Gloucestershire v Australia A, Bristol, 2nd day June 22, 2013

Bad day for Ashes hopefuls

35

Gloucestershire 122 (Sayers 5-24) and 162 for 3 (Dent 56) need 159 runs to beat Australia A 331 for 4 declared and 111 (Gidman 4-25)
Scorecard

Driving to Bristol for a round of pre-Ashes preparatory talks with a strong overnight score in their minds, Australia's coach Mickey Arthur and the team performance manager Pat Howard could have been forgiven for expecting more encouraging developments on their arrival. Instead the sunshine and good cheer of day one was to be replaced by far grimmer stuff - and not just because the weather in Bristol had turned from balmy to a chill wind and grey sky.

Having rounded up the remainder of the Gloucestershire first innings for the addition of only 18 more runs, Australia A folded quite heedlessly for 111 in the second innings after declining to enforce the follow-on. This offered the hosts an unexpected window into the match, one left well and truly open by a stumps score of 162 for 3 in pursuit of 321.

Arthur and Howard have a few issues in front of them, but the form of the batsmen to join the Ashes squad in Taunton on Monday is a mounting one. As far as Ashes preparations were concerned, this was a far from satisfactory day. Usman Khawaja and Phillip Hughes were unable to register scores of any note, while the likely first reserve batsman Steve Smith edged the seaming ball to be out for a duck. The trio had been promoted to Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in the batting order in an effort to give them some quality batting time, but none was to be had by anyone.

Even Nic Maddinson, so impudent during his first-day 181, was cut down to size, flicking a catch down the leg side to depart first ball. Maddinson was one of four wickets for Will Gidman, who capitalised on the more generous allocation of swing and seam provided by overcast skies and a pitch freshened by overnight moisture.

Gloucestershire were also aided by a pair of run-outs, each a direct hit from James Fuller, who roamed the deep and caught, first Khawaja and then Jordan Silk, short of their ground. Such charity from the visitors will not have pleased the bowlers, who soon found themselves defending a smaller advantage than had seemed possible when Smith chose to have another bat.

So poor was Australia A's innings in fact that the top score went to Matthew Wade with 28, his runs scored either side of a painful blow to the groin that forced the wicketkeeper to his haunches for several minutes. Ashton Agar was next best with 27, demonstrating, albeit briefly, that his languid athletic talent is not limited to slow left-arm spin. Nonetheless, a scoreboard reading 88 for 8 and then concluding on "Nelson" does not bode well for numerologists nor Australian Ashes optimists.

To be in the field again within 35.1 overs of dismissing Gloucestershire the first time did not appear to agree with several of the Australia A bowlers, who with few exceptions had been much sharper when the day began. Ryan Harris induced an outside edge from Gidman in the first over of the morning, before Fawad Ahmed offered evidence of his legspin's bite by having Benny Howell pouched at slip, then fizzing his next ball past Tom Smith's outside edge.

Neither Harris nor Ahmed would be quite so compelling in the afternoon, which also provided a lesson for Chadd Sayers, the South Australian seam and swing operative. Having nipped out two wickets in his first over of the day to claim the handsome figures of 5 for 24, Sayers looked considerably short of rhythm and accuracy when he returned. He did improve later on and added the wickets of Chris Dent and Dan Housego, but Gloucestershire were by then growing in confidence.

They reached the close with Gareth Roderick accompanied by Dan Christian, who appeared intent on getting the better of his countrymen while sprinting to 40 from 42 balls in the final hour. He took a particular liking to the spin of Ahmed, taking 35 runs from the 31 balls he faced. As they pondered whether to expand the size of the Ashes squad by one or two on Sunday, that was yet another reason for Arthur and Howard's brows to furrow.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • on June 23, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    So the Aussie A side in the UK have so far achieved the exact opposite of the England A side in Australia. While the England A side couldn't win a single match and looked like a bunch of hopeless, hapless amateurs the Aussie A side have won every match and generally looked pretty good. They've shuffled around their batting and bowling attacks at times, which has on occasions caused a bit of instability... but all in all I'd give them a solid B.

  • Dashgar on June 23, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    Easy win, numbers don't show it but given we declared 4 down in innings 1 and gave far more overs to a struggling Ahmed than we normally would it was a walk in the park. Our bowlers are finding some form even if a lot of our batsmen aren't. Hughes is in serious danger of losing his spot when Rogers comes in. Obvious highlights are Maddinson and Sayers but I think Agar is a great find too. He's definitely leaped ahead of Ahmed. Bring on some better competition, England's depth doesn't look great at the moment.

  • on June 23, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    @ffl.On the contrary;Jackson Bird and Ryan Harris found some form in the second innings and took wickets under pressure and 'little known' Chadd Sayers is is in red hot form (albeit with more recent gametime than both bird and Harris). On the off chance that Ryan Harris and Jackson bird dont reach the same heights as Sayers in the 2 warm up games (a very big if considering their track record)it is always an option for the selectors to draft the number 1 shield wicket taker into the squad. He is also very handy to have up our sleeves in case of injury. I very much doubt that England have any bowling reserves even near the same quality. Keep disrespecting Jackson Bird all you want by feminising his name however his name will cause England fans much pain if not now in England (because of our vast bowling depth) certainly in the Australian leg.How much pain?...Just ponder the name Glenn McGrath (OUCH!)and how he strangled England with relentless accuracy to give you some idea.

  • DylanBrah on June 23, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    Besides Maddinson, Australia A were completely useless with the bat. No questions have been answered regarding the Ashes batting line-up. Agar didn't get much of a run for the second straight match, mostly because they wanted to see if Ahmed was actually any good, and as expected, he wasn't, and will play no roll in the Ashes. Agar does look to be an exciting prospect, but I certainly wouldn't be giving him a run in the Ashes, and instead continue to develop him on these A-tours and in the shield. Stick with Lyon for the Ashes and if he completely fails O'Keefe should be given the nod, but Agar will more than likely be thrown in the deep end and fail. Harris and Bird both had reasonable figures and should be good to play a roll in the Ashes. However, I can't help but worry about having a pace attack that includes both Pattinson and Harris. Atleast one of them will go down with injury during a match for sure.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 23, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    A match that surprised no one. Jaquline Bird and Harris were totally out-bowled by a little known guy called Sayers, and this just topped an all-round disaster for Australia. Another one, unfortunately. Phil Hughes yet again failed in both innings, with Wade/Khawaja predictably proving inept. Ahmed was smashed around the park also, he hasn't even come up against any decent batsman yet in his career, how he'll be expected to perform in a test match I have no idea. This is a terrible lead up to the Ashes for Oz.

  • ScottStevo on June 23, 2013, 12:37 GMT

    Easy win in the end after declaring in the first innings...not so great for all the big talkers...@poms_have_short_memories, Exactly! The England A team that came to Aus were useless and lost every single match.

  • ScottStevo on June 23, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    @Optic, Really? I think you'll find that the majority on here seem to think England need only walk out onto the field to win the Ashes...Also, it was a much more likely result that Aus A would win given the way that wickets were tumbling. As I write, they're 9 down with 50 runs to get, but credit to them, they're fighting in this last wicket. As for your lol, it's clear that you think we'd be easily beaten - if I've tarred all with the same brush, it's likely your not exactly collateral damage.

  • on June 23, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    After this game it is fairly clear that Fawad was given undue (positive and negative) attention due to his unique personal circumstances and that Agar is a better player. A couple of poor performances by Lyon and Agar would be expected to be given a trial to see what he can do in the big leagues. He is very impressive and hasn't put a foot wrong all year.

  • shillingsworth on June 23, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    @poms_have_short_memories - All this talk about reserve strength is just that - talk. Until they have to walk out onto the field in an Ashes test, we've no idea whether some Australians who have apparently excelled against Irish and Westcountry 2nd XIs are any better than their English equivalents who were absolutely hopeless in a few one day matches.

  • srriaj317 on June 23, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    I was just looking at a replay of Khawaja's run-out on Youtube and that was a DREADFUL decision. He was past the stumps before the keeper knocked them down and there's no way umpires would be allowed to give that out. It is fair enough to blame the whole collapse on a poor umpiring call!

  • on June 23, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    So the Aussie A side in the UK have so far achieved the exact opposite of the England A side in Australia. While the England A side couldn't win a single match and looked like a bunch of hopeless, hapless amateurs the Aussie A side have won every match and generally looked pretty good. They've shuffled around their batting and bowling attacks at times, which has on occasions caused a bit of instability... but all in all I'd give them a solid B.

  • Dashgar on June 23, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    Easy win, numbers don't show it but given we declared 4 down in innings 1 and gave far more overs to a struggling Ahmed than we normally would it was a walk in the park. Our bowlers are finding some form even if a lot of our batsmen aren't. Hughes is in serious danger of losing his spot when Rogers comes in. Obvious highlights are Maddinson and Sayers but I think Agar is a great find too. He's definitely leaped ahead of Ahmed. Bring on some better competition, England's depth doesn't look great at the moment.

  • on June 23, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    @ffl.On the contrary;Jackson Bird and Ryan Harris found some form in the second innings and took wickets under pressure and 'little known' Chadd Sayers is is in red hot form (albeit with more recent gametime than both bird and Harris). On the off chance that Ryan Harris and Jackson bird dont reach the same heights as Sayers in the 2 warm up games (a very big if considering their track record)it is always an option for the selectors to draft the number 1 shield wicket taker into the squad. He is also very handy to have up our sleeves in case of injury. I very much doubt that England have any bowling reserves even near the same quality. Keep disrespecting Jackson Bird all you want by feminising his name however his name will cause England fans much pain if not now in England (because of our vast bowling depth) certainly in the Australian leg.How much pain?...Just ponder the name Glenn McGrath (OUCH!)and how he strangled England with relentless accuracy to give you some idea.

  • DylanBrah on June 23, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    Besides Maddinson, Australia A were completely useless with the bat. No questions have been answered regarding the Ashes batting line-up. Agar didn't get much of a run for the second straight match, mostly because they wanted to see if Ahmed was actually any good, and as expected, he wasn't, and will play no roll in the Ashes. Agar does look to be an exciting prospect, but I certainly wouldn't be giving him a run in the Ashes, and instead continue to develop him on these A-tours and in the shield. Stick with Lyon for the Ashes and if he completely fails O'Keefe should be given the nod, but Agar will more than likely be thrown in the deep end and fail. Harris and Bird both had reasonable figures and should be good to play a roll in the Ashes. However, I can't help but worry about having a pace attack that includes both Pattinson and Harris. Atleast one of them will go down with injury during a match for sure.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 23, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    A match that surprised no one. Jaquline Bird and Harris were totally out-bowled by a little known guy called Sayers, and this just topped an all-round disaster for Australia. Another one, unfortunately. Phil Hughes yet again failed in both innings, with Wade/Khawaja predictably proving inept. Ahmed was smashed around the park also, he hasn't even come up against any decent batsman yet in his career, how he'll be expected to perform in a test match I have no idea. This is a terrible lead up to the Ashes for Oz.

  • ScottStevo on June 23, 2013, 12:37 GMT

    Easy win in the end after declaring in the first innings...not so great for all the big talkers...@poms_have_short_memories, Exactly! The England A team that came to Aus were useless and lost every single match.

  • ScottStevo on June 23, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    @Optic, Really? I think you'll find that the majority on here seem to think England need only walk out onto the field to win the Ashes...Also, it was a much more likely result that Aus A would win given the way that wickets were tumbling. As I write, they're 9 down with 50 runs to get, but credit to them, they're fighting in this last wicket. As for your lol, it's clear that you think we'd be easily beaten - if I've tarred all with the same brush, it's likely your not exactly collateral damage.

  • on June 23, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    After this game it is fairly clear that Fawad was given undue (positive and negative) attention due to his unique personal circumstances and that Agar is a better player. A couple of poor performances by Lyon and Agar would be expected to be given a trial to see what he can do in the big leagues. He is very impressive and hasn't put a foot wrong all year.

  • shillingsworth on June 23, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    @poms_have_short_memories - All this talk about reserve strength is just that - talk. Until they have to walk out onto the field in an Ashes test, we've no idea whether some Australians who have apparently excelled against Irish and Westcountry 2nd XIs are any better than their English equivalents who were absolutely hopeless in a few one day matches.

  • srriaj317 on June 23, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    I was just looking at a replay of Khawaja's run-out on Youtube and that was a DREADFUL decision. He was past the stumps before the keeper knocked them down and there's no way umpires would be allowed to give that out. It is fair enough to blame the whole collapse on a poor umpiring call!

  • slow.mo on June 23, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    Please don't draft Ahmed in the Ashes squad yet. He may have the quality but international cricket is whole other thing. He needs to go through the ranks to learn to be able to cope with the pressure of playing at this level.

  • poms_have_short_memories on June 23, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    Interesting to compare the Aust A tour of England to the England Lions tour of Australia last year. So far Aust A have won both these games and will more than likely win this one, in the tour of Australia by the English Lions last year they lost every game handsomely, except for the final game that was abandoned without a ball being bowled. One conclusion to be drawn is that England have little depth besides their starting eleven and if, for example Anderson was to suffer an injury that required 6-8 weeks off and Cook and Trott were to suffer an injury or had a bad series anything could happen in this English summer.

  • TheBigBoodha on June 23, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    Not a great day for Australia A. But conditions must have been difficult for the first two sessions, given the fact that Glousestershire lost something like 6 wickets for 20. But then again, context is something not permitted for Australian teams.

    I do believe that it is possible to be critical without resorting to petty put downs, ridicule and general nastiness. It is clear , however, that such a skill is beyond the emotional maturity of the most prominent English supporters here.

    BTW, how many wins was that again by the English Lions squad from, what, about 9 games on their recent tour of Oz? hint, it was two less than the AUS A side will rack up from their first two games here.

  • CricketingStargazer on June 23, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    The Gloucestershire Twitter feed is buzzing this morning. Club and players think that this chase is on and the current County Championship wooden spoon holders can put one over Australia with a side stuffed with reserves.

    @EastGlos Hope that you'll be there and can give me a blow-by-blow account tonight of how Australia went down.

  • RednWhiteArmy on June 23, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    Hopefully Phil Hughes has done enough to be Australia's number 3 in the ashes. Mind you, theres nobody to replace him anyway, is there?

  • on June 23, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    @Mitty, in fairness to Bird it is his first game coming back from an extended lay off, he won't get worse!

    @GlinMcGraw, fair question, I guess they want to give Fawad a decent bowl to see what he has got. I guess the selectors have seen all they want to see from Agar, who in my opinion is not just pipping Fawad but giving Lyon a good run for a test spot too, battling out a 27 yesterday won't have hurt his chances either, this young lad seems to have a very fine allround game.

  • on June 23, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    Haven't seen Sayers bowl - what kind of bowlers is he? On his profile it says Right-arm medium - he is mighty effective for a medium-pacer... would he struggle against international standard batsmen like John Hastings did, for example?

  • Mitty2 on June 23, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    Bit disappointed with Jackson Bird, who on the last A tour to England didn't do nearly as well as his shield figures would suggest he would. For those predicting that he's more suited to English conditions - it definitely wouldn't seem so. Is his back injury affecting him? However, as the 20th best seamer in Aus would be better than Mitchell Starc... Hopefully Bird plays in front of him. Bird would compliment Patto very well as well, but he is too similar as a bowler to Harris to be in the same attack as him.

    More so disappointed with the result, and retrospectively Smith's declaration just seems utterly stupid both because Khawaja and Wade need time out in the middle and because it also harms our chances of winning...

    @FFL and all the English commentators, bit curious as to why you didn't comment on yesterday's thread? For all purposes I'm just baffled as to why you wouldn't comment yesterday when Gloucs were 5 down and 200+ runs behind?

    It's as if England were a good side lol

  • KingofRedLions on June 23, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    Why hasn't Agar bowled yet?

  • on June 23, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    If Pup misses any tests, we could be in serious trouble. Hard to imagine how Khawaja and Phil Hughes in particular wouldn't have absolutely steeled themselves to get big runs given how unsettled the top 7 is outside of Rodgers, Clarke and Haddin.

    There's 4 spots and there anybody's. Ed Cowan's no certainty, neither is Warner or Watson. Phil Hughes will surely be retained but he's definitely failed so far to cement his place.

    On the other hand, can Sayers get a mention as a possible Ashes player already?

  • Ms.Cricket on June 23, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    No coincidence this that on arrival of Arthur and Howard in the camp, a collapse occurs. These were the guys who gave us a 0-4 result in India and have still kept their jobs!

  • on June 23, 2013, 3:10 GMT

    What an awful 2nd innings from the Aussies - both Khawaja and Silk run out from the non strikers end.

  • Rooboy on June 23, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    @ohhhhhmattymatty - 'guaranteed starters'? lol. Either you don't know the definition of the term, or you don't have a clue. I'm guessing both.

  • Hammond on June 23, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    A Gloucs second XI beats an Australian second XI? Wow..

  • TrumperLives on June 22, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    Phil Hughes should never have been picked. He does not have the technique to succeed in England. He is a flat track , blue sky bully and should go back to being a 20/20 specialist. He is not Test Match quality.

  • Dashgar on June 22, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    2 run outs from the outfield and a golden duck caught down the leg side. Sounds like the stars aligned for Gloucester today. Hopefully we see Aus A regroup and win by 100+ tomorrow. Today definitely makes yesterday's declaration look foolish. Wade and Khawaja were in, both test hopefuls. They should have been given the chance to make big scores. Hindsight is wonderful I guess.

  • srriaj317 on June 22, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    Hopefully Steve Smith now realises how hasty that 1st innings declaration was. If they had batted atleast a whole day, they would have at least a 100 more runs to dominate. And this could also be the end of Khawaja's career - I don't see the current management giving him any more chances unlike Hughes who seems to get as many chances as outside edges.

  • Chris_P on June 22, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    OhhhhhMattyMatty. Dramatic if nothing else old boy, but seriously, Fawad isn't in the Ashes squad, Wade is the 2nd keeper, Bird is probably #6 bowler, Harris most unlikely to play more than 2 tests while the jury is out if Hughes gets a start, but at least you got yourself excited. 10-0, really? I'll remind you of your prediction, more than a few times before it all finishes. Khawaja's effort to get run out when he needed to put his head down for time in the middle was probably the biggest disappointment.

  • Optic on June 22, 2013, 22:06 GMT

    @ ScottStevo Surely the irony shouldn't be lost on you, that you're here calling all England fans arrogant, yet very few believe it will be 10-0 or anything like that, yet you think it's a more than likely Aus A will still win this game lol, when Glouc only need 159 with 7 wickets in hand. Well does that mean you're comments are representative of all Aussies, they must be because that's what you've done, take a few comments and label all the England fans with the same brush. Well how mature of you, you're obviously so much better than those people you put down.

  • ScottStevo on June 22, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    @FFS, 331/4d - utterly useless?...and we will still most likely win this game too. Sayers is only little known to those who don't know much about cricket, ie, you! Is 47 a failure these days? @OMM, guaranteed starters?! Wade is hardly a guaranteed starter seeing as though Haddin is VC and WILL be the keeper. Ahmed definitely won't be playing either - chances are neither will Bird. So the only guaranteed starter is Hughes, and even he's not guaranteed a starting spot. Nonetheless, 10-0 certainly won't happen, 5-0 won't happen, mainly because England are nowhere near good enough as there results in the last 18 months have shown, they're a very average team with very arrogant supporters who think they're 20 times better than they are and blame all their inconsistent performances on complacency - which is the most arrogant thing about them. It's never that they're just not as good as you all pray they are, they're obviously that good, they just got complacent! Haha!!

  • EastGlos on June 22, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    Excellent report Daniel. I was there and you are spot on. A good day's cricket but the Aussie second innings defied belief. And the bowling was pretty ordinary. I can't see Ahmed troubling good test batsmen, and appreciate this may come back to haunt me when he takes 30 wickets against England this winter. Sayers looked pretty respectable when he came on after the drinks break (which came at the wrong time for Chris Dent who was pretty solid I thought) and if he bowls like that tomorrow, and gets some help at the other end (in other words, Harris makes the batsmen play at a few rather than bowl too wide) the first hour will be crucial. A win would do Gloucester's confidence the world of good, but at least we are competing. Sad I can't be there to watch the outcome.

  • CricketingStargazer on June 22, 2013, 20:59 GMT

    As a Gloucesershire supporter, seeing our honest, severely understrength Second Division side who were wooden spoonists last season make the pride of Australia look rather average has been anexpected pleasure.

    I really expected Gloucestershire to take a massive hiding and victory is still long odds, but that we go into the final day with a real chance of winning is a great feeling. Survive the first hour in the morning without losing a wicket and panic should set into the Australian ranks.

  • on June 22, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    fire Mickey Arthur and show the door to Hughes, Wade...bring Kirsten or Dravid as coach and bring back Katich and Ferguson...give Voges and Bailey test caps...

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 22, 2013, 20:21 GMT

    That's two failures in the match for Phil Hughes, the selectors must be happy with him. Every one of these batsmen down to Harris has proved utterly skill-less in average English conditions. They were up against the average seam attack of Gloucestershire, who aren't particularly stiff opposition to put it mildly and have bowlers who would never make it into the English test side. Jaquline Bird was outbowled by the little-known Sayers too. This is just unbelievable that they can't even win here.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on June 22, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    So a Gloucs side missing Marshall, Payne, Miles, Young, Taylor, A.Gidman and others are in a position to beat an Australian side containing guaranteed Test starters in Wade, Hughes, Bird, Harris and Ahmed. WOW! If it stays rain-free 10-0 is guaranteed! Australia are going to have to produce some utter roads in Australia and Kookaburra balls with no movement at all!

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  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on June 22, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    So a Gloucs side missing Marshall, Payne, Miles, Young, Taylor, A.Gidman and others are in a position to beat an Australian side containing guaranteed Test starters in Wade, Hughes, Bird, Harris and Ahmed. WOW! If it stays rain-free 10-0 is guaranteed! Australia are going to have to produce some utter roads in Australia and Kookaburra balls with no movement at all!

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 22, 2013, 20:21 GMT

    That's two failures in the match for Phil Hughes, the selectors must be happy with him. Every one of these batsmen down to Harris has proved utterly skill-less in average English conditions. They were up against the average seam attack of Gloucestershire, who aren't particularly stiff opposition to put it mildly and have bowlers who would never make it into the English test side. Jaquline Bird was outbowled by the little-known Sayers too. This is just unbelievable that they can't even win here.

  • on June 22, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    fire Mickey Arthur and show the door to Hughes, Wade...bring Kirsten or Dravid as coach and bring back Katich and Ferguson...give Voges and Bailey test caps...

  • CricketingStargazer on June 22, 2013, 20:59 GMT

    As a Gloucesershire supporter, seeing our honest, severely understrength Second Division side who were wooden spoonists last season make the pride of Australia look rather average has been anexpected pleasure.

    I really expected Gloucestershire to take a massive hiding and victory is still long odds, but that we go into the final day with a real chance of winning is a great feeling. Survive the first hour in the morning without losing a wicket and panic should set into the Australian ranks.

  • EastGlos on June 22, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    Excellent report Daniel. I was there and you are spot on. A good day's cricket but the Aussie second innings defied belief. And the bowling was pretty ordinary. I can't see Ahmed troubling good test batsmen, and appreciate this may come back to haunt me when he takes 30 wickets against England this winter. Sayers looked pretty respectable when he came on after the drinks break (which came at the wrong time for Chris Dent who was pretty solid I thought) and if he bowls like that tomorrow, and gets some help at the other end (in other words, Harris makes the batsmen play at a few rather than bowl too wide) the first hour will be crucial. A win would do Gloucester's confidence the world of good, but at least we are competing. Sad I can't be there to watch the outcome.

  • ScottStevo on June 22, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    @FFS, 331/4d - utterly useless?...and we will still most likely win this game too. Sayers is only little known to those who don't know much about cricket, ie, you! Is 47 a failure these days? @OMM, guaranteed starters?! Wade is hardly a guaranteed starter seeing as though Haddin is VC and WILL be the keeper. Ahmed definitely won't be playing either - chances are neither will Bird. So the only guaranteed starter is Hughes, and even he's not guaranteed a starting spot. Nonetheless, 10-0 certainly won't happen, 5-0 won't happen, mainly because England are nowhere near good enough as there results in the last 18 months have shown, they're a very average team with very arrogant supporters who think they're 20 times better than they are and blame all their inconsistent performances on complacency - which is the most arrogant thing about them. It's never that they're just not as good as you all pray they are, they're obviously that good, they just got complacent! Haha!!

  • Optic on June 22, 2013, 22:06 GMT

    @ ScottStevo Surely the irony shouldn't be lost on you, that you're here calling all England fans arrogant, yet very few believe it will be 10-0 or anything like that, yet you think it's a more than likely Aus A will still win this game lol, when Glouc only need 159 with 7 wickets in hand. Well does that mean you're comments are representative of all Aussies, they must be because that's what you've done, take a few comments and label all the England fans with the same brush. Well how mature of you, you're obviously so much better than those people you put down.

  • Chris_P on June 22, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    OhhhhhMattyMatty. Dramatic if nothing else old boy, but seriously, Fawad isn't in the Ashes squad, Wade is the 2nd keeper, Bird is probably #6 bowler, Harris most unlikely to play more than 2 tests while the jury is out if Hughes gets a start, but at least you got yourself excited. 10-0, really? I'll remind you of your prediction, more than a few times before it all finishes. Khawaja's effort to get run out when he needed to put his head down for time in the middle was probably the biggest disappointment.

  • srriaj317 on June 22, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    Hopefully Steve Smith now realises how hasty that 1st innings declaration was. If they had batted atleast a whole day, they would have at least a 100 more runs to dominate. And this could also be the end of Khawaja's career - I don't see the current management giving him any more chances unlike Hughes who seems to get as many chances as outside edges.

  • Dashgar on June 22, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    2 run outs from the outfield and a golden duck caught down the leg side. Sounds like the stars aligned for Gloucester today. Hopefully we see Aus A regroup and win by 100+ tomorrow. Today definitely makes yesterday's declaration look foolish. Wade and Khawaja were in, both test hopefuls. They should have been given the chance to make big scores. Hindsight is wonderful I guess.