June 2, 2001

Ostler enlivens another day of attrition at Edgbaston

Gloucestershire again suffered at the hands of Dominic Ostler as Warwickshire batted on remorselessly on another attritional day at Edgbaston.

Ostler followed up his sparkling 134 in Tuesday's floodlit National League game with a quickfire 92 which provided some welcome entertainment for a patient crowd as Warwickshire closed on 448-9.

Ostler pulled and drove impressively as he struck 13 boundaries but he missed out on his second century of the summer when he was lured out of his ground by off-spinner Jeremy Snape and stumped by Reggie Williams.

But Michael Powell, Warwickshire's captain, made the most of a good batting pitch and an attack, depleted by the absence of Jon Lewis with a back injury, as he completed his first century of the season.

It was the sixth Championship century of Powell's career but, surprisingly, his first at Edgbaston.

He began the day needing only three to reach three figures but managed only two singles from the first nine overs.

However, he reached his century in style with a straight driven six off Martyn Ball and looked in no trouble at all until he edged Tim Hancock to Ball at slip on 133.

Ostler then took control in a delightful innings in which he helped Warwickshire to secure a fourth batting point and to take the lead.

He shared a seventh-wicket stand of 94 in 25 overs with Keith Piper who added to Gloucestershire's frustration by making his first fifty of the season.

There were four boundaries in Piper's 115-ball half-century and he steered Warwickshire past 400 and to a useful lead of 88 which gave them a slim chance of forcing a victory.

The start of play was delayed for 75 minutes by morning drizzle and an embarrassing breakdown of the 'Brumbrella', Edgbaston's giant pitch cover.

The motors failed and volunteers had to drag the cover off the pitch which was a hitch Warwickshire could have done without in the build-up to Thursday's England v Pakistan One-Day International.

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