Yorkshire keep Gough's dream alive
Yorkshire 205 for 4 (White 55, Rudolph 53*) beat Gloucestershire 201 (Adshead 71, Taylor 54, Bresnan 4-31, Hoggard 3-26)
Darren Gough's dream of finishing his career with a Lord's final appearance lives on after Yorkshire overcame Gloucestershire at Bristol. They made slightly heavy weather of the target, but a calm half-century from Jacques Rudolph guided them across the line with 35 balls to spare.
Incisive bowling from Tim Bresnan and Matthew Hoggard left Gloucestershire in a hole at 50 for 6, and it needed a stand of 82 between Stephen Adshead and Chris Taylor to give them something defendable. However, Yorkshire knew that if they kept their composure and batted sensibly the asking rate was always in hand.
Craig White anchored the first part of the chase with 55 although it took him 107 balls. Anthony McGrath was more fluent until he missed a straight ball from Mark Hardinges, and when Gerard Brophy followed swiftly there was a hint of pressure. Rudolph, though, assessed the situation and ensured he played out Gloucestershire's main bowlers. Jon Lewis gambled on using up the overs of his best bowlers, including himself, meaning that Rudolph and Adam Lyth were able to milk the remaining runs against the weak links.
Gough is now one win away from Lord's and, although he had one of his less effective days with the ball, he played a vital role when he won the toss and was able to send Gloucestershire into bat. The performances of Bresnan and Hoggard meant Gough's quiet innings didn't matter as they did most of the damage to leave the home side in deep trouble.
Earlier in the season Hoggard admitted he didn't enjoy bowling with the white ball - "I'm scared of the white ball, you know - I'm allergic to it," he joked - and his first over cost 10 to suggest his fears were well placed. However, he soon clicked into gear in his first game back since breaking his thumb against Durham two-and-a-half weeks ago.
Hoggard's first wicket came courtesy of a fine catch at point by Richard Pyrah as Hamish Marshall failed to get over the top of a long-hop. He then had Alex Gidman taken at midwicket and found Marcus North's outside edge.
At the other end Bresnan was an equal handful, claiming the key wicket of Craig Spearman, and returned later to mop up the tail. Given the problems Gloucestershire faced it was an impressive recovery to post over 200 as Adshead hit 71 off 73 balls after being dropped by Rudolph, at midwicket, off Adil Rashid on 17. Gloucestershire fell nearly five overs short of batting out their allocation, a clear indication of who was second best on the day.