Unicorns v Gloucestershire, YB40 Group C, Wormsley May 6, 2013

Gloucs hand Unicorns second thrashing

Gloucestershire 156 for 1 (Marshall 67, Klinger 52) beat Unicorns 153 for 9 (Payne 3-29) by nine wickets

Unicorns' awful start to the Yorkshire Bank 40 continued after they were thrashed by Gloucestershire by nine wickets. Set just 154 for victory, the visitors needed just 23.2 overs to reach the target.

Unicorns, who lost their Group C opener against Somerset by eight wickets, won the toss and elected to bat at Sir Paul Getty's Ground. But they failed to build significant partnerships and posted a total that Hamish Marshall, with 67, and captain Michael Klinger 52 not out, gobbled up.

Unicorns lost their first wicket halfway through the second over when wicketkeeper Lewis Hill was caught by Alex Gidman off the bowling of brother Will. Tom Lancefield and Michael O'Shea looked to build steadily, but opener Lancefield went for 16 from 35 balls, with Gidman picking up his second wicket as Chris Dent took the catch.

Gary Park and O'Shea put on 40 for the third wicket before the former fell lbw to Ed Young for 23 to leave Unicorns 82 for 3 in the 23rd over.

O'Shea's resolute innings came to an end just two overs later as he was trapped in front by Benny Howell for 41 and things got worse for Unicorns when Scott Elstone went for 15, caught by Ian Cockbain off David Payne. Five down then became six when Aneurin Norman was dismissed by Graeme McCarter for a duck.

Payne quickly removed Robert Woolley for 4 and Paul Hindmarch for a duck to leave Unicorns 130 for 8. Skipper Keith Parsons, 40-years-old, went lbw to Young for 28 and it took Luke Beaven and Josh Poysden to ensure Unicorns batted out the 40 overs.

Gloucestershire were in no mood to limp towards the low target as they moved to 61 without loss in the opening 10 overs with Marshall leading the way with 36 from 35 balls. He reached his half century with a six halfway through the 12th over, reaching the landmark off just 45 balls, while at the other end Klinger was happy to play a supporting role.

The partnership was finally ended with the score on 111 when Marshall was caught by Park off the bowling of Beaven, but the damage was done and Klinger and Dent - who smashed 29 off 11 balls saw them home.

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  • Cyril on May 7, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Having such a weak side in a group competition presents some problems:

    1) If matches are rained off the County side lose points that were pretty much guaranteed. So the weather has far too much influence on the table.

    2) Net run rates are used to determine the best runner up, any side in the Unicorns group should have superior net run rate due to the ease of victory. Last season the best net run rate and the third best were in the Unicorns group.

    3) Attendances for matches against the Unicorns will be lower.

    4) Does anyone go to watch the Unicorns "home" matches?

    5) I know it was decided by public vote, but the Unicorns is a stupid name.

  • Mark on May 7, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    In past seasons the Unicorns have had some pretty good performances, but this is doing no one any good. A scratch side like this will always struggle to perform.

    In the past we had an expanded Gillette/NatWest competition in which the Minor Counties and County Board XIs battled through preliminary rounds for the right to a plumb tie against the First Class counties. The competition was a pure knock-out with no dead matches and players learning to play under pressure where there were no second chances. Now, we have a system where if a side loses today it will get another chance in a few more days to rectify: the pressure is much less.

    Good performance from Gloucestershire, but it is almost impossible to put it in context because the opposition are so weak. There are suggestions though that the batting is beginning t find its feet

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