Gloucestershire v Leicestershire, Specsavers Championship Div Two, Bristol, 3rd day April 16, 2017

Norwell's ten compound Leicestershire early woes

ECB Reporters Network

Gloucestershire 466 for 8 dec (Tavare 101, van Buuren 79, Mustard 72, Taylor 60) beat Leicestershire 259 (Eckersley 88, Pettini 54, Norwell 5-66) and 201 (Eckersley 85, Norwell 5-33) by an innings and six runs

It was a memorable match for Liam Norwell © Getty Images

Gloucestershire picked up their first Specsavers County Championship victory of the season by beating Leicestershire by an innings and six runs at The Brightside Ground in Bristol.

Having scored 466 for 8 declared in their first innings, Phil Mustard's side bowled out Leicestershire twice, inside two days, with Liam Norwell returning match-winning figures of 10 for 99.

The win will certainly go some way towards softening the blow of last week's heavy defeat at the hands of Kent. For Leicestershire, however, there is little or no consolation. That's two chastening defeats in as many games.

Resuming on 165 for 6 on day three, the visitors soon found themselves in trouble at the hands of Norwell, who bowled very well indeed from the Ashley Down End. The Dorset-born seamer sent back Clint McKay in the first over of the day to celebrate his 200th first-class wicket.

To their credit, Ned Eckersley and Richard Jones proved what was capable with an ounce of application and a genuine appetite for the fight, as they added 89 for the eighth wicket. Unfortunately, for the visitors, it was never likely to be enough to help the Foxes avoid the follow on and subsequently, another disappointing loss.

Eckersley led the way with 88 off 103 balls, having passed 50 off 66 deliveries. However, when he departed, bowled by Norwell, at 255 for 8, Leicestershire were still well short of their initial target of saving the follow on.

Gavin Griffiths became Norwell's fifth victim of the innings, four runs later, and with Colin Ackermann unable to bat after retiring hurt on day two, their innings came to a close on 259 for 9.

Unfortunately for Leicestershire, whose second innings progressed to 6 for 0 at lunch, the afternoon session was every bit a disappointing. And it was that man Norwell who was once again responsible.

Bowling in tandem with David Payne, Norwell ripped the heart out of Leicestershire's top and middle order. After Payne had kicked off the session by having Paul Horton caught by wicketkeeper Mustard for 6, Norwell sent back Harry Dearden, Neil Dexter and Mark Pettini during a seven-over spell that saw him return the impressive figures of 3 for 19.

When Payne added his second wicket, that of Mark Cosgrove at 51 for 5, the game looked as though it would be all over by tea.

Thankfully, for Leicestershire, Eckersley knuckled down to the task in hand and added 86 with Ben Raine for the sixth wicket. Having helped himself to a first half century of the summer in the first innings, Eckersley was unbeaten on 53 at tea, having passed 50 off as many balls, with eight fours. The pair had looked in little trouble until Raine carelessly ran himself out for 42.

McKay's cameo - 29 off 39 deliveries - once again held up Gloucestershire. However, when Norwell had the Australian caught in the slips by George Hankins, shortly after tea, the end was nigh.

Mustard picked up a wonderful catch to send back Richard Jones in Payne's next over and though Eckersley batted beautifully for 85, he finally holed out to Jack Taylor on the point boundary off the bowling of Norwell. A fitting end for the bowler who deservedly received a standing ovation from those who saw it.

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  • Mark on April 18, 2017, 5:38 GMT

    Hopefully this result is more indicative of Gloucestershire's true level than the Kent game. Pleased for Will Tavaré and Liam Norwell who have both shown their worth and who have been ably supported by a host of other players. The result will do the side's confidence a lot of good. Leicestershire, in contrast, seem to be staggering from crisis to crisis and are right back to the times of consecutive wooden spoons.

  • Terry on April 17, 2017, 15:24 GMT

    I am perplexed that Neil Dexter is listed as medium fast but Liam Norwell is listed as medium pace on Cricinfo. I know which I'd rather be facing.

  • John on April 16, 2017, 16:42 GMT

    a good win. Liam Norwell and David Payne bowled well in both innings. The back up seamers did not bowl quite so well to put it mildly. I do hope Leicester get over this poor start to the season, the championship needs 18 good teams.

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