Gloucestershire Under Pressure Heading into Final Day

13 July 2021

Nick Gubbins’ unbeaten 137 set Hampshire up to press for victory at Cheltenham as they declared 486 for seven before Gloucestershire closed day three 107 for three in their second innings, trailing by 150.

Gubbins first century for his new county, in the second match of his loan from Middlesex ahead of a permanent move, helped his side rack up a massive first-innings lead of 257 and collect three batting points.

Hampshire declared shortly before tea and Mason Crane bowled Miles Hammond for 15 with a beauty that turned out of the footholds, George Scott whacked a full toss to midwicket for 29 and Kyle Abbott flicked the top of James Bracey’s off stump for 8. It leaves Hampshire firm favourites to secure the victory they need to leapfrog Gloucestershire and qualify for Division One.

How Gloucestershire need an innings like that played by Gubbins, who has shown signs of reviving his career in the past year and a half. His 1,409 runs helped Middlesex to the 2016 County Championship and suggested he was an England international of the future. But, not helped by injuries, he hasn’t got anywhere near replicating that return in a season since.

Last year’s Bob Willis Trophy brought an improvement in form and 124 for Middlesex at The Oval this season was a highly-acclaimed innings. He turned down a contract extension at Lord’s, made an immediate move to Hampshire and here provided a perfect hand to give his side the ideal platform to win the game on the final day.

His stand of 38 with wicketkeeper Lewis McManus calmed a wobble on the second evening and on the third morning the pair almost batted through the morning session, extending their alliance to 129, McManus making 39. Gubbins cut Dan Worrall and drove Matt Taylor through cover to reach fifty in 149 balls. He cut and swept Ollie Price’s off-spin before holding the pose after another sweet cover drive off Taylor.

Two loose deliveries from Glenn Phillips were dispatched before an edged cut against Worrall flew where a slip might have been for his 15th four and his 10th first-class hundred, this in 209 deliveries.

George Scott finally broke the 39-over partnership when McManus pushed to extra-cover but Gloucestershire were left with only one bowling point.

Tom Lace and Glenn Phillips will resume batting for Gloucestershire tomorrow morning trailing by 150 runs with seven wickets remaining. Both got their eye in in the evening session but will have to restart tomorrow if the Club are to have any chance of securing a place in Division One.

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