Match Preview - Gloucestershire v Kent
22 April 2019
Gloucestershire will have an immediate chance to erase the disappointment of Sunday's Royal London One-Day Cup defeat by Middlesex at Lord's when they welcome Kent to the Bristol County Ground in the South Group on Tuesday (11.00am).
Having beaten Surrey in their opening game and set a victory target of 284, Gloucestershire were unable to separate Steve Eskinazi and Nick Gubbins, who took Middlesex over the winning line after being 103-4 at one stage, and head coach Richard Dawson felt it was an opportunity which had slipped away.
"We did a lot of good things and got ourselves into a good position twice but then lost momentum" he said, reflecting on the performance. "We batted well for 40 overs with James Bracey and Benny Howell putting together a good partnership and then didn't captalise when they go out to push the score up to 320 or 330 although to be fair Middlesex didn't give us very much to hit."
"We also started well with the ball and took some good catches to take three early wickets, but then didn't bowl as well as we did against Surrey. Eskinazi and Gubbins didn't take any risks, and when we started chasing wickets they had too many scoring options."
With a short turnaround from the game at Lord's, the squad of 13 for Tuesday's match will be unchanged.
Gloucestershire 13 man Squad:
Dent (c), Hankins, Roderick, Bracey, Howell, J.Taylor, Higgins, Smith, Worrall, M.Taylor, Liddle, Hammond, van Buuren.
It is likely to be James Bracey's home debut in white ball cricket, having made 83 at Lord's after being brought into the team in place of the injured Ian Cockbain.
"James batted beautifully, but that wasn't a surprise" Dawson went on. "Every time we've challenged him with something he has stepped up to the mark. We gave him the opportunity to bat in the middle order in pre-season and he made two hundreds so it was pleasing to see him do it again."
The Spitfires should have Joe Denly available for the first time after his return from playing in the IPL - a welcome boost as interim captain Heino Kuhn has been sidelined by a back injury and bowlers Mitchell Claydon, Calum Haggett and Ivan Thomas have all been unavailable.
They have played an extra game but are yet to register a victory, despite making their highest score (298) against
Sussex at Beckenham on Sunday, the Sharks winning thanks to an unbeaten hundred from Phil Salt.
"I'm looking for an improvement on Tuesday" Dawson concluded. "Opponents are allowed to play well, what we have to do is make it as hard as possible for them."
"So far in both games we've set the innings up well and then not finished it off through the last ten overs. That would be one phase where we know we can do better. The other is in the field. We are renowned as a good fielding side, and at Lord's it wasn't as good as we expect. It needs to be sharper, and both those things are within our control.
"If we're a bit more patient with the ball too, we'll be closer to what we did against Surrey."