Masterful all-round display sees Glos cruise to 166-run victory over Sussex

18 August 2023

Gloucestershire, inspired by Ollie Price and Jack Taylor, maintained their fine form in the Metro Bank One Day Cup with their fifth victory in seven matches, also boosting their net run rate as they defeated the Sussex Sharks by 166 runs at the 1st Central County Ground, Hove.

For Sussex this was another failure to replicate their strong performance in this competition last season; this was their fifth defeat in six matches, another heavy one as they were bowled out in just 25 overs, and they looked a side devoid of belief.

Chasing a sizeable Gloucestershire total they never looked in the contest.  Tom Haines, driving without moving his feet, was caught at cover in the fifth over and Tom Alsop, short of runs in the competition, was run out by a direct hit by Paul van Meekeren at mid-on as he attempted to scamper a quick single.

Harrison Ward chanced his arm and hit four fours and a six in a skittish 27 off 19 balls but was then lbw as he fell over attempting to negotiate a full delivery Matt Taylor, returning to the side after recovering from an infected toe.  The experiment to promote Danial Ibrahim ahead of James Coles did not pay off, the batsman lbw for just six.

With Chet Pujara ticking over and the required run rate going up all the time the pressure was now on Coles to provide something spectacular.  He looked in the mood to do so too, with a six and two fours in his 17-ball 23.  But then he was magnificently caught by Ollie Price.  Attempting to pull van Meekeren, he got a top edge and Price, sprinting round from fine leg took the catch two-handed just inside the rope to leave Sussex reeling at 88 for five.

When Pujara was sixth out at 126, lbw to Tom Smith, it was realistically all over despite some lusty blows from Fynn Hudson-Prentice, who fell to another outstanding boundary catch by Ollie Price.

Gloucestershire’s big total was based around a partnership of 128 in just 13 overs between the in-form pair of Ollie Price and Jack Taylor. Price scored a very impressive 95 off 88 balls, with 11 fours.  But he looked almost pedestrian alongside Taylor, whose 106 came at a rate of almost two runs a ball.

Taylor, who had already scored two fifties  and 121 against Worcestershire in this year’s campaign, faced just 54 deliveries and thumped eight fours and seven sixes.  At times he looked impossible to bowl to, especially when attacking the short boundary on the east side of the ground.

Gloucestershire had lost Chris Dent  in the second over before their innings was launched by James Bracey, in the form of his life after his recent 224 not out against Somerset.  Bracey hit a fluent 41, with five fours and a six before he cut Jack Carson to Pujara at backward point.  Miles Hammond, playing his first List A game for four years, was stumped for 19 and when Graeme van Buuren fell immediately, lbw to Ibrahim for a duck, the innings was wobbling at 127 for four in the 19th over.

It was then that Price and Taylor came together to wrench the game in Gloucestershire’s favour with some thunderous blows, the most memorable being a lofted straight six by Taylor off Hudson-Prentice that sailed over the media centre and into the car park at the sea end.

The Sussex bowling was poor, not for the first time in the competition this season. But Henry Crocombe, whose first three overs had disappeared for 37 runs, had the satisfaction of returning to the attack to pick up four wickets, his best return in List A cricket.

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