Monday, 26 August 2013

Gloucestershire batsmen queue up to swing from O'Mish's hangman's noose

YB40: Somerset beat Gloucestershire by 12 runs.

It's big. It's mean. It's made of a lot of glass and appears to have the worlds longest balcony that should enable clueless corporate hospitality guests to have an almost constant ability to wander behind the bowlers arm. Oh yes, the new, and imaginatively named, 'Bristol' pavilion opened today. Regardless as to what we think, it does appear fairly impressive. We particularly like the 'Hamish O'Marshall hangman's scaffold' on the right hand side of the roof. Hamish will hopefully be seen frequently swinging from this after playing yet more inappropriate shots when well set.

And so to the cricket.

In the end the result didn't matter. Warwickshire decided to field a team without any bowlers against Northants meaning that David Willey was able to plunder away. This helped Northants to a comprehensive win that pushed their run-rate above anything Gloucestershire could match. When news filtered through that Glamorgan had also won it appeared that the Gods have decreed that the Jessop Tavern View would not be heading to Lords this season.

Nevertheless, Gloucestershire's youngsters gave their more illustrious neighbours a decent game in front of a packed crowd at the county ground. Despite Trescothick and Kieswetter getting Somerset off to a 10 an over flier, Gloucestershire's bowling attack took wickets in clusters to restrict Somerset to what seemed a below par score of 258 for 9. Tom Smith capped a solid bowling effort from the whole unit with a hat trick, split over two overs. David Payne also returned fine figures of 3 for 35 from his allotted 8 overs.

In reply Gloucestershire got off to the best possible start putting on 63 for the opening wicket. Both Klinger and O'Mish appeared to be well set when Marshall danced down the pitch to new overseas mercenary Piyush Chawla and heaved a straight forward catch down the throat of Lewis Gregory. Chris Dent also got himself in, and then out, again caught trying to force the pace on a slightly two paced pitch that never made boundary scoring a straight forward proposition. Captain Klinger perished shortly after to a slightly dubious catch taken by the aforementioned Chawla.

Ian Cockbain and Gidders  then also put Gloucestershire in position to push for glory, but when Cockbain fell for 39 and Gidders for 41 the queue to have a swing on O'Mish's scaffold atop the new pavilion was making use of all the generous room afforded by the overly large balcony. It's difficult to chase any decent total when your top 5 all score more than 30 but less than 41. If one of the top five had gone on, then Glos probably would have won. In the end we were saved the heartbreak of winning the match and then realising we had failed to qualify for the semi-finals.

Gloucestershire now need to make sure that the rest of their season doesn't come off the rails like it did after last year's t20 quarter final defeat. This will begin with Wednesdays championship match against Essex.

Video highlights from the game below:

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Rain grants Glos 3 extra points in promotion push

Result: Glos drew with Kent.

A combination of rain, Gareth Roderick and some plucky rearguard defence from the tail saw Gloucestershire home to a vital draw in this highly contrived version of a game that bore some relation to cricket, but was a couple of cans short of being a proper cricketing 6 pack.

Declaring their first innings on 80, then allowing Kent to declare on 4 in their second innings, thus leaving Glos to chase 399 to win, all based on an apocalyptic weather forecast. Like we said, something like a game of cricket, but not quite an actual game of cricket.

In chasing their target Glos made a complete pigs-ear of it, managing to reduce themselves to 41 for 4 and 138 for 6. At this point only Roderick and the tail stood between Kent and only their second win of the season (win number one came against Glos at Cheltenham in a similarly contrived match) Coming into the match, 21 year old Saffer-born keeper Roderick had 280 runs at an average in the low 30s. Reasonable enough stats that were clearly backed up with enough promise for him to have been given a go at batting at number 3, something he didn't exactly look at ease with. Roderick batted with great patience to compile his maiden first class hundred in 5 hours. If Roderick can finish the season strongly then the Gloucestershire wicketkeeping gloves should be his for the foreseeable future.

Credit must also go to Tom Smith who batted for almost two hours for his 32. David Payne, Craig Miles and Liam Norwell all did their bit to help Roderick carry the game over into a fourth day.

And then came the rain.

All of Roderick's hard work, combined with the rain actually mean diddly-squat. Glos gain 3 extra points than if they had lost. Gloucestershire are now 32 points adrift of the promotion spots and sit 4th in the table, a point behind Essex who we play on Wednesday. Realistically promotion looks a tough bet, and would probably require us to win all 4 of our remaining fixtures, including against table topping, and unbeaten, Lancashire. If Glos could cement 4th in the table, the Jessop Tavern would be mighty chuffed.

Video highlights from Day 3 below:

Friday, 23 August 2013

A long road ahead for England/the 'Shire

Gloucestershire 80 for 0 trail Kent 474 (Stevens 126, Harmison 106, Key 53) by 394 runs

Gloucestershire are facing something of a mountain to climb after two days of toil in the field at Canterbury. You know it's a flat deck when Ben Harmison gets a hundred against you and that's exactly what happened on Day 1. This was followed today by a ton for the ICC's favourite, Darren Stevens and some late order runs which boosted the Kent total to a healthy 474 all out.

Glos will be disappointed to have allowed such a bottom-heavy batting card, having reduced 2nd from bottom Kent to 46-3 and 113-4 on Day 1. The attack did ok, but the change seamers Payne and Norwell again went for more than 4 runs per over each, which considering they bowled 49 overs between them is a lot of runs to ship. What we find disappointing is that if 18 year old Craig Miles is capable of going for under 4 an over in his first full season, why are Norwell and Payne, both now beyond rookie status, not capable of 'bowling dry' as well?

It says a lot about the others that Benny Howell's military medium was required for 19 overs as well. Tom Smith managed only 7 overs for 15, which doesn't say much for either the pitch or Klinger's confidence in our latest spinner.

There were more positive signs when Glos batted, with Corporal Klinger and Chris Dent continuing their nascent opening partnership and taking us to 80 without loss at the close. A lot of batting is required to see us to safety and beyond and you would say that only two results are likely at this stage of the game, a draw or a Kent victory.

On the plus side, some time has already been lost to rain and the weather forecast isn't looking that promising for the next two days.

In many ways this game has mirrored the 5th Test at the Oval. Lose the toss and witness the opposition rack up almost 500, with hundreds from a perennial underachiever and a dasher with a unorthodox technique. Then face some tricky overs before the close on Day 2. the only difference is that the Aussies have Nathan Lyon whereas Kent only have James Tredwell. On second thoughts, these matches are identical!

Video Highlights from Day 2:

Monday, 19 August 2013

Cider final revisited

YB40: Gloucestershire 251 for 8 (Klinger 87, Marshall 55) beat Glamorgan 247 for 7 (Rees 83, Goodwin 49) by two wickets

The bandwagon is still rolling on its merry way to a Lords final. Admittedly it's a very Gloucestershire bandwagon, and with our present financial constraints the wheels are wobbling and it could do with a lick of paint. But rolling it still is.

Despite Gloucestershire's young bowlers continuing to go to all parts of every one day ground they play at, Captain Klinger remains unruffled as he helped himself to a further 87 runs. This takes Klinger's YB40 tally to 662 runs at a barely credible average of 94.

Gloucestershire tried their best to throw it away after openers Klinger and Marshall cantered to a century opening stand. It took some late biffing from Benny and James Fuller to see Glos across the line with a ball to spare.

All this means that, despite a fluctuating couple of weeks of YB40 results, Glos are still very much in the hunt. With one match remaining we sit level on points with Somerset at the top of the group meaning that bank holiday Monday will see a shoot-out for a semi-final spot between Glos and the cider boys from down the road. Admittedly, Glamorgan can still throw a spanner in the works. The Welshmen are two points behind, but face Leicestershire on Wednesday night. A win for the Dragons will mean that 3 teams will share the top of Group C.

God alone knows what the permutations are from there. Northants are another team with the same number of points (all be it in Group A) and so they can still play a part in gaining the one 'runners-up' spot. Essentially though, should Glos beat Somerset then we should be in the semi finals regardless of other results.

Exciting times. Let's hope that the opening of the new pavilion on Monday week inspires the boys to greater heights than they managed in last week's mauling down at Taunton.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

YB40 update

Yes, we've been lazy and haven't posted much recently, but in our defence, it's the summer and there hasn't been much positive one day news to report recently. Thursday night's defeat versus Middlesex has left us 4th in our group, meaning that today's game v Glamorgan has taken on 'all or nothing' status.

However, The Jessop Tavern View has worked long and hard to develop a reputation for pessimism when it comes to all things Gloucestershire. Even if we do snatch a win against the group-leading Dragons, the prospect of needing another win in our final group game versus a powerful Somerset side does rather fill us with dread.

The Middlesex game was a particular disappointment, as Glos failed to chase a modest 206 which owed everything to Dawid 'David' Malan's unbeaten hundred. Glos again failed offer much beyond skipper Klinger's 46 and a 19 run loss was pretty average having done the hard work in restricting a dangerous batting lineup including Eoin Morgan, Stirling and Joe Denly along with the in form Malan. Hamish Marshall has had a poor one day season (averaging 21 from 10 matches, no big surprise) and perished for a first ball duck to Steve Finn. No one else scored more than 40 and a small target proved beyond us.

The previous game was a bit more encouraging, as yet another quality knock of 89* from the skipper saw us easily overcome Leicestershire's 163 all out. Klinger has managed 250 more runs than the next best batsman, Chris Dent, so far this season and we have relied on him heavily at the top of he order.

He proved his class in the Somerset match with an unbeaten 131 out of 263, but the total was proven inadequate by a violent hundred from Kieswetter, along with rapid-fire knocks from Tres and Trego, as the cidermen chased down our score with 39 balls remaining.

For those masochists among you with time to spare, video highlights of the Middlesex and Somerset defeats are below:


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Cheltenham 'bunsen' gives Gloucestershire another t20 headache

So, as if Gloucestershire are not rubbish enough at t20 cricket, the ECB has seen fit to deduct Glos 2 points from the start of next seasons campaign.

"After considering the pitch reports of the Umpires and after interviewing the Umpires, the captain and coach of both teams and both the Cheltenham and the Gloucestershire CCC head groundsmen, the Pitch Panel upheld the umpires’ decision that the pitch had demonstrated excessive turn and should therefore be rated “poor”."

So Gloucestershire are penalised for producing an absolute bunsen to the detriment of their own batsmen. In a match that was played on a pitch with excessive turn, spinners accounted for 8 of the 14 wickets to fall with each spinner going for less than 5 runs an over, but more than 4. Condemning evidence? We're not sure.

Kaiser Tom was quoted as saying,  “We are very disappointed by this decision, but have no course other than to accept it.” Reading between the lines, Tom thinks its b******ks, but also knows what side his bread is buttered.

The Jessop Tavern View wasn't at the game, but given that this season has seen a low scoring, spin friendly t20 competition played during some of the hottest weather for many years, we can only presume that the pitch prepared at Cheltenham was turning not just square, but was actually turning more than 90 degrees.

With group table that are always very tight in this competition, the 2 point deduction for next season is a massive blow to Gloucestershire. Well, we say this, but if the boys play like they have done this season then the 2 point penalty won't make a blind bit of difference.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013


Cheltenham cricket festival streaker Daniel Butcher has stirred up something of a controversy following his highly amusing late afternoon streak during the third day of Gloucestershires recent victory over Worcestershire. Allegations have emerged that the Jessop Tavern Views hero, Alex Gidman, challenged Mr Butcher to streak with the grand sum of a £100 bet. County cricket doesn't get juicier than this.

Emerging from one of the marquees, Mr Butcher made a slightly undignified naked clamber over the advertising hoardings before embarking on a rather serene jog to the middle of the old college ground. Some what bemused, Mr Butcher had time to have a look round and take it all in before security made a belated appearance and chased him off to the pavilion.

Unbeknownst to those watching his naked antics was that Mr Butcher gave Alex Gidman a sly little wink as he trotted passed the slip cordon. Presumably the rest of the Gloucestershire boys thought this was pretty normal. Gidman did after all go to Wycliffe College where passing the soap in the showers is not only a hobby but an actual subject. As it turns out Mr Butcher also attended Wycliffe at the same time as Gidders and this is where they became "firm friends", to quote Butcher, or where "I have no recollection of ever meeting Mr Butcher", according to Gidman.

The Gloucestershire Echo decided to run a comedy piece at the weekend detailing how Gidders had apparently bet his old school friend £100 that he wouldn't streaker during the festival. In a fitting end to the story Mr Butcher revealed how he has given the money to a cancer charity in support of his Dad who is fighting the illness. All very heart warming.

But no. Enter big bad Kaiser Tom Richardson to quash any such fun. "Alex Gidman categorically states that he made no such suggestion to his old mucker Daniel Butcher about carrying out a streak" lambasted Richardson, who was evidently so angered by the possibility that such a story might inject a bit of character back into county cricket that he put a gun to Gidman's head and made him also issue an official statement 'categorically' denying the allegation. "The only thing myself and Mr Butcher have in common is a similar waist line and a love of pies", Gidman thoughtfully didn't add.

So there we go. Never before have Gloucestershire been moved to issue so many statements during one Cheltenham festival. A week previously Kaiser Tom was on his soapbox, round the back of the ice cream van at the chapel end preaching an apology about the state of the t20 pitch for the match against Warwickshire (no similar apology was issued for an identical pitch and scorecard for the following weeks game against Glamorgan which Glos managed to win) Now Tom is ranting about a charity streak. It is unconfirmed as yet, that when Mr Butcher was being led away Kaiser Tom was seen offering him a discount on a flat in Bristol.

Monday, 22 July 2013

T20 cricket- It's easy when you know how

Gloucestershire 99 for 0 (Dent 63*) beat Glamorgan 98 for 9 (Payne 3-17, Young 3-21) by 10 wickets

This half of the Jessop Tavern View hasn't seen Gloucestershire play live for quite a while now, so it was a rare treat to witness the boys play at at a sold-out Cheltenham yesterday. We have fond memories of endless summer days spent at the best festival outground watching former Glos legends like Matt 'Steamy' Windows and Shaun Young put county opposition to the sword under cloudless skies.

Yesterday was no different, as an efficient Gloucestershire performance saw off Glamorgan with the minimum of fuss. The only difference between Cheltenham festivals of yore was that we were playing T20 and the Jessop Tavern View was this time enjoying a cold beer to help stave off the heat of the merciless sun.

Glamorgan have previously been one of the season's best T20 outfits. We we feeling a little apprehensive when they won the toss and elected to bat on the usually batsman-friendly Cheltenham deck. 6 overs in and the the powerplay overs ended with Glamorgan teetering at a comic 31-5. Two or three top order batsmen perished to leading edges and veteran Murray Goodwin played a horrid walking slap straight to Christian at point. The pitched seemed slow and somewhat two-paced, but it was hard to tell whether it was good bowling and fielding or merely terrible batting which was more responsible.

Glamorgan did rebuild somewhat through useless former Glos overseas, Marcus North and Nick James. They put on 37, before North showed why even the hapless Aussies tourists won't be looking his way this summer, by reverse sweeping Young straight to the increasingly immobile figure of Gidders at backward point.

Glamorgan limped through the remainder of their 20 overs, capping the innings with a tame run out off the last ball to end of 98-9. That was pretty much game over, as Corporal Klinger and Chris Dent showed that the pitch held no demons by knocking off the runs with 7.1 overs to spare. Dent was particularly impressive in scoring 63* with shots all around the wicket. Having never seen Dent bat in the flesh, this was an opportunity to witness his full range of shots, albeit under minimal pressure against a deflated opposition. We were particularly impressed with his deft back cuts and nimble footwork against spin.

So, what to make of about the shortest and most comprehensive T20 victory we've ever witnessed? It's perhaps best to defer to this half of Jessop Tavern View's wife, who was enjoying her first ever game of cricket, despite 7 years living in Australia. Her verdict was along the lines of 'that wasn't as bad or as long as I had feared, I quite liked it.' She's now been officially adopted as a good luck charm and the aim is to 'encourage' her to attend many more matches in future, to help guarantee easy Glos victories. Watch this space to read how well that works out for us...

Professional and patient. Young Gloucestershire look like the real deal.

Gloucestershire beat Worcestershire by 6 wickets.

Living at the other end of the country leaves the Jessop Tavern View with few opportunities to watch the Shire, particularly in the 4 day game. Thus a period of glorious weather and a couple of cheap flights took the Jessop Tavern View down to Cheltenham for the weekend to stake its claim as genuine cricket watchers, rather than grumpy old men who moan about performances analysed through dodgy video clips and cricinfo scorecards.

What the Jessop Tavern View saw was very impressive.

On a dry, flat pitch and under the baking sun Gloucestershires young bowling attack stuck patiently to their task of taking advantage of the 150 run lead they had built up from the innings.

Only 53 runs came before lunch as Gloucestershires seamers stuck manfully to their task of building pressure by drying up the runs. This eventually came to fruition either side of the lunch break as 4 quick wickets fell to a combination of tight bowling and excellent fielding. O'Mish took a very alert catch at short leg to get rid of Moeen Ali, whilst James Fuller produced an excellent piece of ground fielding to run out Alex Kervezee.

Sri Lankan Thilan Samaraweera then demonstrated why he has a test average of almost 50 by helping himself to some elegant shots all round the ground. Any man who presumably spent a considerable portion of his career facing Murali in the nets was unlikely to be troubled by 18 year old Miles Hammond and Samaraweera was particularly harsh on the young off-spinner. Despite a 5th wicket partnership of 109 Glos stuck to their task, bided their time, made sure that the scoring rate never got away from them and then struck with the second new ball. Will Gidman, Craig Miles and James Fuller all bowled wicket taking spells at the end of a long hot day in the field to leave Gloucestershire in a strong position at the end of day 3. Tom Smith then polished Worcestershire's resistance off quickly on the fourth morning leaving Captain Klinger to knock off the 194 runs required for victory with a brisk 92. 194 is potentially a niggly sort of total to chase, but Klinger and Dent got Glos off to the perfect start with an opening stand of 95. These two in particular have enjoyed a bountiful festival opening the batting. Chris Dent was seen with a spade attempting to dig up the Cheltenham square so that he could take it with him.

So, having now seen the boys up close this season what does the Jessop Tavern View make of it all?

In a word, excellent.

Chatting to a wise old sage during yesterdays t20 match it was observed that this Gloucestershire team now look very much like a John Bracewell team. Bracewell is a typical kiwi in that he is very good at making the best of what he has and pulling together a team that it is greater than the sum of its parts. It was a skill that was obviously enormously successful during Bracewell's first stint at the club. Whether he can bring the same sort of silverware to Nevil road during this tenure is unlikely. That side of the late 90's early 00's contained more players of genuine class than this incarnation. However, considering what he has been given to work with, and the enormous financial restraints imposed, King John deserves tremendous credit.

Take for example Middlesex loanee Tom Smith during last weeks match against Worcestershire. Smith is a 25 year old slow left armer who before coming to Gloucestershire had 12 first class wickets at an average of 81 in 5 seasons. Admittedly he approaches the crease looking more like a medium pacer than a spinner, and this may explain his lack of success. Last week Smith took career best figures of 4 for 91 in Worcestershires second innings. Did he spin us to victory? Hardly. But as much as we would love to have a match winning spinner who could turn it square and run through sides it is unlikely that you pick up these sort of bowlers in a mid season loan deal. What Smith did do was bowl tightly and get enough turn to take 4 key wickets. This is pretty much all you can ask your spinner to do during a second innings on a crumbling wicket. It's a very Bracewell induced performance we suspect. Similarly Will Gidman is another player, unwanted at Durham, who has become a very useful performer under King John.

What struck the Jessop Tavern View most all though was the intelligence of the cricket being played by these young bowlers. They all realised the situation and bowled accordingly. Not one of the seamers got frustrated and tried to bowl 'magic' balls. They all ground away knowing that chances would come.

We'll admit we were a little surprise to see this, but surprised in a very good way.

Gloucestershire are quickly approaching a very important August placed 4th in the championship table with fixtures against all 3 of the teams above them (Lancashire, Northants and Essex) remaining. Couple this with crucial YB40 matches against Somerset and all is still very much to play for over the closing couple of months of the season.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Fuller joins the party

Day 1: Worcs 182 v Glos 83 - 0.

The Cheltenham groundsmen continue to sit in their little tent chuckling to themselves. So far this festival has produced an absolute road against Kent in the championship followed by a sticky bunsen in the first t20 match which moved Kaiser Tom to apologise for the state of the pitch. We then had an almost 400 run pitch for the second t20. Thus it was anyone's guess as to what we were going to get for this crucial championship match against third placed Worcestershire.

Gloucestershire's selection suggested they fancied another run friendly match, dropping Dan Housego and bringing in young Miles Hammond to bolster the spin bowling department.

Apparently there was a 'nice green tinge' to the pitch at the toss but this wasn't enough to persuade Worcestershire to contemplate anything other than to bat first. Few would then have expected that by lunch they would be trying to claw there way back from being reduced to 22 for 6.

James Fuller took his first ever hat trick, removing Pardoe, division 2's leading run scorer Moeen Ali, and Alex Kervezee and then Craig Miles took two in two balls to take perfect advantage of the early seam friendly conditions.

You might think that the Jessop Tavern View would be full of praise for such a wonderful start to a vital match. You'd be wrong. With plans in place and flights booked the Jessop Tavern View has plans for catching a bit of days 3 and 4. Thus we cheered every run that Joe Leach and Gareth Andrew scored as they put on 120 for the seventh wicket. From 22 for 6 Glos will probably be a little bit disappointed to let Worcestershire to vaguely recover to 182 all out. Any disappointment was quickly put to bed as Captain Klinger and Chris Dent put on 83 untroubled runs before the close.

James Fuller took a seasons best 5 for 43. Fuller now has 13 wickets at an average of 40 over 6 matches this season. Whilst niggling injuries haven't helped but we really hope that '38' can use this to kick on for the rest of the season. Fuller finished last seasons championship with 24 wickets at 27 and made several 'headline' generating performances in limited overs games. This seemed to mark a watershed for Fuller and the Jessop Tavern View had high hopes that this would be the season that he emerged as a real strike bowler for Gloucestershire. King John has shown good faith with Fuller during his slightly tumultuous time at Nevil road. Injuries haven't helped; we'll cede this point. But now is the time for Fuller to reward this faith.

We're now hoping that Glos can bat through tomorrow leaving the Jessop Tavern View to rock up at Cheltenham on Friday morning, buying themselves an ice cream and then sit back and watch the boys have a slog for the first hour before rolling over Worcestershire in the afternoon.

Enjoy Fuller's hat-trick below:

Monday, 15 July 2013

Unfair pitch confines Glos to t20 also rans

t20: Warwickshire beat Glos by 6 wickets.

"It's not fair. It's not fair. Mummy it's not fair. The bad men prepared a slow, spinning pitch and we were unable to adapt to it because we were promised it would be hard and bouncy and it's not fair mummy. It's not fair."

Gloucestershires abject t20 form continued this season with a comprehensive pumping from Warwickshire than now pretty much confines the Shire to 5 meaningless games with little hope of progressing into the quarter finals.

In a bizarre step Kaiser Tom felt the need to issue an apology for the pitch. Gloucestershire were obviously expecting something similar to the marble slab they had been using in the championship game. Instead they got a slow bunsen. The Jessop Tavern View wasn't at the match, but we presume that both sides had to use the same track? Thus why Glos felt the need to moan about heaven knows. T20 cricket is all about adapting very quickly to situations and blatantly Gloucestershire failed to adjust to being confronted with a pitch which wasn't what they were expecting. As professional cricketers you'd like to think that they could suss out the pitch pretty quickly and react accordingly. Clearly not.

So why did Kaiser Tom apologise. We guess that since this was the first t20 match at Cheltenham Glos had been hoping to really cash in on bumper crowds. However, we reckon they aren't really going to have too much trouble selling out all of the t20 matches this week so that isn't really a concern. Just because a pitch isn't 100% batsman friendly doesn't mean you can't have an exciting game of cricket. Last weeks test match at Trent Bridge proved that. If anything the Kaiser should be apologising for a poor performance from Gloucestershire who were bowled out for just 96. Dastardly Warwickshire, who had a chance to weigh up how to bat on the pitch, knocked the runs off with almost 3 overs to spare.

After the good 'white ball' cricket Glos had been playing in the YB40 its very disappointing that this years t20 campaign hasn't ever got off the ground. And speaking of not getting off the ground. We've criticised the Gloucestershire on numerous occasions (rightly so) for being the worst website on the county circuit. However, with their fancy new facelift they also seem to have got a bit ballsy!

"Overseas signing Dan Christian, yet to make a meaningful contribution since arriving from Australia, suffered another failure"

A fair assessment, but shouldn't it be us who are saying that. Shouldn't the official site be getting behind the boys! Professional website design; still amateur content. Although amusingly amateur content.

C'est la vie

Day 4: Kent  beat Glos by 2 wickets.

We guess that some you win, and some you lose. Having benefit from a contrived declaration in the recent game against Hampshire Gloucestershire fell foul of trying to manufacturing a result on a ground that is almost impossible to stifle runs on.

At least captain Klingers declaration was eminently sensible and few Gloucester fans can really grumble about setting a side 411 to win on the final day. Sadly for Gloucestershire they came up against a former test player in fine touch as "West Indian" Brendan Nash made a match winning 199 before dramatically retiring ill from heat exhaustion with the winning line in sight. The irony of a "West Indian" not being able to take the heat wasn't lost on us. Some how you couldn't have imagined Clive Lloyd or Viv retiring on 199 from a bit of sun.

The end result is that Gloucestershire walk away with 6 points from the match. Had we settled for a draw we would have taken home a maximum of 11. Sacrificing 5 points in pursuit of a victory that would have kept us in the promotion chase seems a fair enough gamble to us. Glos are now 6th in division 2, 8 points adrift of 3rd placed Worcestershire who are next up at Cheltenham. The gap between 3rd place and the promotion places is now 38 points, although 2nd placed Northants have played a game more. A win next week and Glos are still right in this, as improbably as that seems.

King John is right to take positives from this performance. All of the top order appear bang in form, even Dan Housego was spoon-fed a second innings fifty. The bowlers toiled away and almost forced the victory had it not been for Nash.

Now it's twenty-twenty time at Cheltenham.....

Day 4 Highlights below:

Friday, 12 July 2013

In Praise of....Gidders!

Day 2: Glos 562 - 5 dec v Kent 165 - 2.

The Jessop Tavern View is running out of superlatives with which to describe Gidders. So long have we marvelled at his nimble footwork, his wonderful balance and the way that his head falls so far to the off side requiring him to so magnificently play around his front pad. He's always been a hero of ours. Even when scoring 528 runs in 2012. Even when scoring 679 runs in 2010. Even when scoring 481 runs in 2008. We knew he'd come good. We knew it was only the captaincy restricting his lumbering front foot from once more becoming planted and his broad bat swinging through the line on nice flat pitches.

Yesterday at Cheltenham Gidders helped himself to a glorious first double century of his career. So easy was it for Gidman that having compiled 211 runs he then found that the only way to let someone else pad their average was to run himself out.

Gidman now has 754 championship runs at 62 this season.

O'Mish, who also scored a relentless hundred yesterday, has 560 runs at 50.

Both have 3 centuries this season. Combine this with Captain Klinger's 3 hundreds and Gloucestershire's veteran top order batsmen have all done their bit to give the young bowlers something to bowl with.

Whether they can manage to find 20 wickets on a sun baked College ground pitch might be asking a bit too much in this game though.

Video Highlights from Day 2:

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Dent and Gidders help themselves against sorry Kent

Day 1: Gloucestershire 348 - 3 v Kent.

After all the build up and all the excitement over the passed several months today finally saw the talking stop and the cricket begin. It's time for Cheltenham.

God only knows what poor old Kent thought today. Even with the newly arrived Vernon Philander, Kent's bottom of the table bowling attack must have despaired when arriving at the sun baked College ground this morning and losing the toss. The only good thing at Cheltenham is that there are at least enough people watching to chuck the ball back from the boundary.

In ruthless, and un-Gloucestershire-like fashion, the boys sensed a side ripe for the pumping and duly cashed in all of their chips. Well, apart from Dan Housego. At the moment he probably wouldn't even know what to do if he were dealt a full house.

Chris Dent and Gidders didn't need asking twice, and once the new ball was safely negotiated, helped themselves to a stand of 267 for the third wicket.

Speaking after his career high 153 Chris Dent said how he "thought it was time he really knuckled down and scored some big first class runs". Considering how Dent is now midway through his 4th season of first team cricket we'd agree that it's 'about time'.

Gidders continued his fine season with an unbeaten 145. Gidman now has 688 runs at an average of  62 since relinquishing the captaincy. His best season saw him score 1244 runs at 49. We'd like to see him get somewhere near this in the final 7 games.

Dan Housego on the other hand started the season with 150 on the first day against Essex. Since then he has scored 250 runs in 13 innings at an average of 19. Ian Cockbain scored 224 'red ball' runs just down the road in a 2nd Xi match against, ahem, the MCC Combined Universities. Still, as they say, you've got to score them. Will we see 'Shagger' Cockbain batting at 3 any time soon? Unlikely. The feeling is that his strokeplay is probably more suited to slightly lower down the order and it is unlikely that Gloucestershire will tinker with a batting lineup that is starting the produce the goods.

Tomorrow should see Gloucestershire really grind Kent into the floor and post a big score of 500 plus. Then poor Craig Miles, James Fuller, Will Gidman and Tom Smith can have fun being hammered to all corners.

Still, if nothing else, todays run-fest should whet the appetite for the carnage that we could be in for when the t20 circus turns up at the world's most historic cricket festival.

Video highlights of Day 1:

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Does anyone really care about the Friends Life t20?

Rob Smyth wrote on cricinfo last week that the Friends Life t20 needs to embrace its Britishness in order break free of the shackles of 'who cares' that we suspect most supporters have towards the competition. Maybe we are overly cynical, but with the competition starting a few days ago the Jessop Tavern View has only just roused itself in order to write something about a competition that we feel means rather more to the finance departments of county clubs than the supporters. This might be unfair, but frankly unless Glos make it through to the knockout stages, like they did last season, we will have little interest in the competition. And we like t20 cricket.

Perhaps this lethargy towards the county cash cow will subside next season when the competition is given greater structure with games taken place primarily on Friday nights. This might help, but we are not entirely convinced. t20 competitions need to be much like the games themselves, short, sharp and action packed. The longer the competition drags the more we all bore of the format. The recent Champions Trophy has surely demonstrated this. Games are significant right from the get-go and your interest is sparked right from the start not, as is the case with too many cricket competitions, from about two thirds of the way through the tournament, and even then only if your team is doing well.

Any game administrator who reads this will discount this as being old style whining from people who prefer the longer format of the game and have no time for the razzmatazz of t20. Wrong. If people like the Jessop Tavern, who blog about county cricket, have little interest in a county cricket competition then something is wrong. If we are not interested then how do they expect people who aren't really bothered by county cricket to care. If a competition fails to engage its core audience how does it realistically expect to reach other markets?

A short more intense competition would be our recommendation. Two weeks in the middle of the summer. But nobody will listen to us.

In other news.....Michael Klinger hit a brilliant unbeaten 108 off 64 balls. He didn't get much support from the rest of the batting but fortunately James Fuller and David Payne too 3 for 23 and 2 for 14 respectively to ease Gloucesertshire to their first win of this t20 season. Coming off a bit of a pumping from Northants in a comic 12 over game on Friday this was a win that was much needed if the boys are to perk the Jessop Tavern Views interest in early August.

We'll also throw this one out there. Captain Klinger is looking like one hell of a signing at this stage. Full marks to King John and whoever else was involved in being astute enough to make him a Gloucestershire player.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Touring 'A' side versus the Shire.

Writing a blog about Gloucestershire county cricket means that you are about as far removed from matters of international cricket as if you were to be blogging about cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We have little to say on matters of England. We don't even host poxy England one day games against minnows.

Thus the current match against the touring Australian A team has provoked little curiosity from us regarding possible indicators of form for several Aussie guys who are still hopefully of chasing leather to all parts of various test match grounds over the coming 6 months.

Predictably Gloucestershire have been comprehensively outplayed with no real signs of any Gloucester youngster taking the opportunity to make a bit of a name for himself.

The Jessop Tavern View did however find itself going misty eyed when reminiscing of past encounters with international 'A' teams.

If anyone ever wanted to know what were the signs that might indicate you to would have nothing better to do on a Saturday evening in your early 30s then let us present exhibit A. Gloucestershire v Pakistan A at the 'Royal and Sun Alliance County Ground', Bristol, 1997. Having searched for a scorecard for this match we were amazed to discover that a cricket match actually took place at all. The Jessop Tavern Views memories of this game consist of us turning up on a truly hideously wet third day to try and watch a fledgling Shoaib Akhtar learn his trade. You know you are in trouble when the guy on the gate doesn't make you pay, and just waves you threw with a sympathetic smile. Not that the Jessop Tavern View minded. Several very enjoyable hours were spent bowling some wonderful leg breaks underneath the old media centre followed by a trip to Special Reserve. Happy days. As much as we would love to admit that we were there to watch Shoaib, we had no idea who he was. In fact, until we checked out the scorecard we didn't even know he had played. Now that we do we'll be sure to add it to the list of boring pub stories about people we saw before they were famous.

The Aussie 'A' also made us think back to a sunnier time. The visit of the West Indies 'A' to Cheltenham in 2002. The Jessop Tavern View was there to watch CH Gayle help himself to 83 runs from 79 balls. To be honest though, we don't remember Gayle hitting moon shots out of the college ground with quite the same ferocity as Philo Wallace a few years previous. We also remember a young and raw Tino Best entertaining the guests in the marquees with the most ludicrous follow through we have ever seen. Time always adds pace to bowlers and elegance to cover drives, but its not exaggeration that Tino revved up and then didn't stop till he was past the stumps at the other end. Tim Hancock never looked liked he fancied the speed of Tino as he backed further and further away to leg, doing a Kim Barnett in reverse. Jessop Tavern View favourite James Pearson also opened with Hancock. An opening pair of Nick Trainor and James Pearson was something we will always feel sad that we never got to see.

So there we go. A completely pointless post and a purely self indulgent stroll down memory lane.

To any kids who did attend the first couple of days of the Aussie 'A' match; beware this is your fate.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Glos and Somerset continue to be on course for August showdown

YB40: Gloucestershire 229 for 6 (27 overs) v Yorkshire 193.

Gloucestershire continued their fine form in all formats of the game with a comprehensive all-round destruction of a young Yorkshire side in the YB40.

In a rain-reduced match of 27 overs a side Glos got good contributions from their top four to post a formidable 229 for 6. Captain Klinger gave us a taster of what we might enjoy in the t20 with a bombastic 45 from 30 balls, ably supported by opening partner Hamish O'Marshall with 27. With the platform laid it was left to Chris Dent to push home the advantage with a 40 ball 56. Ian Cockbain also demonstrated what horrific form he is in with a calculated 46 from 37 balls that included only three boundaries. Cockbain now averages a paltry 73 in the YB40 this season. Awful.

Chasing 9 an over was always going to be a tough ask and Gloucestershire bowled well as a unit to take regular wickets meaning that Yorkshire never really threatened to chase down victory.

Glos continue to be level on points with Somerset at the top of Group C, but with a game in hand. Sadly, with the tournament just beginning to get to the business end and the groups heating up nicely we now have to wait almost two months until we see Glos in action again in the YB40. We have no idea why this is. We presume it is to accommodate the t20 competition in July. Thankfully this is the last season that we will have to carp on about this ridiculous scheduling. The 50 over competition next year is set to take place in a block in July and August.

Gloucestershire fans can now start to look forward to a couple of tasty YB40 fixtures against Somerset in August (11th in Taunton and 26th in Bristol).

A couple of belting catches from Gareth Roderick below:

Friday, 14 June 2013

Big club mentality downs sorry Hampshire

Day 3: Gloucestershire 410 for 9 dec and forfeit 2nd innings v Hampshire forfeit 1st innings and 212.

Having moaned last week about the timidity of both Gloucestershire and glamorgan in not attempting to force a result in a mid-table division two battle we shouldn't complain about Hampshire's generosity today. After Glos had finished yesterday on 349 for 7 we commented that the opportunity to force a result in the final two days was still on the cards for Michael Klinger and his young side. Gloucestershire would presumably have been thinking of getting quick runs in the morning and then attempting to knock Hampshire over cheaply before setting them 300 odd on the final day and giving Will Gidman and co two and a bit sessions to bowl us to victory. If neither side had forfeited their innings today then this is exactly what we would have been left with. Hampshire would have been bowled out for 212 in their first innings. Glos would then have spent an hour and a half flashing away tomorrow to build a lead of 300 before declaring just before lunch and having the rest of the day to bowl themselves to victory.

Perhaps if we look at the scenario from Hampshires point of view we can better understand what took place today. Believing themselves to be a 'big club', Hampshire would have their eyes fixed firmly on having a good crack at promotion this season. With only one victory this season they would have been eyeing up a home fixture against the west country minnows as points in the bag. Desperately looking to kick start their season they just attempted to have a crack at scoring an unlikely 411 runs to win the game, even if they did have 5 sessions to score the runs in. We can't help but feel that Jimmy Adams would have been better off batting positively this afternoon in a first innings in order to rest the advantage away from Gloucestershire. If Hants had finished on say 250 they potentially could have tried to contrive something tomorrow.

Instead Hants attempted to negotiate with a Gloucestershire side who, after batting brilliantly on day two, held all the aces. Strange.

None of this should take anything away from a fantastic bowling performance with contributions from everybody. With Will Gidman back to lead the attack Gloucestershire suddenly have a steadying presence who takes regular wickets. James Fuller bowled excellently sharing the new ball with Gidman  before both Craig Miles and David Payne provided solid support to keep the pressure on Hampshire.

With both Graeme McCarter and Liam Norwell in reserve Gloucestershire suddenly have a bit of bowling choice. Sadly Ian Saxelby will not be available for the rest of the season as he undergoes shoulder surgery, but after todays performance this suddenly does feel like quite such a blow.

Glos are now sitting third in the division two table. We have two batsmen who have already passed 500 runs for the season, and have an 18 year old bowler who has taken 26 wickets. We are also level on points with Somerset at the top of Group C of the YB40 with a game in hand.

The Jessop Tavern View might have to stop moaning.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Gloucestershire put their money on Betfair's Will Brown

Today Gloucestershire announced that the man taking over from Kaiser Tom Richardson at the end of the season will be Will Brown, formerly of Betfair (well, technically he probably still is with Betfair until September) and also formerly of, ahem, the Lawn Tennis Association.

We haven't got the foggiest what this appointment really means, but all we know is that he is young, and a genuine Gloucestershire fan.

We never really expressed an opinion on Kaiser Tom stepping down. We decided that our mother's advice to only speak if you had something positive to say probably applied in this case.

Time will tell whether the Kaiser's long term vision for Gloucestershire proves successful, or indeed even feasible. For all his faults, he did at least achieve his vision (and then jumped before it can fall apart) and always remained open for dialogue with fans such as ourselves.

All we can really do is hope that Will Brown keeps the channels of communication open and does something about the bloody club website! Good luck Will. We suspect you may need it.

Genesis 26; 1-33

Day 2: Gloucestershire 349 for 7 v Hampshire.

Today's reading will be taken from Genesis 26.

"Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham."

In all honesty it has been more than just a famine at Nevil Road over the past few years. In 2012 Gloucestershire batsmen mustered together 5 hundreds between them. In 2011 that number was 4. In 2010 they managed 3. In 2009 we managed a more respectable 11. 2009 saw that number fall to 9, of which, terrifyingly, Kadeer Ali scored 3. Then, at last, in 2008 Gloucestershire managed 19 hundreds amongst them. That's 5 years of famine, in the land of division 2, where basically anybody worth their salt reaps aplenty.

Yet, if we read our Bible we should trust that God will provide. Actually, in Genesis, Isaac doesn't trust God and instead jogs off to Egypt for food. Or something like that. God reprimands Isaac. Tells him to sit tight. Then informs him that he has plans to build a block of flats, bring back a single one day international every year, and then the feast will begin.

After day one was washed out, Glos found themselves being asked to bat by Hampshire on an overcast day in Southampton. They quickly found themselves in trouble at 56 for 3, with last week's centurions Klinger and Gidders back in the pavilion, probably not liking the fact that the ball moved off the straight and narrow this week. Chris Dent made his usual contribution of 30 odd before Marshall and Benny steadied the ship with a partnership of 106 for the 5th wicket. Marshall then found able support from the returning Will Gidman to go to his second hundred of the season. That's right, his SECOND hundred of the season.

For 5 long years O'Mish has been a one and done man for the Shire. Happy that his solitary hundred would be enough to keep him in work the following year. Not since 2008 has he made two hundreds in a season. As God told Isaac, sit tight and the feast is a-comin'. In Genesis, Isaac plants seeds on the barren ground of the promised land and then reaps the benefits. Gloucestershire's batsmen now have 8 hundreds already this season. Not even God himself would have predicted that sort of feast.

If Gloucester's slightly tasty looking seam attack can get stuck into Hampshire at some point tomorrow then a result is still not entirely out of the reckoning.

Video Highlights from Day 2:

Glos embroiled in disgraceful sex scandal

With the recent 'allegations' regarding various stars of yesteryear's sexual behaviour it seems fitting that Gloucestershire should suddenly be plunged into it's own sleazy story of sex-fuelled indiscipline.

King John put it on the record last week that Ian 'Shagger' Cockbain wasn't selected for last week's run-fest against Glamorgan due to a lack of 'red ball' form. This is pretty much as good as a written statement that Cockbain has been sleeping with King John's wife, and potential others. How do we know this? Well, just read behind the lines. Dropped for lack of 'red ball' form. Please. Since when has any Gloucestershire player ever been dropped on form. Hamish Marshall went 3 years without a hundred! How did Mark Hardinges play at all.* Lets not even get started on Carl Greenidge, it's just too painful. Form is a word that has never had to be taken into consideration at Nevil Road selection meetings. Whilst we always hear talk of how out of form England players 'look good in the nets', Gloucestershire can't even try to claim this. Players are described as having potential, or having looked good in 2006. Form is never considered. It's also better this way. If we only picked players on form we'd be fielding half a team by the end of the season.

*incidentally, Mark Hardinges scored 4 hundreds in 49 first class matches for Glos. Hamish O'Marshall has scored 3 hundreds in 63 matches since the end of 2008 for Glos. Alex Gidman has 3 hundreds in 50 matches since the end of 2009. Hardinges also took 95 wickets. Just saying.*

So there we have it. Shagger Cockbain can only be trusted for one day cricket. Presumably keeping his libido checked over the course of 4 days is just too difficult.

In fairness, Cockbain is averaging only 15 in the second XI this season. In fairness he has only played 2 and a half second XI games.

Make up your own minds.

Given the lack of young batting talent that seems to be coming through the ranks it would be a shame if Cockbain were forced to go elsewhere to get first class cricket next season. 

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Glos and Glamorgan demonstrate collective lack of ambition

Day 3 and 4: Gloucestershire 478 v Glamorgan 448 and 176 for 2.

So, what was the point of that?

Gloucestershire and Glamorgan played out an incredibly tedious draw that does absolutely nothing for either side. Gloucestershire take away 8 points, Glamorgan 7. According to captain Klinger, Glos were looking to build a lead of around 130 on the final morning before hoping that Glamorgan might feel a little bit of pressure when all they could hope for was to bat out the draw. Instead Gloucestershire crumbled to Michael Hogan, who took 5-13 in 26 balls to finish with 7-92, thus proving that it was possible to take bunches of wickets on an incredibly benign Bristol pitch.

We understand that wickets only fell because Glos were trying to score quickly, which is exactly what they would have had to do had they allowed Glamorgan to set a final day total. We also realise that Glamorgan probably wouldn't have had the bottle to set a chaseable total on such a flat pitch.

This reflects badly on both sides. Had this been further towards the end of the season then the liklihood is that a result would have been attempted to be contrived. But what is the point of not doing it now? At least give yourself the opportunity to get in the mix at the top half of the table. As we frequently point out, the difference between a draw and a loss is 3 points, plus there is no relegation, so nothing to fear from the wooden spoon.


Klinger and Gidders continued their good form. Both of these guys should now be eyeing up at least 1000 runs for the season. The House also got some runs on the board and Gareth Roderick continued to look the part as a genuine wicketkeeper-batsman. Craig Miles also helped himself to another 5 wicket haul.

Other than that this game is now cast aside as instantly forgettable.

Day 3 Highlights:

Day 4 Highlights:

Friday, 7 June 2013

Is it asking for trouble to start talking about declarations?

Day 2: Glamorgan 448 v Gloucestershire 179 - 1.


About the only intriguing thing to come from day 2 of this match was the will-they, won't-they intrigue of whether Glos will invite Glamorgan to set a target for Gloucestershire to chase when day 4 finally rolls around.

Admittedly there is a fair amount of cricket still to be played until those options are seriously considered, but with the pitch looking like it was dug up and dropped in from the M5 we are fairly confident that Glos will be able to bat through to the middle of the afternoon without collapsing. Should they bat till an hour after lunch they should be somewhere around 300-350. A declaration would then allow Glamorgan to setup Glos with a total of around 300 to chase on the final day.

Given that both sides currently reside in the bottom half of division 2 a draw is of no use to either side. It would be an incredibly negative move if either team refused this scenario.

Gloucestershire would surely fancy this opportunity. If the pitch continues to be as benign, and the sun continues to shine then Klinger's men would start favourites at chasing down any total they do get set. With this in mind, it wouldn't surprise us if Glamorgan erred on the side of caution. Maybe they should phone Glenn Chapple and ask him for his advice on declaring in order to set up a run chase. Last week Chapple needlessly chose to bat on for an extra 6 overs on the final morning. By doing so he guaranteed Glos would never attempt to chase the total and the time he took out of the game proved crucial, as last man Liam Norwell only had to face one delivery to save the game.

Earlier in the day Craig Miles took his obligatory 5 for. Miles now has 25 wickets in 5 matches this season. not bad for an 18 year old. Whilst we suspect he is getting a few extra wickets because there is no one else really taking wickets in the Glos attack, you've still got to take the wickets. An attack with Miles and just one of Will Gidman and Ian Saxelby would suddenly look a lot more threatening. An attack with all 3 would be like mediocre cricketing nirvana.

Miles' efforts were not enough to prevent Murray Goodwin from notching his 68th first class hundred and first for Glamorgan. Goodwin has been a very fine player over the years, but at the age of 41 and considering he has struggled to hit the ball at all this season this does rather add to the belief that scoring runs against Gloucestershire is now very similar to scoring runs against the universities.

Fingers crossed that the batsmen pad their averages this morning.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Allenby and Goodwin make the most of Glos selectorial error

Day 1: Glamorgan 318 for 5 v Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire's strange selection of 6 bowlers seems to have backfired pretty spectacularly as Glamorgan closed day one on a commanding 318 for 5.

If you select a team with only five recognised batsmen then we guess you are basically relying on being able to blow the opposite away with the ball and not have to worry too much about how many runs you're going to score. However, with the sun baking down and pitch flat you do have to wonder whether its a case of being a little bit too clever and not really just sticking to the basics.

Despite all this, the young Gloucester attack stuck to their task manfully. David Payne and Craig Miles both struck early with the new ball to have Glamorgan teetering on 85 for 4. Unfortunately Jim Allenby and Murray Goodwin then put on 185 for the fifth wicket. In this context we shouldn't be too critical of the decision to bowl first. Glos had the opportunity to roll Glamorgan over but just couldn't get the job done as the shine went off the ball. It was still the wrong decision to bowl first.

None of the bowlers disgraced themselves, and all 6 of them returned respectable figures. 17 year old off-spinner Miles Hammond bowled 20 wicketless overs that cost him 64 runs. Not bad for a man who spent the morning pretending to be sick to his mum so that he could blag the day off school in order to play in the match.

Glos are now right up against it in this match. They must finish Glamorgan off for less than 400 tomorrow to have even the remotest chance of getting anything from the game. With both Glamorgan and Gloucestershire occupying the lower middle table of division 2, this match represented a key moment in Gloucesters season. Win it, and you can look to consolidate a position in the middle of the pack. Lose, and suddenly you're spending the rest of the season fighting to avoid a second consecutive wooden spoon. Thus it is very disappointing to find ourselves with our backs against the wall in a key encounter due principally to some harebrained plan to pack the team with bowlers and let them have it.

We have pointed out on numerous occasions that only victories really count in division 2. A draw is as good as a defeat, and defeat comes without any repercussions in the form of relegation. Therefore you might as well set out your team to win the game. Packing the team with all these bowlers was clearly an attempt to win the match. We mustn't be critical of that. However, Gloucestershires coaching team can be criticised of perhaps having ideas above their station. It's a bit like the village team captain who insists on having two men back on the hook on a Sunday afternoon cos he's seen it on the telly, when in reality he has a team full of middle aged plodders who haven't got a ball above shin high for 20 years. It's all well and good to fill the team with bowlers if, a) your 5 bowlers have the quality and experience to blow teams away, and b) you have high quality batsmen who are capable of shouldering the burden of scoring all the runs. Gloucestershire have neither of these things.

Gloucestershire effectively chose to roll the dice with their selection. Unfortunately they rolled the dice needing to get two sevens and don't seem to have realised their mistake.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Shagger Cockbain left out of squad to face Glamorgan

Clearly Ian Cockbain must be shagging King John's wife, as frankly this can be the only explanation for him failing to make the 12 man squad for tomorrows county championship match against Glamorgan.

Gloucestershire have named only 6 batsmen, one of which is wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick who is playing only his third championship match and made a pair last time out.

The Jessop Tavern View had presumed that Cockbain would be a like-for-like replacement of Chris Dent who was injured in the YB40 victory against Yorkshire. Instead Glos elect to go into the game with 5 sprayers seamers, Fuller, Payne, Norwell, Miles and McCarter. Considering that Benny has taken 15 wickets at an average of 25, thus making him the team's second leading wicket taker, we are presuming that the groundsman at Bristol is stood out in the middle with a hosepipe as we speak.

Mysteriously, young Miles Hammond is also included in the squad. This contradicts King John's comments to the Bristol Evening Post that Hammond would only be available after the end of June because he was still in school. He had been available against Yorkshire because it is half term. Presumably the official website knows what it's talking about....!!

We should perhaps not leap to such a sordid conclusion that Cockbain can't keep it in his pants. Given that Glos have struggled to bowl teams out in the past two games perhaps a 7 man bowling attack is the way forward. Presuming that one of the seamers will miss out, Glos will still go into the match with 6 bowlers. Considering that Glamorgan's strength this year has probably been in the bowling of wily Australian Michael Hogan who has 27 wickets, second only to Gloucstershire destroyer Alan Richardson, this is probably even more of a surprise. Glamorgan do boast batsmen of the calibre of Marcus North and Murray Goodwin, but neither of these have hit the ball off the square yet this season. Only Jim Allenby has made an impression with the bat for a Glamorgan side who sit one place and nine points behind Gloucestershire.

Anyway, we're off to tell Ian Cockbain he needs to learn to bowl a bit of seam up and go at 5 an over, then he'll walk into the team.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Can we keep 40 over cricket?

The irony that Gloucestershire might finally be getting the hang of 40 over cricket in its final season of existence is not lost on us. When the domestic limited overs competition reverts back to 50 overs next season, the Jessop Tavern is already looking into the possibility that Glos might be able to translate their new-found competence in this format of the game by joining a local village 40 over league somewhere. We're still not sure if Ed Young would get any wickets though.

One man who certainly wouldn't look out of place playing on a village green would be Gloucestershires latest debutant, 17 year old off-spinner Miles Hammond.

Hammond has already represented England Under-19s, so clearly has something about him. However, with Jack Taylor currently suspended and Ed Young nursing a wrist injury, Hammond has suddenly become Gloucestershires frontline spinner. A bowling attack of Craig Miles (18) Graeme McCarter (20) and Hammond (17) is the sort of lineup that is more likely to have been associated with the Jimmy Saville enquiry than a first class cricket team.

Despite all of this, Glos produced a remarkably characterful performance against Yorkshire in chasing down a total of 241, only a day after grinding out a remarkable rearguard action in the championship draw with Lancashire.

Michael Klinger continued his fine form in this competition with a 98 ball 96. Klinger now has 264 runs at an average of 66 in the YB40 to go alongside his two hundreds in the longer form of the game. A recent (and also the very first) email sent to the Jessop Tavern (hello Martin; so you're the guy who reads this crap!) asked us what we made of Klinger. Whilst he's blown a little bit hot and cold in the championship, he is an opener and it is still the first part of the season. Not exactly prime time to be filling your boots at the top of the order. We reckon that these stats are a pretty decent return so far and he seems to have done a pretty good job marshaling the nursery school bowling attack.

Klinger also got good support from O'Mish and Gareth Roderick, who responded well to his pair in the Lancashire game. In fact the only downside is news that Chris Dent injured himself whilst fielding and is likely to miss this weeks championship game against Glamorgan. Presumably this will open the door for Ian Cockbain who has opened in the past. We like Cockbain a lot and would like to see Dent's place really threatened. Dent clearly has the talent but seems to be struggling to really stamp his authority on anything even close to a consistent basis.

If Cockbain can assert some pressure on Dent, and presumably Housego, then these early season injuries will suddenly have developed something approaching a fairly competitive and reasonably deep squad. At the start of the season we commented on how the squad looked painfully thin. With the emergence of Miles and McCarter with the ball, Roderick with the gloves and Benny doing a fairly passable Will Gidman impression, the squad suddenly does have some depth to it.

After yesterday's win Glos continue to sit on top of Group C, admittedly having played more games than anyone else. Still, considering the injuries we've had, to be still competitive is a fine enough achievement in itself. Well done boys.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Ed Young to the rescue

Gloucestershire 222 (Gidman 110, Kerrigan 5-68) and 173 for 9 drew with Lancashire 310 (Katich 96, Miles 6-88) and 270 (Prince 64, Croft 64, McCarter 4-95) 

The Jessop Tavern View admits it has some previous when it comes to Ed Young. We've frequently been critical of his 'bowling' and queried whether he is worth his place in the team, given his average of 70. The answer to this is 'no'. However, his brave resistance with the bat yesterday, batting for 6 odd overs despite a wrist injury sustained earlier in the match, proved he does have some value to the 'Shire.

Gloucestershire were set an unlikely 358 to win, after Lancashire extended their innings for a few overs at the start of the day, taking their lead to over 350. Once batting again, we swiftly lost Chris Dent, whose inability to stick around when circumstances require circumspection are a worrying trend. Given his obvious talent, King John should be having a word.

Corporal Klinger didn't last a lot longer, either, falling on the stroke of lunch to the handy Kerrigan. While he scored more than 10 today, he does already seem a rather binary player, lacking the consistent plundering which marks out a true Div 2 overseas mercenary. Housego didn't last much longer himself and it was thus left to old stagers, Gidders and O'Mish to bat for 29 overs while putting on 54. It was pleasing to see Gidman scores runs in the second innings, as given his first innings ton, we had predicted a single figure score second tine around. Once he departed, trapped LBW by non-overseas South African, Andrea Agathangelou, Benny Howell arrived and curbed his natural attacking instincts in another time-consuming partnership with Marshall. Hamish did surprisingly well in this knock, ultimately batting 204 balls for his 44.

Glos lost 4 late wickets to pile on the pressure, but McCarter and Young survived until the final over, leaving Liam Norwell to safely navigate the final delivery of the match. A creditable performance, given our mounting injury list among the bowling attack. 18 year old Craig Miles is looking more and more impressive with every match. We even heard rumours that the England Lions were running an eye over him. That's all we need, one of our few fit, decent quality bowlers getting called up. Yes, we know that's a parochial thing to say, but hey, we are proudly one-eyed west country folk here at the Jessop Tavern View.

A final word of credit must go to Glenn Chapple. 900 wickets is not an easy thing to come by and is testament to his skill, fitness and durability over a long career. His post-landmark comments were typically self-effacing and mostly focused on him just playing for a long time. However, to paraphrase 'Sir' Geoffrey Boycott, he must have bowled some good deliveries along the way, else all the batting was rubbish.

Video highlights from Day 4 below:

Friday, 31 May 2013

Is Jack Taylor a chucker?

On Tuesday the ECB announced that Jack Taylor had been suspended from bowling in county cricket. Worse than this the ECB also felt the need to make clear that this suspension applied to him playing for England as well. Presumably Andy Flower's Ashes plans are now in disarray.

The ECB's statement is below:

“Glenn Querl and Jack Taylor suspended from bowling by ECB Two bowlers have been suspended from bowling, having been subject to the ECB process for bowlers with suspected illegal bowling actions. Hampshire’s Glenn Querl and Gloucestershire’s Jack Taylor have both been reported on two separate occasions within a 12-month period and have undergone independent analysis.In both cases no previous evidence was available and hence their bowling actions were subject to the independent analysis process set out in the ECB regulations for the review of bowlers reported with suspected illegal bowling actions. This analysis took place on Monday 20th May 2013. The report of the independent analysis was received by ECB on Tuesday 28th May 2013. The reports identified that the bowling actions of each player displayed elbow extension in excess of the permitted 15 degrees during analysis. This analysis follows the same procedures used by ICC in such circumstances.  Consequently and in accordance with the regulations, both Querl and Taylor are suspended from bowling for England and in competitive county cricket until such time as they have submitted to a fresh independent analysis in which it is concluded that they have remedied their actions. The suspension is with immediate effect.  ECB will make no further comment on this matter.”

Taylor has now been reported twice in a year. This raises a few interesting points.

Law 24.3 states that,

A ball is fairly delivered in respect of the arm if, once the bowler's arm has reached the level of the shoulder in the delivery swing, the elbow joint is not straightened partially or completely from that point until the ball has left the hand. This definition shall not debar a bowler from flexing or rotating the wrist in the delivery swing.

Which leads us to question exactly whose definition of 'fairly delivered' are we taking into account?

Taylor has played 12 matches and taken 21 wickets at an average of 42. If you were a division 2 batsman I would say that whatever bowling method he is currently using is perfectly 'fair'. He takes a wicket every 72 balls. Again, as a batsman, those sort of statistics seem very 'fair'.

The next question is really to do with how rubbish you must be to have those sort of figures and still be done for chucking. Most chuckers do so in order to deliver some great mystery ball, some wonderful fizzing, spitting, all singing, all dancing 'other one'. Jack Taylor doesn't. He chucks it, gets smashed, and is now suspended by the ECB for being a rubbish chucker.

The worst things about Taylor being suspended?

We are now going to have to watch more of Ed Young and his 70 average.

Gidders to the rescue

Day 2: Lancs 310 v Glos 143 -4.

An intriguing poised game continued to see-saw its way between the rain clouds and leave Glos with a fighting chance of still getting something from the match.

It was a day of contrasts as 39 year old Glenn Chapple bagged his 900th first class wicket and 18 year old Gloucestershire paceman Craig Miles took career best figures of 6 for 88. Even more impressive for Miles is the fact that this is the third match in a row in which he has taken career best figures, following up his 4 for 83 against Hampshire, and 6 for 99 against Worcestershire. Whilst these figures are clearly impressive for a young bowler, lets not forget that both Liam Norwell and David Payne took wickets when bursting on to the scene. Norwell and Payne both seemed to have regressed this season and it is to be hoped that Miles can continue to take wickets when teams more familiar with facing him.

After losing an hour to rain in the morning, Gloucestershire did everything that could be asked of them. 5 quick wickets left Lancashire reeling on 244 for 9 only for numbers 10 and 11 to put on 66 for the last wicket. In the context of this match that final wicket partnership could well turn out to be a decisive one. I guess we shouldn't blame Gloucester's young bowling attack too much, but having worked so hard to put themselves in a good position they did seem to throw it away too easily by spraying it around to the tail enders.

In reply Glos were very quickly in the mire. Captain Klingon became Chapples 900th victim, Dent lazily left a ball that thudded into his pads to chalk up yet another dismissal that speaks more about his lack of concentration than his lack of technique. The House slashed at a ball that was too close to his body to cut and O'Mish was strangled down the legside. At 66 for 4 at least we were thinking that Lancashire's final wicket partnership wasn't quite as key as we first thought.

But then cometh the hour, cometh the Gidders. Standing tall, and lumbering forward Gidders and Benny managed to steady the ship and set sail for an inevitable early morning collapse on day 3. We do pity the poor buggers who have to write summaries for all the county championship matches day in day out, but we think they were really stretching it when they whimsically muttered that it is easy to imagine how much Gidman could have achieved in the game were it not for injury. Whilst Gidders has always been susceptible to niggling little injuries, we can't think of any major periods when he was out of the side. The Jessop Tavern does have a slightly soft spot for Gidman mainly, we suspect, because he represents everything that we love about Gloucestershire. For the most part Gidman is maddeningly inconsistent, frequently getting himself in, then even more frequently getting himself out. Yet he always offers you those glimpses of talent. Those moments that make you think, maybe now he will kick on and dominate teams on a weekly basis. Gidman hasn't passed 1000 runs in a season since 2009. He has 2 hundreds since that same year. 2009 was also Gidman's first season as captain. Unfulfilled potential. Probably not. He's probably achieved everything we could realistically have expected.

Still, we are happy to re-write this if he makes a big ton today. And speaking of tons, whilst it's been nice to see Benny cementing himself at number 6 (and bizarrely becoming a handy bowler) it's about time he hit a first class hundred.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Katich ruins Gloucestershire's fun

Day 1: Lancs 174 -4 v Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire's young seam attack (combined age of Miles, Norwell, McCarter and Benny is 83) very nearly made the Jessop Tavern View eat its words. Fortunately Simon Katich and his ridiculous technique came to our rescue.

Gloucestershire will probably be slightly disappointed with today's final scorecard. Having reduced Lancashire to 90 for 4 just after lunch by breaking the all-test partnership of Katich and Ashwell Prince, Glos would have fancied making more inroads before rain and bad light ended play after only 48 overs.

Young Northern Irishman Graeme McCarter, who slightly surprisingly got the nod ahead of James Fuller, took 2 early wickets to justify his selection. He was well supported by Craig Miles, with whom he shared the new ball, thus meaning Glos opened the bowling with a 20 year old (McCarter) and an 18 year old (Miles). Sadly Liam Norwell sprayed it around a bit.

Having just watched the highlights from today's play, can anybody tell us whether Liam Norwell has always had such a ridiculous run-up? He seems to comically veer to the left before then approaching the crease at a bizarre angle. We don't remember him having this laughable approach to the crease, but we haven't exactly seen a huge amount of him since he emerged into the team.

Glos will need to take early wickets tomorrow morning and bowl Lancashire out for below 250. The pitch is expected to turn a lot on the last couple of days, so Glos cannot afford to have to chase too many. Still, maybe Ed Young will run through Lancashire in the second innings. Young has a first class average of 70. He's played 21 games. He's played 21 games as a bowler. This is the man's job. Awful.

Match Preview: Glos V Lancashire

Gloucestershire head to the land of thieves desperately hoping to steal some much-needed points against a Lancashire team hoping for a quick return to the first division.

Gloucestershire's chances have been dealt a serious blow with the news that neither Ian Saxelby or Will Gidman will be available due to shoulder and ankle problems respectively. Given how Gloucestershire's young attack suffered last week against Worcestershire without either of its two most experienced and consistent performers, some serious questions will now be asked of the likes of James Fuller and Liam Norwell who find themselves leading the attack.

Lancashire's batting lineup also contains two test 'superstars' in Simon Katich, and Scouse African, Ashwell Prince. Help yourselves boys.

Gloucestershire look likely to stick with the same side that got wholloped last week. This means that Gareth Roderick keeps his place behind the stumps after an impressive debut (naturally, we have no word on whether Cameron Herring was available for selection or not). Ed Young or Graeme McCarter will compete for the final bowling spot after Jack Taylor was suspended for being a chucker.

The Jessop Tavern reckons that unless the batsmen can put together a performance as a unit, this game could be over pretty quickly.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Show us the money!

YB40: Glos beat Unicorns by 29 runs.

Lets by honest, despite the inconsistencies of their championship form, the Gloucestershire money men will be delighted with today's win over the mighty Unicorns that take Glos to the top of Group C in the YB40.

It wasn't exactly a commanding victory against very meek opponents, but 50s from captain Klinger, Benny Howell and a pissed off Ian Cockbain were more than enough for even Gloucestershires porous bowling attack.

We'd like to know what Ian Cockbain thinks of his demotion to 2nd XI cricket this season. Having had something approaching a break through season in 2012 (764 runs at 34) Cockbain now finds himself behind Benny and Dan Housego in the championship side. Whilst individually, each batsman in the championship has contributed at some point this season, the lineup has failed to gel together and produce runs as a unit. Cockbain's little cameo of 52 from 30 balls today will hopefully be a timely reminder of his credentials.

With Somerset losing today against Leicestershire, Glos now sit on top of Group C. Kaiser Tom Richardson is probably, as we speak, sat with a calculator, sun visor and a fag hanging out of the corner of his mouth working out how many more flats we can build if we win a one day competition.

Anyone else fed up with 'encouraging performance'?

Day 4; Worcs beat Glos by 10 wickets.

The writing was so obviously on the wall for this one that the Jessop Tavern feels that most Gloucester fans hardly need us to comment.

2013 continues to be an up and down season for the Shire who are still struggling to shake off the tag of being a young team still learning their trade and displaying "lots of positives".

We can start with the positives. Debutant wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick translated his excellent 2nd XI form into runs for the first team and thus has posed an interesting selection problem when previous gloveman Cameron Herring recovers from conjunctivitis. Roderick scored a backs to the wall 79 not out to lend an element of respectability to the final score. After the 'Jon Batty years', having two young stumpers battling it out is a most welcome change. Craig Miles also returned figures of 6 for 99 to underline his potential. He also contributed to a 9th wicket stand of 48 with Roderick.

Sadly though Glos yet again find themselves putting forward encouraging performances by youngsters to mask what was a comprehensive hammering by Worcestershire.

Shorn of Will Gidman and Ian Saxelby the bowling attack really failed to step up to the mark. For all Craig miles' 6 wickets, sadly 260 runs were on the board before he opened his account. Both James Fuller and Liam Norwell returned respectable figures, but neither led the attack. With David Payne struggling for form it is to be hoped that both Gidman and Saxelby are back from injury soon. Jack Taylor performed an admirable impression of Ed Young, failing to take a wicket whilst leaking runs at almost 5 an over.

With the experience in this Gloucestershire side residing solely in the batting department it is disappointing that no batsman contributed a significant score. But hey, we've moaned about this before so why should we be surprised. Glos can probably consider themselves a little bit unlucky to have run into Alan Richardson on devastating form but enough Gloucester batsmen got starts that someone should have gone on (that's you Gidders; not as easy as milking hundreds from the students, eh?!)

Before this season started King John was trumpeting about how youth and inexperience were no longer acceptable excuses. It would therefore be nice to not have to keep writing about 'encouraging performances' from young players. Whether theses youngsters are ready to make the step up from 'encouraging performers' to week-in, week-out performers remains to be seen.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Richardson runs through the usual suspects

Day 1: Glos 234 v Worcs 65-0.

If we were to ask Gloucestershire fans which two batsmen got themselves into positions to put their team into a commanding position today, only to throw it away, you wouldn't need too many guesses. Hamish O'Marshall and Gidders made 45 and 41 respectively and then perished. Now we'd love to tell you how they perished, but the ECB were so disgusted with O'Mish and Gidders plundering cheap runs against the universities last week that they have refused to post highlights of the first days play. Thus, without any evidence to the contrary we are left to presume that Gidders was bowled by not moving his lumbering feet out of the crease to a full ball that maybe angled in a bit. O'Mish on the other hand was almost certainly caught in the slips driving loosely. Any one going to contradict us? Thought not.

In fairness, having been asked to bat first 234 probably is a par score. It could have been much better when Benny and O'Mish were going well, but it could have been much worse had Alan Richardson not been so old that he could only bowl in short spells.

Effectively there were two games going on today. The one when Richardson was running through us on his way to career best figures of 8 for 37. And the game when Richardson wasn't bowling and Gloucestershire were flogging the rest of Worcestershire's pop gun attack for 5 an over.

Richardson is a man to whom the abject mediocrity of county cricket is tailor-made. He trundles in as fast as his 38 year old legs can carry him and just about manages to propel the ball to the other end. His height gets him a bit of bounce and he nibbles the ball around. Modern day batsman who are unable to cope with anything that isn't straight and full seem bamboozled by someone who can consistently bowl a line and length, and perish. If you want to know how bad modern county cricket is then Richardson is your man. He made his debut in 1995, shuffled around unconvincingly at Derby, Warwickshire and Middlesex before ending up at Worcester. Having been canon fodder for most of his career he then discovered that two tier cricket is great as it condenses all the really really shit players in one division where you can then plunder to your hearts content. Perfect. Incredibly, Richardson then discovered that county cricket is so poor that he could even take 73 wickets in division 1 in 2011 (something that Wisden were so shocked about that they made him one of their cricketers of the year in 2012). This might be slightly unfair on Richardson who is a perfectly nice, honest journeyman.

As a Gloucestershire fan at the moment you could argue he is exactly the sort of bowler Glos could do with in order to allow the youngsters the opportunity to be fast and loose at the other end. However, who really wants to see journeymen pro's still pottering about the outfield as they approach 40. We've said this before, and we'll no doubt say it again (probably many times) but if we are going to be crap, we might as well be crap with a bunch of kids.

Gloucestershires kids were crap at the start of Worcestershire's innings. They now need to have a big first session tomorrow to keep themselves in the game.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Hampshire match review: Glos again impress, despite rain delays and yet more injuries

Hampshire 274 (Adams 138*, Miles 4-83) and 120 for 4 drew with Gloucestershire 400 for 4 dec (Klinger 163)

Day 3 highlights:
Day 4 Highlights:

A week ago, the Jessop Tavern View was delighted to report that captain, Corporal 'Maxy' Klinger had finally delivered some runs and a first victory of the season against Leicestershire. Fast forward a week and we're pleased to report that Glos dominated a rain-affected match versus Hampshire and the skipper struck an impressive second successive championship hundred in making 163.

So, what to make of this week's match? Hampshire are clearly an inconsistent side; they started off well, but managed to lose comically to Essex from a winning position last week. Their batting lineup was missing Michael Carberry, who turned out for the Lions against New Zealand, despite being 32 and surely unlikely to represent England again in future. The absence was keenly felt, as Hampshire were reduced to 97-8 on the first day, before a partnership of 128 between skipper Jimmy 'not the Jamaican one' Adams and Danny Briggs took them to a reasonable first innings total of 274. Adams finished 138* and without him Hants would have struggled to crack 150.

The encouraging thing was that despite injuries to our seamer attack, we still took wickets and it was great to see 18 year-old Craig Miles take a career-best 4-83. Alex Winter wrote on the Cricinfo live blog that Miles has filled out and added several yards of pace since his debut as a 16 year old a couple of years back. The bad news was that key man Will Gidman injured an ankle on Day 1 and then somehow re-aggravated it attempting to open the bowling in the second innings. Surely with little to play for it would have better to leave him to rest up off the field? At least we have a university game next week, so most of the crocked players can rehab ahead of the crucial local derby against Worcestershire on May 22nd.

The batting performance was also extremely encouraging. Klinger survived an early drop in the slips to hit a commanding ton. He was severe on anything wide and also took a heavy toll on erstwhile Lions prospect, Danny Briggs. Chris Dent scored a typically fluent 40-odd, before succumbing to what is fast becoming a trademark waft and nick off to a very wide delivery when well-set. He's obviously learned a lot from a few years of playing with A Gidders and O'Mish. Dan Housego continued to impress, with a fast-paced 50 on Day 3 and Alex Gidman cashed in against his favourite Division 2 quality bowling in striking 69 which helped us towards maximum batting points. Benny Howell continued his happy knack of taking wickets while bowling reasonably economically at 1st change and also managed a red-inker to guide us to a declaration straight after lunch on Day 4.

The rain throughout the match meant that we were never realistically going to be able to force a result, but it was still pleasing to see the bowlers again make inroads. Our depleted attack still took 4 wickets before Hampshire re-took the lead as the game petered out into a draw. All in all, 11 points from a game where more than a day's play was lost to the weather is an excellent result for King John's boys.