0|
|Ollie Rayner||Not Out||27||61||39||3||1|
|Tom Helm||Not Out||25||54||44||4||0|
|Extras||9b 20lb 0nb 0p 0w||29|
Fall of wickets
|Graeme van Buuren||17||3||52||0|
|Gloucestershire First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Chris Dent||Caught Dawid Malan Bowled Tom Helm||66||177||140||9||0|
|James Bracey||Caught John Simpson Bowled Hilton Cartwright||28||81||55||5||0|
|Gareth Roderick||L.B.W. Hilton Cartwright||0||4||3||0||0|
|Graeme van Buuren||Caught John Simpson Bowled Ollie Rayner||6||22||9||1||0|
|Jack Taylor||L.B.W. Steven Finn||22||40||38||2||0|
|Ryan Higgins||Caught and Bowled Tom Helm||5||41||18||0||0|
|Benny Howell||Caught Hilton Cartwright Bowled Ollie Rayner||47||112||87||4||0|
|Kieran Noema-Barnett||Caught John Simpson Bowled Tom Helm||6||10||8||1||0|
|Craig Miles||Caught Eoin Morgan Bowled Hilton Cartwright||13||48||44||1||0|
|Daniel Worrall||L.B.W. Hilton Cartwright||6||12||11||1||0|
|Matt Taylor||Not Out||1||28||26||0||0|
|Extras||2b 4lb 4nb 0p 0w||10|
Fall of wickets
|Gloucestershire Second Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Chris Dent||Caught John Simpson Bowled Tom Helm||35||97||74||5||0|
|Benny Howell||Bowled James Harris||16||83||60||1||0|
|Gareth Roderick||Caught Ollie Rayner Bowled James Harris||48||172||114||5||0|
|James Bracey||Not Out||125||329||271||16||0|
|Jack Taylor||Bowled James Harris||41||98||76||7||0|
|Graeme van Buuren||Not Out||46||77||74||7||0|
|Extras||0b 6lb 8nb 0p 1w||15|
Fall of wickets