Gloucestershire v Essex, Bristol, 3rd day August 30, 2013

Gambhir ton leaves Gloucs up against it

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Gloucestershire 254 and 19 for 0 need a further 413 runs to beat Essex 400 and 285 for 4 (Gambhir 106, Mickleburgh 86)
Scorecard

Gautam Gambhir struck his first century for Essex to help his side to a position of complete dominance against Gloucestershire. The India opener hit 106 and piled on 201 runs with opening partner Jaik Mickleburgh (86) before the visitors declared on the third evening.

Gloucestershire require a further 413 on the final day after closing on 19 without loss when bad light set in, with much resting on captain Michael Klinger and Chris Dent.

An unbeaten, maiden first-class fifty by Craig Miles, part of an unlikely 78-run stand for the last wicket with Graeme McCarter, had earlier ensured Klinger's side avoided following on. Tailenders Miles and McCarter were greeted first up with a hostile spell from left-arm paceman Tymal Mills, tearing in from the Ashley Down Road end, yet both showed admirable heart as well as technique.

Miles, 19, is probably only batting at No. 11 due to his tender years and he became only the sixth Gloucestershire player to make a half-century in that position with some handsome drives and sensible back-foot manoeuvring. His wicket would remain intact, the teenager cashing in on Essex's refusal to consistently pitch the ball up or introduce spinner Monty Panesar.

The hosts were eventually all out when the similarly impressive McCarter was run out by Reece Topley's direct hit from deep backward square, meaning the deficit stood at 146.

That had stretched to 178 by the start of the second session, heightening Gloucestershire's need for quick wickets to avoid being cut adrift in the contest. Instead Mickleburgh and Gambhir struck the right balance between attack and defence, the latter the first to reach 50 off 72 balls with the aid of seven boundaries.

The 31-year-old averages 44.18 from 51 Test matches and had too much class for a young attack, who are showing signs of weariness as September looms.

Mickleburgh required 116 deliveries to achieve the same feat, and six overs later Gambhir signalled the visitors' intent when he launched Benny Howell for six into the building site. A virtually identical shot by Mickleburgh yielded the same result before Gambhir reached a 141-ball hundred with a single off David Payne, and by tea Essex had amassed a huge advantage of 337 at 191 without loss.

Gambhir departed eight balls after the resumption, hooking Miles to Hamish Marshall on the square-leg boundary, having faced 149 balls and hit 12 fours and a six.

Mickleburgh holed out to the same fielder off Tom Smith in the next over and spinner Smith dismissed his namesake Greg for 40 via Alex Gidman's tumbling catch at backward point before Owais Shah was pinned leg before by Miles. Ryan ten Doeschate made 23 not out at a run a ball before the declaration came and Gloucestershire's reply started steadily.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | September 2, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    Welldone Gambhir, hoping more century,I want to see you in Team India playing 11 in every format.

  • POSTED BY on | September 1, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    chawla scored century too :-), is county cricket standard so low so piyush chawla better than Gauti

  • POSTED BY on | September 1, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    well done!my favourite player gambhir lets show you everyone in whole world that you have that ability and potential to play match winning innings like that one 2011 world cup and you are the one which should be in india team and they need a experienced opener in team

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | September 1, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    Well done Gauti. Let your bat do the talking and I'm sure you will be able to get back to the team soon.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    Scoring runs in County cricket won't ensure anything. Dhoni will ensure that he stays out of the team. Only if Dhoni falls from grace due to loss of form, he has a chance of getting back.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    If one century is the criteria for getting back to Indian team then the selectors would rather pick Chawla. He scored a century and is also a frontline spinner.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    Finally he got some runs. But this is not enough to back in to the indian team. This is normal performance. If he prove something different, then he can back. Otherwise no chance for him. Lots of innings he struggled, and after that he got this hundred. Who knows he keep this form.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    @Nahush Modi; yes but they can be inconsistent. Will Gidman (who got Gambhir in the first innings) is a good, hardworking bowler and decent lower-order batsman after the Chris Woakes fashion who if he played for a more fashionable county would probably be on England's radar, but he's the only one of the attack who's over 25. Miles is fast and willing, but also 19. McCarter and Payne are both in their early twenties and blow hot and cold (neither is having a great season either). Tom Smith is a sort of off-break/slow medium bowler on loan from Middlesex - I don't think he would have frightened Gambhir! Benny Howell was considered a part-timer until he took five wickets on a flat pitch in the early season.

    On another subject, great to see Gloucestershire show fight in the last two games - these are the situations last season where they would have collapsed in a limp heap. Full credit to Michael Klinger for putting some Aussie steel in the side. He's been superb as captain.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Well Done Gautam,make your presence felt for Essex team.Bravo this innings is well count for much needed confidence for your batting..

  • POSTED BY Capricorn60 on | August 31, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    We could definitely do with Gambhir's talents as an experienced opening option for the SA tour - so as long as he now continues to show some form & fitness on the county circuit, he deserves then to be in the squad for the SA tour later this year.

  • POSTED BY on | September 2, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    Welldone Gambhir, hoping more century,I want to see you in Team India playing 11 in every format.

  • POSTED BY on | September 1, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    chawla scored century too :-), is county cricket standard so low so piyush chawla better than Gauti

  • POSTED BY on | September 1, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    well done!my favourite player gambhir lets show you everyone in whole world that you have that ability and potential to play match winning innings like that one 2011 world cup and you are the one which should be in india team and they need a experienced opener in team

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | September 1, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    Well done Gauti. Let your bat do the talking and I'm sure you will be able to get back to the team soon.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    Scoring runs in County cricket won't ensure anything. Dhoni will ensure that he stays out of the team. Only if Dhoni falls from grace due to loss of form, he has a chance of getting back.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    If one century is the criteria for getting back to Indian team then the selectors would rather pick Chawla. He scored a century and is also a frontline spinner.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    Finally he got some runs. But this is not enough to back in to the indian team. This is normal performance. If he prove something different, then he can back. Otherwise no chance for him. Lots of innings he struggled, and after that he got this hundred. Who knows he keep this form.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    @Nahush Modi; yes but they can be inconsistent. Will Gidman (who got Gambhir in the first innings) is a good, hardworking bowler and decent lower-order batsman after the Chris Woakes fashion who if he played for a more fashionable county would probably be on England's radar, but he's the only one of the attack who's over 25. Miles is fast and willing, but also 19. McCarter and Payne are both in their early twenties and blow hot and cold (neither is having a great season either). Tom Smith is a sort of off-break/slow medium bowler on loan from Middlesex - I don't think he would have frightened Gambhir! Benny Howell was considered a part-timer until he took five wickets on a flat pitch in the early season.

    On another subject, great to see Gloucestershire show fight in the last two games - these are the situations last season where they would have collapsed in a limp heap. Full credit to Michael Klinger for putting some Aussie steel in the side. He's been superb as captain.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Well Done Gautam,make your presence felt for Essex team.Bravo this innings is well count for much needed confidence for your batting..

  • POSTED BY Capricorn60 on | August 31, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    We could definitely do with Gambhir's talents as an experienced opening option for the SA tour - so as long as he now continues to show some form & fitness on the county circuit, he deserves then to be in the squad for the SA tour later this year.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    I have less knowledge about county cricket but can someone tell me does gloucestershire have a good bowling attack ?

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    Even though im not a fan of Gambhir. But if he performs well for essex and in our domestic season, then Dhawan and Gambhir could be a nice opening combination, because Steyn and Morkel aren't that great against left hand opening batsmen. And if they both can manage to see off the new ball, chances will be pretty good for Indian middle order in SA.

    Let's see. it's too early to call though.

  • POSTED BY balajik1968 on | August 31, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    Gambhir's biggest flaw is his tendency to open the face of the bat and play to third man. This will fetch runs in LOI's, but makes him vulnerable in Tests. That said, he is a superior batsman to Murali Vijay. Let us wait and watch.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    An excellent performance by Gautam Gambhir in alien conditions. It is not easy to get going in alien conditions straight away and that too after a break. Gambhir took his time but came good in the end during the 5th innings of his county season. Hope he comes back a better player from his stint in england like zak did after playing for worcestershire in 2006. Also India needs an opener of his caliber in SA where he played so well the last time the team went there. Best of luck to him for the remaining English season.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 2:34 GMT

    Finally Gambhir comes good. Hopefully he is selected for SA tour and does well there :)

  • POSTED BY D-Ascendant on | August 31, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    I hope Gambhir is just the start of a trend of more Indian players in county cricket. This is something capable of benefiting both sides greatly.

  • POSTED BY Tom_Bowler on | August 30, 2013, 23:21 GMT

    I've been plenty critical of Braveheart and our decision to sign him so to be fair it sounds like he played really well today, if the bowlers can finish it tomorrow he'll have definitely earned his corn.

    If before the end of the season he produces against a less callow attack when the chips are down I might need to reassess him.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 30, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    Way to go Gambhir!!!

  • POSTED BY on | August 30, 2013, 20:13 GMT

    In the first innings he got out for nil while in the second when he scored hundred there was no pressure and he cashed in as he did so often for India.

  • POSTED BY miyabhaifromhyderabad on | August 30, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    Well 1Done Gauti!! Score few more hundreds....I want to c u again in Indian colors soon,,,,u r too good than M Vijay!!

  • POSTED BY on | August 30, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    I hope he is able to make a good comeback after playing County as Zaheer did. His aggression is the key factor of his game and he has proved it in the most important games like T20 2007 WorldCup Final and 2011 50-50 World Cup Final that he is a player of pure class only if he remains focused. Like Kohli, he has a bad temperament too but he need to put all this behind. He is a far better opener than Rohit Sharma and Murli Vijay who are being tested out at his place. Gambhir and Dhawan could prove to be a powerful opening pair in all forms for India.

  • POSTED BY FlyingWicket on | August 30, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    At last some respite for former indian opener!

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  • POSTED BY FlyingWicket on | August 30, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    At last some respite for former indian opener!

  • POSTED BY on | August 30, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    I hope he is able to make a good comeback after playing County as Zaheer did. His aggression is the key factor of his game and he has proved it in the most important games like T20 2007 WorldCup Final and 2011 50-50 World Cup Final that he is a player of pure class only if he remains focused. Like Kohli, he has a bad temperament too but he need to put all this behind. He is a far better opener than Rohit Sharma and Murli Vijay who are being tested out at his place. Gambhir and Dhawan could prove to be a powerful opening pair in all forms for India.

  • POSTED BY miyabhaifromhyderabad on | August 30, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    Well 1Done Gauti!! Score few more hundreds....I want to c u again in Indian colors soon,,,,u r too good than M Vijay!!

  • POSTED BY on | August 30, 2013, 20:13 GMT

    In the first innings he got out for nil while in the second when he scored hundred there was no pressure and he cashed in as he did so often for India.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 30, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    Way to go Gambhir!!!

  • POSTED BY Tom_Bowler on | August 30, 2013, 23:21 GMT

    I've been plenty critical of Braveheart and our decision to sign him so to be fair it sounds like he played really well today, if the bowlers can finish it tomorrow he'll have definitely earned his corn.

    If before the end of the season he produces against a less callow attack when the chips are down I might need to reassess him.

  • POSTED BY D-Ascendant on | August 31, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    I hope Gambhir is just the start of a trend of more Indian players in county cricket. This is something capable of benefiting both sides greatly.

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 2:34 GMT

    Finally Gambhir comes good. Hopefully he is selected for SA tour and does well there :)

  • POSTED BY on | August 31, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    An excellent performance by Gautam Gambhir in alien conditions. It is not easy to get going in alien conditions straight away and that too after a break. Gambhir took his time but came good in the end during the 5th innings of his county season. Hope he comes back a better player from his stint in england like zak did after playing for worcestershire in 2006. Also India needs an opener of his caliber in SA where he played so well the last time the team went there. Best of luck to him for the remaining English season.

  • POSTED BY balajik1968 on | August 31, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    Gambhir's biggest flaw is his tendency to open the face of the bat and play to third man. This will fetch runs in LOI's, but makes him vulnerable in Tests. That said, he is a superior batsman to Murali Vijay. Let us wait and watch.