Gidmans guide Gloucestershire
Derbyshire 95 and 211 for 5 (Madsen 72, Redfern 64*, Will Gidman 4-39) lead Gloucestershire 294 (Alex Gidman 129) by 12 runs
This was a tale of the Gidman brothers. A century from Alex, the elder and arguably still the better, was swiftly followed up by four wickets taken by Will, bowling in gloomy light at a quickish medium pace. The upshot is that Derbyshire, five second innings wickets intact, lead by a mere 12 runs. They did bat with more conviction than when they were bowled out for 95 on Wednesday, but will do well to avoid a heavy defeat.
That Gloucestershire gained as sizeable a first-innings lead as 199 was chiefly down to Alex Gidman making his first century of the season. Hitherto this summer he had gone past fifty only once. Now, with less movement to contend with than that which confronted Derbyshire's batsmen on the first day, he punched his drives through the cover ring and cut savagely at times.
Resuming on 72, Gidman reached his century off 196 balls with 11 fours. He had made 129 in all when, facing Tim Groenewald, he slightly over-balanced in the crease and was leg-before. By then, Ian Cockbain had also gone, held down the leg side off Tony Palladino, as had Chris Dent, who pluckily came out to bat after fracturing a finger the previous day. Such gestures, noble in concept, rarely seem to work, however. Driving at Jon Clare, he edged to second slip.
Will Gidman stayed with his brother for a while before he was leg-before to Palladino, who finished off the innings by removing David Payne's off stump. Gloucestershire by now had quite a sufficient lead and when Matt Lineker drove airily at Will Gidman to be caught at gully and two further wickets fell before tea, they might even have countenanced a two-day finish.
Martin Guptill showed glimpses of his undoubted class in reaching 42 with seven fours - his cover and straight driving was a delight - but, like Lineker and Wes Durston, rather gave his wicket away. He swiped at a rising ball outside off stump from Ian Saxelby and succeeded only in edging to Jon Batty. Durston, whose innings was barely underway, shaped to play Will Gidman as if providing catching practice for the slip cordon: another victim for Batty.
Still, Wayne Madsen added 97 with Dan Refern, which represented solidity. Had the captain, who reached a half-century with five fours and drove firmly off the front foot - he is not one to loft the ball - remained until the close, Derbyshire might just have had some hope of a recovery along the lines of the one they memorably managed here two years ago. Yet, having reached 72, that man Will Gidman had him lbw on the front foot.
Meanwhile, off-the-field celebrations were continuing apace over the decision by Bristol City Council's development control committee to grant planning consent to Gloucestershire. The building of 147 dwellings within an apartment block effectively will replace the Jessop Stand opposite the pavilion. Rex Body, the chairman, dispensed champagne to all the staff. Well, not the players until the close.
The club has spent £900,000 in securing this consent, which safeguards the future of cricket at Nevil Road. Paul Russell, the former chairman of Glamorgan who was instrumental in the development of the SWALEC Stadium at Cardiff, impressed upon councillors at their meeting on Wednesday evening the amount of revenue the city of Bristol would accrue from staging international cricket. This, of course, is on the basis that the one-day fixture scheduled for 2014 between England and India will go ahead. The club should be on course to have completed a sweeping redevelopment by then. That match alone will attract millions of television viewers. Nothing like cricket to put Bristol on the map in India.