Rudolph leads strong Glamorgan reply
Glamorgan 209 for 2 (Jacques 108*, Bragg 67) trail Gloucestershire 391 by 182 runs
Glamorgan openers Jacques Rudolph and Will Bragg made hay in the Westcountry sunshine as their match with Gloucestershire at Bristol headed in the direction of a high-scoring draw on the second day.
After the hosts had been bowled out for 391 from an overnight 308 for 5, Rudolph and Bragg put together a stand of 151 in 41.3 overs on a frustratingly bland pitch before Bragg fell for 67.
Rudolph went on to end the day unbeaten on 108, having reached his second century in successive Championship games off 152 balls, with 15 fours and a six. At 209 for 2, Glamorgan looked well placed to at least avoid defeat. Earlier, Michael Hogan had finished with 4 for 57 from 27 overs of wholehearted pace bowling, which helped restrict Gloucestershire to three batting points. Benny Howell's 47 was the only sizable contribution from their late order.
The morning session began with the hosts needing 42 from 14 overs to take a fourth bonus point. Their hopes of scoring quickly enough to achieve it were soon hit by a needless run out. Will Gidman played the ball firmly to mid-on and set off for a single that was not there. Tom Smith responded belatedly to the call, but was comfortably beaten by Hogan's throw and departed for 16.
When Gidman was caught behind off Jim Allenby for 20 it brought 17-year-old debutant Patrick Grieshaber to the crease. The young wicketkeeper acquitted himself well, making 10 off 44 balls and helping Howell add 36 valuable runs, but the fourth batting point was not secured as the hosts closed the 110th over on 329 for 7.
Grieshaber was caught at slip trying to force Dean Cosker off the back foot and at lunch Gloucestershire were 385 for 8, with Howell their main hope of reaching 400. They were bowled out nine runs short, Howell edging Hogan to slip and Matt Taylor lofting a catch to long-off to give Cosker a second wicket.
The pitch was offering little assistance to any type of bowling and Gloucestershire's attack were soon finding it no easier than their Glamorgan counterparts. Rudolph and Bragg took the visitors' reply to 78 off 26 overs by tea, Rudolph surviving one close shave when he top-edged a pull shot off Liam Norwell just short of Smith at deep square.
Grieshaber was presented with his Gloucestershire county cap during the tea interval. After the break Rudolph was first to his half-century off 81 balls, with nine fours. Bragg followed to the same landmark, having faced 97 deliveries and hit seven boundaries, the partnership having reached 114 at that point.
It was finally broken when Bragg chipped a catch to midwicket off left-arm spinner Smith, who claimed a second victim when Mark Wallace, on 17, was snapped up by Will Tavare at short-leg. By then the pitch was the main talking point.
Glamorgan coach Toby Radford said: ``It was a funny looking wicket when we examined at the start, with a lot of grass on it, yet very dry and cracked.
``We didn't really know how it was going to play, but it has turned out a lot flatter than you would have thought, considering the amount of grass. The bowlers have really had to toil to get any wickets and I thought ours stuck to their task well.''
Gloucestershire skipper Hamish Marshall added: ``We feel it is one of those pitches where the best time to bat is the first couple of days. If the weather stays the same, we hope some deterioration will kick in.''