Gloucestershire eye victory after Payne haul
Leicestershire 135 and 255 for 4 (f/o) v Gloucestershire 394
David Payne completed career-best first-class figures of 6 for 26 as Gloucestershire strengthened their grip on the County Championship match with Leicestershire at Bristol.
The visitors resumed the third day on 131 for 6 in the first innings, but could add only four runs as Payne claimed three of the wickets. Will Gidman finished with two for 24. Following on 259 behind, Leicestershire were then looking slightly rattled on 122 for three before a century stand between James Taylor (70) and Ned Eckersley (52 not out) steadied things.
They closed on 255 for 4, still four runs adrift and with Will Jefferson having retired hurt because of an injured hand. Leicestershire could manage only one scoring stroke, a boundary by Eckersley, in losing their last four wickets at the start of the day.
Three of the tail registered ducks, including overnight batsman Rob Taylor, who had his off-stump uprooted by Payne. Eckersley had moved to 39 when he became the eighth man out, caught behind off Ian Saxelby, and Payne quickly wrapped up the innings by finding the edge of Jigar Naik's bat before clean bowling Matthew Hoggard second ball.
The last four wickets fell without addition to the total and Payne bettered his previous best first-class figures of 5 for 76 in the opening game of this season against Derbyshire at Bristol.
When Leicestershire followed on they soon suffered another blow as Jefferson was forced to retire on two, having been struck on his hand. He was taken to hospital for X-rays, which showed no broken bones. Greg Smith (40) and Matt Boyce (44) took the score to 100 before falling in quick succession. Smith was caught at gully trying to force a ball from Payne off the back-foot, and at the start of the following over Boyce called for a quick single as James Taylor played a ball to backward point and was run out by Gidman's direct hit.
When Josh Cobb gave another gully catch to Kane Williamson off bat and pad to make it 122 for three, another Leicestershire collapse looked likely. But the diminutive Taylor is big on talent and together with Eckersley began to make a fight of it.
It was 145 for three at tea and the England Lions player went on to reach a half-century off 88 balls, with six fours, looking particularly strong off his legs. It took the wily Jon Lewis to dismiss him with a short ball, which Taylor top-edged to fine-leg where Payne took a safe catch.
Eckersley stood firm and moved to fifty off 116 balls, with four fours. The 22-year-old wicketkeeper was unbeaten at the close alongside Wayne White (12no).