Saturday, 16 April 2011

Uphill task for Gloucestershire to avoid defeat

Day 3: Gloucestershire 188 and 42 for 0 (Cockbain 33*, Coughtrie 7*) v Glamorgan 202 and 370 for 9 dec. (Rees 68, Allenby 63, Gidman 3-49)

I'm sure some of you reading this will think my headline unduly negative after a reasonable performance so far from the boys. I prefer to think of it as realistic. The equation is simple, bat for the whole day and save the game. The pitch is flat and the bowling attack not terrifying. However, as the Glos la la la blog points out, we failed miserably to do this last year and only just managed it the year before.

This is the kind of position where a good side will come away with a comfortable draw, or even a win if they have a Sehwag or a Spearman to create some fireworks. I fear that Richard Coughtrie is not that man. 7 not out from 69 balls faced reminds you of the little kid at school who had a good technique but was so weak he could barely get if off the square. At least he is still there. Encouraging signs though from Ian Cockbain, who showed some scouse grit to end the day 33 not out. Do we have enough batting? I fear not, especially with Dent injured. The ball is already 25 overs old however, and if the openers could bat through the majority of the first session then who knows?

The x-factor may well be vastly experienced left-arm spinner Dean Cosker. I can't see him being as toothless as Vikram Banerjee proved today. His 8 overs so far in the second innings have seen 7 maidens. He also managed 26 not out with the bat, which doesn't say much about the Glos bowling efforts, but the pitch is said to be pretty lifeless.

By the end of tomorrow we will have learnt quite a bit more about this Gloucestershire side. Regardless as to how flat the pitch, and to how straight forward the guys at Glos la la la seem to think it should be, batting out 4 sessions, with victory unlikely, is psychologically a difficult thing to do, especially with only 10 men. It will be another test of the character of this side. Just as encouraging as the various promising performances from the young guns has been the sign of some fight in the Gloucester ranks. The sort of fight that means that you don't just roll over and be bowled out for 162. The sort of fight that hasn't been seen in a Gloucestershire side in many a long year. It's the one thing that us fans can't stand. Losing is one thing. Going down without a fight is another thing altogther.

All to play for tomorrow then. Fingers crossed for some grit and application, as opposed to a flurry of strokes and all over by lunch.

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