Two salient points from last Friday's nail biting final over victory over cider rivals Somerset.
One. If city franchise T20 cricket in England does end up being the future then this is exactly the sort of contest that will be hovered up by 'Franchise Bristol' (presumably). No local rivalry. No added spice and West Country bragging rights. No 11,000 record crowd on a Friday night under the lights at the Brightside Ground. Glos v Somerset is the perfect counterweight to the argument that city based franchises are needed in order to propel the T20 Blast up alongside it's more illustrious T20 competition cousins in other more exotic parts of the world.
Two. Glos required 30 from the final 3 overs. Then 14 from the final over with 4 wickets remaining. At both of these points Glos remained favourites to win. Only just favourites, the games was very definitely in the balance, but definitely favourites. Such is the modern game. It seems like a while ago that if a bowling side got to the final over of a one day game and the batting team needed anything more than a run a ball then the bowlers were seen as being in the driving seat.
The game itself got off to an entertaining start, all be it not in the fashion that you might expect. The 11,000 excited punters were treated to the sight of The Universe Boss/The Six Machine/The Gayle Force (all trademarked) blocking out a maiden over from Matt Taylor. In fairness, Gayle probably hasn't seen much of Matt Taylor, but still, you presume Taylor himself was the most confused person in the ground. Taylor has bowled well this year, however he isn't someone accustomed to being treated to much respect from division 2 batsmen, much less the worlds most fearsome batsman.
Gayle did finally get things moving, but his dismal to a fine catch by Maxi Klinger resulted in Somerset never really getting their innings moving. Benny Howell looked the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 29 from his 4 overs. Benny the bowler has become a very handy one day performer for Glos this season.
Set 159 to win Glos managed to get off to the worst possible start with O'Mish being bowled first ball. However, Maxi did what Maxi always does, and accumulated 60 vital runs to make sure that the run chase never got into serious difficulty. Only when Klinger finally perished did things start getting interesting and suddenly Glos found themselves requiring 30 from the final 3 overs with Andrew Tye and Gareth Roderick at the crease. The tension was eased by Tye's giant six from the first ball of the final over, and from that point it was left to Gareth Roderick to clip the winning runs through mid wicket.
So Glos continue their momentum after their blip that began with the calamitous defeat to Somerset in the one day cup. The Shire are now up to 4th in the table in their T20 Southern group, level on points with 2nd and 3rd placed Surrey and Sussex and only a point behind table topping Galmorgan. There are 8 games still to be played over the next month and a half, so it is difficult to really assess where Glos stand at this point. But they are positioned nicely. The boys now head down to the South coast this weekend for games against Hampshire and Sussex in the T20, before Monday sees them resuming their championship campaign prior to the return T20 match against Somerset next Friday. Ideal scheduling.