Gloucestershire v Leicestershire, LV= Championship, Div Two, Cheltenham, 2nd day July 16, 2015

Fuller keeps Gloucestershire's noses in front


Gloucestershire 218 (McKay 5-59) and 54 for 2 lead Leicestershire 215 (Fuller 4-35) by 57 runs

James Fuller was on target to take 4 for 35 © PA Photos

James Fuller produced his best return of the season to help Gloucestershire establish a narrow first-innings lead on the second day of the LV= County Championship match against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

Replying to Gloucestershire's 218, Leicestershire were all out for 215 inside 88 overs with Fuller claiming 4 for 35 from 15.2 overs.

But Charlie Shrek removed openers Will Tavare and Chris Dent in the final session to put the visitors on terms, Gloucestershire reaching the close on 54 for 2, a lead of 57.

Mark Cosgrove proved the mainstay of the Leicestershire innings, registering a gritty 74 from 155 balls with 10 fours to usher his side clear of trouble.

Forced to adopt an uncharacteristically cautious approach on a pitch that rendered batting problematic, Cosgrove required 94 deliveries to make his half-century and rode his luck on occasions.

He dominated stands of 40 and 31 with nightwatchman Jigar Naik and loan signing Greg Smith for the fourth and fifth wickets respectively and proved the glue that held the innings together.

Cosgrove's disciplined three-hour vigil finally came to an end when he aimed an expansive drive at Kieran Noema-Barnett and edged a catch behind.

But Leicestershire were 149 for 6 and within sight of parity by the time their captain departed in the 58th over.

Noema-Barnett also weighed in with the wicket of Smith, caught and bowled for 20, while Benny Howell finished with 2 for 28, these two demonstrating the virtue of taking the pace off the ball.

But Fuller was arguably the pick of the Gloucestershire bowlers. Used sparingly, his express pace caused Leicestershire problems throughout and, having removed top-order batsmen Angus Robson and Ned Eckersley the previous evening, he accounted for Aadil Ali and Clint McKay with the second new ball to finish with impressive figures.

Leicestershire were threatening to establish a first-innings lead when Fuller took the new ball and clean bowled Ali, whose 40 from 119 balls represented an object lesson in patience.

Craig Miles then served notice of his burgeoning talent, taking a sharp return catch to dismiss Ben Raine before closing the innings out with a brilliant diving catch on the long-off boundary to end McKay's brief sojourn.

Gloucestershire skipper Ian Cockbain will play no further part in the match after suffering a broken wrist in the nets prior to the start of play. He faces at least seven weeks on the side-lines and Michael Klinger will assume the captaincy for the foreseeable future.