Match Report | Day Four | Glos v Somerset
23 May 2021
Rain took out most of the final day at Bristol, denying Somerset the chance to press for a victory over Gloucestershire that would have taken them top of Group Two of the LV= Insurance County Championship.
They reduced their hosts to 27 for six replying to 300 for eight before persistent rain once again moved in.
It was not revenge for defeat in the return fixture at Taunton a month ago but it was significant notice that Somerset remain the team to beat in the group.
Somerset’s rally from 143 for six on the third afternoon to pick up three batting points and then six wickets in only 14.2 overs ensured a healthy 13-point return from the match with Gloucestershire taking 10 points.
Having lost Chris Dent and James Bracey on Saturday evening, the home side plunged into disaster territory on the final morning.
Craig Overton had nightwatchman Tom Smith caught on the crease and palpably lbw before Tom Lace was unfortunately strangled down the leg side second ball.
Ian Cockbain played a back-of-a-length ball into his stumps after Kraigg Braithwaite had lazily clipped Josh Davey to midwicket.
But any notion of a dramatic push for victory, the like of which Somerset have pulled off in recent seasons, was ended by the rain.
Somerset close to within just a point their rivals at the top of Group Two but have played a game more. Fixtures with Hampshire, Leicestershire and Surrey remain.
Gloucestershire endured their worst two sessions of the season so far and it will be of immense frustration to have failed to build on an excellent position on the third afternoon that would have reinforced their credentials to qualify for Division One in September.
It would be lazy and unfair to use phrases such as “reality check” and “wake up call” but no doubt they have to regroup ahead of a trip to The Oval on Thursday. Leicestershire, Hampshire and Middlesex are their other remaining opponents in the group.
They will also soon have significant holes to fill in their batting order with Brathwaite set to depart for the West Indies Test series against South Africa and Bracey called up by England.
But they remain top of the group and unbeaten after six matches and for the moment they dream, with Somerset, of a first Championship pennant.