Tavaré begins festival with third ton
Gloucestershire 304 for 6 (Tavaré 135, Gidman 88*, Taylor 3-43) v Derbyshire
A century from Will Tavare and an unbeaten 88 from Will Gidman took Gloucestershire to 304 for 6 on the opening day of the 2014 Cheltenham festival.
Tavare continued his impressive debut season in county cricket with 17 fours and two sixes in his 269-ball innings of 135, while Gidman also has a hundred in his sights after striking 14 boundaries.
The first two sessions of the day were evenly contested, but Tavare and Gidman upped the tempo after tea and had put on 175 in 45 overs for the fifth wicket before the former was caught behind off Tom Taylor.
Teenage paceman Taylor also accounted for Alex Gidman and Benny Howell as he finished as Derbyshire's most successful bowler with 3 for 43 from 16 overs, while Tony Palladino also bowled well in taking 2 for 41 from 22.
After Gloucestershire captain Michael Klinger won the toss, the hosts had to bat with patience and discipline in the morning session against some excellent new-ball bowling from Palladino and Mark Footitt.
Klinger, making his return after five weeks out with a broken toe, departed for 2 in the fifth over when Billy Godleman held a low catch at extra cover off Footitt. It became 34 for 2 when Taylor generated extra bounce from a delivery which found the edge of Alex Gidman's bat and was well held by the diving Wes Durston at second slip.
Tavare and Hamish Marshall took the score on to 77 for 2 off 32 overs at lunch, and the latter looked in excellent form until he shouldered arms to a ball from Palladino and was out lbw, having struck six fours in his 56-ball innings of 45. Palladino won another lbw verdict six overs later, this time against Ian Cockbain, and Gloucestershire appeared to be in a spot of trouble at 118 for four.
Tavare advanced to a patient half-century from 133 balls, but then began to play with more freedom against an attack that was starting to lose its earlier control. He pulled slow left-armer David Wainwright for six over midwicket before the tea interval and reached his century from the fourth ball after the interval in identical fashion. His third Championship century of the season came from 202 balls and included 11 fours as well as the two sixes.
Gidman brought up his 93-ball half-century with a cover-driven boundary off the back foot, and he greeted the arrival of the second new ball by cutting Footitt for three fours in one over.
Gidman enjoyed a slice of luck on 65 when Taylor missed a low chance at midwicket off Footitt, but otherwise batted with the confidence gained from the hundred he scored at the Ageas Bowl in Gloucestershire's last four-day outing.
Derbyshire finally had another wicket to celebrate in the 89th over when Tavare edged a Taylor delivery to wicketkeeper Gareth Cross, and the 24-year-old nephew of former England batsman Chris Tavare walked off to a standing ovation from the College Ground crowd. Taylor struck again when Howell played on to depart for four, but Gidman and Adam Rouse batted out the last three overs to bring an intriguing day's play to a close.
"It was really hard batting conditions early on," Tavare said. "It was quite a slow wicket with a bit of movement in it for the bowlers, so to get through that phase and to bat most of the day was very pleasing.
"We had our little goals, which we worked through, and it was a very good day for us on a tough wicket. They bowled well throughout the day, especially Tom Taylor, so the partnership between me and Will was pretty crucial."