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

Gambhir ton leaves Gloucs up against it


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

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.

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  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 on September 1, 2013, 18:48 GMT

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

  • Dummy4 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

  • ESPN 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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..

  • Nish 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.

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