Leicestershire v Gloucestershire, Grace Road, 3rd day May 2, 2013

Gidman and Howell set up victory chance

Gloucestershire 280 and 16 for 0 need 172 more runs to beat Leicestershire 250 and 217

Gloucestershire looked on course for their first win of the season at the end of the third day against Leicestershire at Grace Road. They bowled out the hosts for 217 in their second innings to leave a victory target of 188, and had reached 16 without loss off seven overs by the close.

Will Gidman took 4 for 39 and Benny Howell 3 for 39 as Leicestershire limped along at just over two runs an over throughout the day. Ned Eckersley top scored with 45 and there were only two partnerships 50 or better, with the home side completely shackled by an accurate Gloucestershire attack on a slow paced pitch. The result was that Leicestershire added only 185 runs in 87 overs to their overnight 32 for 2, falling well short of the sort of target they hoped to set Gloucestershire.

It did not take Gidman long to make the first breakthrough of the day when he had nightwatchman Ollie Freckingham lbw in his second over of the morning. That brought in Ramnaresh Sarwan, and he survived a sharp chance to wicketkeeper Cameron Herring off Howell when he had made 9.

But Eckersley, having added 25 to his overnight 20, was not so fortunate against the same bowler, beaten by a swinging delivery that clipped the off stump. At 69 for 4 it was an uphill battle for Leicestershire but Sarwan and Josh Cobb buckled down to share a stand of 76 for the fifth wicket.

Cobb occasionally chanced his arm and, having just cleared mid-off with one shot, followed it up by taking successive boundaries off Craig Miles to raise the half-century partnership. But just when it seemed Leicestershire had steered their way out of trouble they hit the buffers again, with three wickets falling for 12 runs in seven overs.

Cobb was the first of them, caught low down at midwicket off Howell for 43 and Sarwan followed in the seamer's next over. The Leicestershire captain was bowled off an inside edge after scoring 44 off 141 balls with six boundaries.

Shiv Thakor was bowled round his legs by Jack Taylor before Matt Boyce and Jigar Naik shared a stand of 50 to take Leicestershire past the 200 mark. But the second new ball brought a quick end to the innings as Gidman and Miles put the finishing touches to an impressive Gloucestershire bowling performance.

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  • Mark on May 3, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    @Brosley1 I hope that this will be simple. I suspect that it will not. Each innings in the match has featured a top order collapse followed by a recovery by the tail. Klinger is in awful form and desperately in need of a score of any kind and the Gloucestershire top order has fired in just two innings, including the pre-season games.

    Having criticised Benny Howell - he averages only 28 with the bat, which is not good enough for someone signed as a specialist - he seems to be starting to show his worth with runs and, more unexpectedly, wickets. With the decline of Alex Gidman's bowling, having a decent replacement who can take a few wickets and score runs reliably in the lower middle order is useful.

    However, this match must be awful to watch for spectators. The whole match has been played at well under 3 runs per over and the chase, as such is unlikely to break this tonic of being played out in slow motion. I would expect Gloucestershire to win... just.

  • Matt on May 2, 2013, 20:40 GMT

    Benny Howell is shaping up to be a valuable player for the Glos this year, the boys seemed to bowl well today. Could do with Denty & the new Skipper to really dig in and see off the new ball, survive the first hour then fingers crossed the rest will be a doddle! Come on the lads!

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