Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Glos triumph against the odds

Gloucestershire 220 (Jones 50, Dernbach 6-35) beat Surrey 214 (Sangakkara 60, Burns 56, Taylor 3-43) by six runs

It was the worst of finals, it was the best of finals. We arrived, heard we had lost the toss and been put in. We were worried. We sat down and then Maxy Klinger was out third ball. Hamish was stumped down the leg side. Jade Dernbach ended up with six wickets for not many, including a dubious hattrick. We battled hard for our runs.  Jack Taylor upped the tempo but got out. Geraint hit a gritty fifty but then got out. We finished on 220 with more than two overs left to bowl. It didn't feel like anywhere near enough. We were not feeling confident.

Then there were early wickets for a fired up James Fuller. Kumar Sangakkara and Rory Burns put on a hundred together and things looked bad. But Kumar got out by chipping a Jack Taylor full toss to the fielder when well set. Burns then danced past one to be stumped soon after, followed by a slow squeeze applied by bowlers and fielders.

It should still have been easy for Surrey though, 73 runs in 13.4 overs was not hard. However, we continued to take wickets and it got tighter and tighter. Sam Curran looked like he would see them home right up until the point where he holed out off the first ball of the final over from Payne. The release of tension in the Edrich when Benny the Frenchman took that catch was palpable- the roar was loader than you would have imagined. It was ever better when Batty slapped one straight down Jack Taylor's throat at midwicket to complete a famous and nerve-wracking victory.

Our first final appearance since 2004 led to a 10th win out of 11 one day finals. What a day. It wasn't a high quality match, particularly from a batting standpoint, but who cares. The boys were magnificent when it mattered and it clearly meant a lot the players, judging by the scenes at the end.

Well done Maxy and the boys. You made all of us there and all of Gloucestershire proud.

Video highlights below:

Update- cracking video of the catches in the last over and the celebrations- from the guys just in front of us!

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Klinger or bust

It's an early start for the Jessop Tavern View. The 6am train made all the tougher by a lack of change for a coffee at the station. Still, the sun appears to be shining and after 11 long years we are heading back to Lords.

How much hope does the Jessop Tavern have? A quick scan of the squads sends a slightly dampening shiver down our spine. Sangakarra, Roy, the two Currans, wily Azhar Mahmood, Steven Davies. Even Jade Dernbach. It's hard to see Surrey finding room for Kieran Gourmet-Burger. So, is there hope?

15 years ago Gloucestershire teams bonded together to regularly defy perceived wisdom and defeat their much fancied rivals packed full of international superstars. Can the 2015 vintage summon up similar collective spirit? Can David Payne become the new James Averis. Can Chris Dent bat like Phil Weston? Will Gareth Roderick don a silly hat and keep like Jack did? Time will tell.

In fairness, the boys have done exceptionally well to get here. A season that has seen their batting ravaged by injuries has been heavily reliant on people contributing at key times. Forget Maxy Klinger for one moment and this season has been full of key little cameos to get Gloucester home. Benny's bowling. Jack Taylor's biffing. It has all been vital.

And then there is Klinger. A frnakly other-worldly one day season has seen Klinger make one day and t20 hundreds seem like the most mundane occurrence. Can he fire one more time? You wouldn't bet against him, and the man deserves to sign off with runs on the big stage. The question will be what if he fails? Where do the runs come from? Can Chris Dent finally come good? Will Gareth Roderick rediscover his early season form and announce himself as a player of substance? Could O'Mish roll back the years? Lets hope all of the above. All complimenting another glorious Klinger hundred.

The Jessop Tavern is just ever so slightly haunted by the visible mental collapse of Somerset many years ago in the cider final of 1999. Cox had similarly dominated all season, and was Somerset's one key wicket. Smudger removed early on (dubiously lbw) and Somerset visibly wilted. Lets hope a similar story is not about to unfold.

So come on Glos. Good luck boys. And frankly, the Jessop Tavern is just excited to finally have something to cheer about when it comes to the Shire!!

See you at the Grace Gates!!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Promotion hopes extinguished after another drawn championship game

Leicestershire 415 (Ali 80, Robson 61, Raine 51, Norwell 4-97) and 155 for 9 dec (Redfern 74) drew with Gloucestershire 269 for 8 dec (Dent 73, Handscomb 53) and 212 for 5 (Tavare 52, Dent 52)

We're late in writing this game up so aren't planning to dwell on the game too much ahead of our final two fixtures, beginning today away to 7th placed Kent.

Will Tavare, skipper in the absence of globetrotting Maxy Klinger, won the toss and elected to field first. Rain took 48 overs out of the day's allocation and we didn't bowl all that well when play began just before 1pm. Angus Robson hit a fifty on Day 1, before becoming Norwell's second victim when he nicked off to Roderick. Day 2 saw further good batting from Leics, as they passed 400 for only the second time at home all season. Aadil Ali hit a career-best 80 and the batting continued right down the order, with even number 10 Ben Raine contributing 51.

Day 3 didn't go well for Glos, who closed 17 runs shy of the follow on target with just two wickets remaining. Despite the first century partnership of the match between Dent and Handscomb, once they were dismissed by Rob Taylor wickets fell at regular intervals. Bad light intervened during the afternoon allowing the boys to escape the day without being bowled out short of the follow on target.

Day 4 saw a much better performance, as two sporting declarations set up a chase for Glos which was sadly curtailed by bad light with 90 needed and 9 overs still to play. Glos sneaked past the follow on target and immediately declared 146 runs behind. This enabled Leics to crack on and set a target, which led to four wickets before lunch, including two more for Liam Norwell. Leicestershire moved the game along quickly after lunch, with Dan Redfern hitting a quickfire 74 as wickets fell around him before Cosgrove declared on 155-9, leaving us 302 to win.

Dent and Tavare started well, putting on 108 at 4+ an over. They both fell after reaching fifty and Roderick failed for the second time in the match in what has been a mixed season with the bat. Handscomb bedded in and continued to tick the scoreboard along, but O'Mish (typically) and Benny both departed cheaply. This brought GBK to the crease and he and Handscomb put on a robust 40 before the light curtailed proceedings.

A mixed bag from the 'Shire, perhaps understandable with the Royal London semi final looming, but we did at least make a decent fist of a 4th day chase. The draw leaves us 6th with two to play, away to Kent and then at home to Glamorgan who are currently 4th. All to play for in the final matches then, as even third-placed Essex are just 11 points ahead of us and Glamorgan and Northants are closer still.

Video highlights below:

Day 4

Day 3

Day 2

Day 1

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Maxy-mum Klinger takes 'Shire back to Lords

Gloucestershire 267 for 2 (Klinger 137*, Marshall 78*) beat Yorkshire 263 for 9 (Lyth 96, Howell 3-37) by eight wickets 

Gloucestershire secured a first trip to a Lords final since 2004, courtesy of yet another knock of the highest quality from skipper Michael 'surely the next Aussie test player off the rank' Klinger.

When Glos fans think of our greatest overseas one day performers over the years, some great names spring to mind; Zaheer Abbas (whose 5 consecutive scores over 50 Klinger equalled on Sunday), Mike Procter, Craig Spearman, Ian Harvey and Dan Christian. (OK, the last one was a joke).

Michael Klinger might just be the best of the lot. The Aussie hit a magnificent 137* to lead Glos' comfortable chase of Yorkshire's ultimately below par 263-9. Klinger put on an unbeaten 177 with O'Mish, who also looked in good touch throughout and ended unbeaten on 78 as victory was achieved with over 3 overs remaining. He struck 4 sixes, included the game-winning blow over mid off which secured a famous victory.

Yorkshire's innings was built around Adam Lyth's flashy, but technically loose 96- as an aside we can't see him having much long-term success at test level if he continues to flash away outside off stump regardless of bowler, line or match situation. Benny Howell helped Glos' bowlers recover from an awful start, taking 3-37 from 10 overs of wily seam bowling which helped choke Yorkshire of runs and momentum in the crucial middle overs. Despite recovering from a nightmare start, which saw 60 taken off the opening 10 overs, to bowl well overall, the boys fielded poorly throughout, including a comic dropped caught and bowled from Liam Norwell which temporarily reprieved Jonny Bairstow. Luckily Norwell recovered to trap Bairstow LBW in his next over to save his blushes. The fact that Bairstow's 34 was the next highest score of the innings shows how Yorkshire lost their way after a great start and a target of under 300 was always going to be chasable on a good, if slightly two-paced surface at Headingley.

Klinger's scores in this season's Royal London Cup are hugely impressive, 531 runs in 7 innings at 132.75, including 3 centuries in his last 5 innings. When you add this to his stellar Natwest Blast t20 form (another 3 hundreds and 654 runs at 81.75) and the strong Australian domestic season which preceded it, you have some consistently impressive form. An argument can surely be made that Maxy is currently enjoying one of the finest runs of form of all time over the last 18 months of white ball cricket.

You would hope that he will get a chance to represent his country against Bangladesh later this year. His performances for his adopted county here in England have certainly warranted it. In to the final at Lords on September 19th. The Jessop Tavern View will be there cheering the boys on and hope to see some of our readers there, too.

Long and shorter video highlights below:

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Glos upset Hampshire to secure rare knockout win

Gloucestershire 218 for 6 (Klinger 87, Jones 39*, Arafat 3-56) beat Hampshire 217 for 7 (Adams 97, Smith 50) by four wickets 

This was great. Unexpected, but great nonetheless. Glos booked an away quarter final against Yorkshire at Headingley but beating Hampshire by four wickets, due in large part to yet another fine knock of 87 from skipper Maxi Klinger. The big Aussie recovered from a dropped catch while on 0 from opposing skipper Jimmy Adams to anchor the chase and another violent Jack Taylor cameo got us over the line after Klinger was dismissed to leave the match in the balance.

Yet more August rain forced the reduction of the game to 34 overs per side and Hampshire managed a handy total based around Adams' 97 and a late flurry of runs from Will Smith, who took advantage of a bizarre decision by Glos to play but not bowl economical left arm spinner Tom Smith. His 50 from 25 balls helped Hampshire plunder 77 from the last 6 overs to set a challenging target of 218.

Glos began the chase with Adams failing to cling on to a sharp chance at cover from Klinger and the drop proved crucial as Dent, Roderick, O'Mish and Howell as fell cheaply to leave the boys 104-4 after 21 overs. Geraint Jones' arrival at the crease at least provided Klinger with decent support and they added 59 at a good clip, before the wily Yasir Arafat got the big wicket of Klinger while on 87. This put pressure on the new man Jack Taylor, with 55 still needed from under 6 overs. Fidel Edwards didn't do much to apply continued pressure however, as his next over cost 19 including 5 wides and 3 boundaries. The next over broke the back of the chase, as Taylor settled in nicely by hitting Arafat for two huge blows over cow corner in the course of 17 from the over. He then got out, but only 11 were needed and Geraint Jones won the match in style with another driven six off Arafat (see the end of the video below for his delighted celebration of the win).

A cracking victory achieved in difficult conditions and one that set us up nicely for the semi final against Yorkshire.

Video highlights below:

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Weather saves Glos from second Surrey slaughter

Gloucestershire 233 (8 points) drew with Surrey 349 - 6 (11 points)

Gloucestershire remained unbeaten in the Championship since the two wins during the Cheltenham Festival, after a game ruined by the rain. The scorecard doesn't tell the true story though, as the match one in which Surrey would likely have pressed for a victory (and promotion) after dominating proceedings on Day 2 of the match before the weather intervened.

Gloucestershire batted first after being put in by Gareth Batty and it didn't go well as the talented Curran brothers reduced us to 63-4 inside the first hour, with Tavare, Dent, O'Mish and Howell all departing cheaply. The 'shire were indebted to Gareth Roderick's 71 for getting us on the way to an even passable first innings total, as he punished some wayward bowling, striking 12 fours on his way to a 100 ball 71. However, having seen a patient Roderick and Gourmet-Burger partnership take us 103-4 at the interval, wickets continued to fall after lunch.

First to go was the Kiwi, for yet another low score (his highest championship knock of the season is just 61) and Jack Taylor and Roderick soon followed. This brought together James Fuller and Tom Smith and the Kiwi decided he wasn't going to die wondering- he struck several crisp boundaries in a 40 ball 48, before he was bowled by Tom Curran who completed a 5-fer. Smith then put on a second fifty partnership with David Payne, taking us to 203-8 at tea and beyond, before Payne was caught off Curran on his way to 6-61. Norwell was soon bowled by Batty and we were all out for a below-par 233. Surrey reached 74-2 at the close, with Norwell strangling Arun Harinath down the leg side and Rory Burns caught by Fuller off Benny the Frenchman.

Day 2 was very much a batting day, with one of Surrey's many wicket keepers, Ben Foakes to the fore. The wasn't an awful lot to write home about from a 'shire perspective, as good batting conditions saw Foakes reach a career-best 140*, ably supported by 17 year old Sam Curran who hit 49 and Jason Roy who chipped in with 39. Glos used seven bowlers in the day and it said a lot that economical medium pace trundler Gourmet-Burger was the pick of the attack with two wickets.

All this put Surrey in a very strong position at the close, with power to add to a handy on Day 3 and a high-quality bowling attack raring to have a crack at our flaky batting lineup. Thankfully this became academic when it subsequently poured down with rain for the next two days, meaning no further play was possible after Day 2. The result was we escaped with a handy draw, not bad considering the stuffing we received from Surrey at the Oval back in late June.

Video highlights below:
Day 1

Day 2

Friday, 21 August 2015

50 over recap: The good, the bad and the irrelevant

The Royal London Cup has surprised a few people so far this season. Very much the third domestic trophy, it traditionally takes place towards the end of the season when more than half the counties have basically given up the ghost and are merely playing for pride.

Previous incarnations saw a slightly weird qualifying system used where two groups went straight to the semi finals, which meant that early losses soon proved terminal for even the best limited over sides. Thankfully we're now settled back into an international standard 50 over format, with a quarter final stage to further help separate the wheat from the county chaff.

Even more pleasingly, Gloucestershire have proven themselves a passable side in the format thus far. The shire finished their group stage matches with a home quarter final birth secured after five wins from eight with a no result v Yorkshire. We'll discount the fact that the home draw was in fact secured following bad weather which ensured Yorkshire's match at Scarborough was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

So to a brief recap of the completed matches so far. We'll skip the Yorkshire game which we were in a great position to win until bad weather intervened.

The Good

July 29
Gloucestershire 205 for 4 (Roderick 54) beat Derbyshire 274 for 5 (Rutherford 110, Madsen 106*) by six wickets - D/L 

First up was a wild game at Nevil Road, which was secured when Benny and Jack Taylor struck an outrageous 69 from the final four overs to secure a fortunate D/L victory. Having fielded poorly in conceding two individual tons to Hamish Rutherford and Wayne Madsen, we were always going to be up against it.

Rain altered the target to 284 from 48 and again to 204 from 35 overs and at 136-3 we looked dead and buried. However, Taylor came in and immediately set about the bowling, hitting leggie Critchley for 3 sixes in an over to begin the carnage which concluded with Taylor being caught off the final delivery off which 6 were needed. Miraculously a no ball was called, for too many fielders on the leg side of all things, and a single was taken to add to the two extras, Benny Howell then smashed the final delivery for a four to complete a unlikely victory

Video highlights

July 31
Gloucestershire 315 for 6 (Roderick 104, Jones 87, Klinger 50) beat Leicestershire 314 (Aadil 84, Burgess 49, Taylor 42*, Smith 3-45) by one run

Another interesting contest and an unexpectedly tight one, given the opposition and match situation. Gareth Roderick's maiden List A hundred and Geraint Jones' career high 87 (a bit worrying when you score that in your final season, at the age of 39?) saw the boys post over 300 and we then reduced Leics to 128/5 in response.

However, a couple of fine partnerships; 96 between Aadil Ali and Burgess and then 44 from Clint McKay and Rob Taylor (in just 4.4 overs) left McKay needing 3 from the final ball to complete an unlikely victory. Luckily enough, Glos' excellent fielding came to the rescue as captain Maxi Klinger made a diving stop before running out the Aussie to restrict Leics to a single run.

A tight victory was thus secured, although the worrying James Fuller no ball beamer problem returned, seeing him withdrawn from the attack for the second time this season. Not ideal to lose one of your strike bowlers at a key moment and hopefully the Kiwi can get this under control from now on. When firing he's a fine bowler and a handy batsman, to boot.

Video highlights

August 2
Gloucestershire 247 for 7 (Klinger 107, Groenewald 3-53) beat Somerset 244 for 7 (Hildreth 85*, Gregory 62) by three wickets

The next match, against West Country rivals Somerset, saw a sight as familiar as a pint of cider in the hand of supporters on either side, Maxi Klinger acknowledging the crowd's applause for another fine hundred. The man's form this season has been nothing short of remarkable- he's averaging over 100 in this competition as well as over 80 in T20 and 46 in the championship. One could argue that if the travelling Australian circus wanted to add another performer to the troupe then they could do a lot worse than calling on our skipper.

This would obviously be bad news for the 'Shire, as Klinger runs again turned a tight game in our favour. A lowish chase of 245 proved tricky, with Dent falling early to Groenewald and Roderick also departing cheaply. Klinger however anchored the innings superbly, scoring his 107 off 133 balls with nine boundaries including 4 sixes. The game was still in the balanced when he fell with 43 still needed and when Gourmet-Burger departed with the score on 213 there was work to do. Luckily Jack Taylor was at the crease and he put on a useful partnership with James Fuller. Taylor then struck two sixes in the penultimate over from Groenewald and the victory was secured with two balls remaining. A good win.

Video highlights

August 4
Gloucestershire 289 for 7 (Klinger 135*, Jones 54) beat Durham 214 (Hastings 46, Payne 5-40, Miles 2-29) by 71 runs D/L

There doesn't appear to be a match report available on Cricinfo for this game, so we'll stick to the facts. A dominant batting performance saw Glos post an excellent 289 from just 41 rain-affected overs. The demon Klinger carried his bat for another hundred, his highest score of the summer so far, despite an injury requiring a runner towards the end. Geraint Jones continued his streaky run of form with 54 and Benny Howell chipped in with a quickfire 45 from 24 balls towards the end.

Durham were never really in the contest, losing wickets throughout, before a late flurry from John Hastings saw them limped past 200, before being dismissed for 214 in the final over. Sid Payne took an excellent 5-40, including most of the lower order and Miles also bowled economically in what has been a fine season in all formats for the 21 year old.

Video highlights

August 5
Gloucestershire 265 for 6 (Tavare 61, Jones 58, Roderick 56) beat Worcestershire 264 for 8 (Clark 131*) by four wickets (D/L method)

Glos secured a quarter final place with their 5th consecutive win against bottom side Worcs who lost their 5th straight Royal London fixture. The boys performed well without the injured titan Klinger, who missed out with a hamstring strain. Worcester actually posted a decent total, based around a superb 131* from 19 year old Joe Clarke. The 'Shire bowling was relatively expensive in this game, with only the wicketless James Fuller keeping the economy rate below 4 an over.

Glos managed a tricky chase well, with all of the top 4 chipping in. The recalled Will Tavare, hitherto fairly useless in white ball cricket, hit 61 and Roderick and Geraint also hit 50s. Even Chris Dent, who had slumped into a terrible rut recently, managed 43 in an opening stand of 106 with Tavare. Despite losing late wickets we got over the line comfortably and booked a quarter final place early with two fixtures yet to play.

Video highlights

The Bad

August 17
Northamptonshire 217 for 6 (Cobb 58, Taylor 3-45) beat Gloucestershire 215 (Howell 80, Roderick 57, Crook 4-37, Stone 3-34) by four wickets 

This game wasn't that important for the 'Shire and it showed. We're running out of steam on these recaps, so we'll stick to saying that Glos underperformed with the bat and did ok to reach 200 plus in the end. Northants were always looking favourites after an opening partnership of 80 took a large chunk out of the chase. Despite losing a few middle order wickets along the way, a calm 31* from skipper Alex Wakely got them over the line with 9 overs still to bowl.

Video highlights

The Irrelevant

August 18
Surrey 291 for 8 (Burns 95, Fuller 3-26) beat Gloucestershire 279 (Howell 60, T Curran 4-65) by 12 runs 

This game proved to be a complete dead rubber once Yorkshire's fixture against Northants was rained off in mid-afternoon. Good job too, as Glos again failed to chase down a Surrey target anchored by
Rory Burns' List A-best of 95. James Fuller returned 3-26 and Benny Howell continued his all round form with 2-54 from 9 tidy overs.

Glos struggled with a challenging chase, although the Frenchman again batted solidly for a team-high 60 and put on 90 in 15.4 overs with Fuller, who scored his one day high of 45. Chris Dent managed an attractive 49 before getting out as his first List A 50 of the year seemed on the cards.

It ended up mattering little as the weather allowed Glos the luxury of a home quarter against Hampshire on August 26th.

Video highlights