Taylor hundred too much for Unicorns
Gloucestershire 195 for 6 beat Unicorns 171 for 9 by 24 runs
Chris Taylor hit an unbeaten century to guide Gloucestershire to a 24-run Clydesdale Bank 40 victory over the Unicorns at blustery Bristol.
The county managed 195 for 6 from their 40 overs after winning the toss, Taylor contributing 100 not out off 98 balls, with nine fours and a six. New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson made 41 on debut while Unicorns bowler Dan Wheeldon took 3 for 31 from eight overs.
In reply, the Unicorns never recovered from a spell of three for six off five overs from left-arm seamer David Payne (4 for 23), which reduced them to 43 for three on the way to 171 for nine. Skipper Keith Parsons hit a valiant 62 not out, off 77 balls, with three fours and a six, but the visitors never looked likely to reach their target on a tricky pitch of variable bounce.
Payne was the pick of the home attack, but Will Gidman took a key wicket in Mike Thornely (31) on his way to figures of two for 29 from eight overs, while James Fuller claimed two for 27 from his eight. Parsons came in at the fall of the third wicket and battled hard without being able to raise the run-rate to the required level.
Earlier, Wheeldon, who is playing minor counties cricket for Lincolnshire this season, had taken two wickets in the space of four balls to leave Gloucestershire seven for two. Skipper Alex Gidman was caught behind down the leg side, while Hamish Marshall was plum lbw to a ball that kept low.
It was 26 for 3 when Ian Cockbain became Wheeldon's third victim to another leg-before decision and Williamson found himself walking out to bat for the first time as a Gloucestershire player facing something of a crisis.
He and Taylor steadied the ship without being able to take chances and their stand of 103 occupied 20 overs. The New Zealander was content to accumulate and had faced 69 balls, hitting only one boundary, when caught behind by Josh Knappett looking to pull Glen Querl.
Will Gidman made 16 in a stand of 44 with Taylor, whose only six was lifted over square-leg off Neil Saker. But Gloucestershire were never able to cut loose and Taylor completed his ton in the final over, having held the innings together.
Jonathan Miles conceded only 32 runs from his eight overs, while Neil Saker and Chris Peploe went for 38 apiece in a tidy Unicorns bowling display.