Gloucestershire cruise to victory against Northamptonshire

13 May 2024

Gloucestershire pace bowler Marchant de Lange led the charge with three wickets to set up Gloucestershire’s first Vitality County Championship victory since September 2022 on the final day of this clash against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

Northamptonshire resumed this morning on 144 for two, needing 414 more runs to win, or more realistically to bat out the whole day to secure a draw. For a while that looked a possibility as Indian international Karun Nair (61) and George Bartlett (42) shared a fluent stand of 83 in 24 overs.

But the second new ball proved decisive as Josh Shaw (2-56) and de Lange (3-58), bowling a feisty spell, removed both set batters as Northamptonshire lost three wickets for nine runs in 5.4 overs.

With Ajeet Singh Dale (3-69) mopping up the tail, the end came quickly as Northamptonshire’s final five wickets fell for just 35 runs, and while they passed 300, they ultimately lost heavily by 256 runs.

Earlier Northamptonshire added 81 during the morning session for the loss of two wickets. Nightwatchman George Scrimshaw survived for the first half an hour before he played an expansive drive outside off-stump to one from Josh Shaw and edged behind to wicketkeeper James Bracey.

Luke Procter reached his fifth half-century of the season with a glorious cover drive off Shaw, but his gritty knock came to an end in less elegant fashion. The Northamptonshire skipper tried to work a full toss to leg, only to get a leading edge off the back of the bat, the ball looping up to give Tom Price the easiest of caught and bowled chances.

Bartlett, fresh from an unbeaten century at Leicester, endured a nervy start. Almost stumped off the second ball he faced thanks to some sharp glovework from Bracey, he then narrowly avoided playing on to Tom Price, instead picking up a streaky boundary off the inside edge.

Nair played some sumptuous cover drives before lunch and came down the pitch to dispatch Zafar Gohar over long on as well as putting pressure on the fielders by running some sharp singles. He endured one nasty moment shortly before the interval when he was struck on the helmet as he attempted to duck under a short ball from de Lange which failed to get up.

Bartlett looked more settled after lunch and started to score freely, while Nair brought up his half-century off 80 balls with his eighth boundary. But despite Zafar finding plenty of turn with his slow left-armers, Gloucestershire’s decision to take the new ball proved key.

First Shaw made the much-needed breakthrough when Bartlett fell to a fine diving catch down the legside by Bracey, away to his left.

Meanwhile the tussle between a fiery de Lange and Nair continued to provide drama. The Indian batsman was in the wars once more when he was struck on the glove by de Lange, but finished the over with a big smile after he leant back and purposefully upper cut the South African over the slips for four.

de Lange though had the last laugh when Nair was caught in two minds between a pull shot and an upper cut, the ball ballooning up to Shaw running in from mid-on.

de Lange, bowling his second consecutive wicket maiden, then picked up Saif Zaib who prodded at one just outside off-stump and was caught behind – the fast bowler’s eighth wicket in the match.

Liam Patterson-White (12) looked positive, cutting Zafar crisply for four before taking a brace of boundaries off de Lange but his stay ended soon after when he went to cut Ajeet Singh Dale and was bowled.

Siddharth Kaul was next to go, bowled by Zafar before Singh Dale had Ben Sanderson caught behind to give Bracey his fourth catch of the innings and spark celebrations in the Gloucestershire dressing room.



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