Patient Roderick forces Derbyshire onto the back foot
13 April 2019
In a game that has been evenly contested throughout, Gloucestershire wicket keeper Gareth Roderick fell agonisingly short of his first Championship century since the 2016 Cheltenham Festival on the third day of 2019's opening fixture against Derbyshire at the Bristol County Ground.
Having batted for five and a half hours, umpire David Millns' finger was raised as Roderick played forward to Logan van Beek on 98 and saw the ball loop gently into the the hands of Derbyshire 'keeper Harvey Hosein. He had faced 238 balls and struck nine boundaries.
Roderick had been part of a sixth wicket of 118 with Ryan Higgins (74) which had taken Gloucestershire a long way towards Derbyshire's first innings score, and with the help of the tail a first innings lead of 59 was established in mid afternoon.
Matt Taylor's dismissal of Reece with his second delivery prompted thoughts of a tactical swing in the game by the close, but even though Ryan Higgins removed Godelman shortly after tea, Wayne Madsen and Tom Lace resisted for almost two hours to take Derbyshire ahead overall and reach 97-2 at stumps, a lead of 38.
Watch Gareth Roderick's thoughts on his day here:
Gloucestershire began Saturday's play still in arrears and needing to ensure Derbyshire didn't secure the sort of lead that, with time, could see them dictate the game tactically over the last two days. Roderick and Ryan Higgins had done well on the second evening, but now had to deal with the second new ball although in the end it produced little in the way of devilment for either batsman.
Higgins, batting positively, twice worked Rampaul through mid wicket and his half century - from only 68 balls with eight fours - came from a drive down the ground off the same bowler. Both he and Roderick showed sound technique, and Derbyshire were soon down to only one slip but not even an increasingly defensive field could stop the Gloucestershire 'keeper clipping Reece past mid wicket to complete a fifty that had contained seven fours.
The century partnership had taken 31 overs, and almost everything was finding the middle of the bat until 25 minutes before lunch when Higgins' confidence was undone as he played around a full length ball from Luis Reece and lost his leg stump.
His contribution (74) brought Gloucestershire to within one run of parity at lunch with four wickets in hand, and the sub plot was now whether Roderick's stoic concentration would see him through to his hundred.
A lovely drive off leg spinner Critchley took him in the eighties before Graeme van Buuren was lbw to a Rampaul delivery which kept lower than he expected, and he still needed eight more runs when Josh Shaw clipped Rampaul to van Beek at mid wicket.
Matt Taylor eased Roderick slowly towards his target only for van Beek's fourth ball of a new spell to spoil the story and leave Gloucestershire nine overs to bowl at Derbyshire's openers in a short session before tea after Harry Hankins was last out. With 350 runs on the board the lead was 59, and Roderick was quickly in the action again as Reece edged Matt Taylor's second delivery to the 'keeper without scoring.
Derbyshire avoided any further alarms until the interval, but Higgins removed captain Godelman in his second over following the resumption with Derbyshire still 41 runs in arrears, Roderick again taking the catch.
Thereafter Wayne Madsen and Tom Lace - two right handers at opposite ends of the experience spectrum - thwarted six Gloucestershire bowlers across the remaining 29 overs.
Lace, in particular, let the ball come to him, guiding, dabbing and occasionally driving Derbyshire into a position where they went ahead overall with 13 overs left, and by the close the third wicket paid had added 79 with Lace only two runs short of his second half century in the match. The visitors will resume on 97-2, with Gloucestershire needing a cluster of early wickets to have a chance of pushing for victory.