Evans shines as Northants triumph
Northamptonshire 186 and 243 beat Gloucestershire 86 and 249 by 94 runs
Luke Evans and Jack Brooks took three wickets apiece as Northamptonshire bowled out Gloucestershire for 249 to complete a 94-run victory in their County Championship Division Two match at Bristol.
Evans, in his first game since joining Northants on a month's loan from Durham, claimed the wickets of Alex Gidman, Chris Taylor and Gemaal Hussain as Gloucestershire, who started the day on 85 for 2, never threatened to get the 344 required to win.
Evans finished with three for 53, while Brooks accounted for Hamish Marshall, Jon Lewis and Steve Snell in his return of three for 55. Snell top-scored for Gloucestershire with 52 and his last-wicket partnership of 59 with Steve Kirby (22 not out) was the highest of the innings.
In perfect batting conditions, Gloucestershire must have fancied their chances of getting close to their target, but the loss of two wickets in the opening nine overs of the day meant it was always an uphill struggle. Kadeer Ali had not added to his overnight 29 when he was bowled by David Lucas, and Marshall departed for 27 when he snicked a delivery from Brooks to Andrew Hall at first slip.
Evans struck with his fourth ball of the day when Gloucestershire skipper Gidman edged a drive into the hands of Hall. Three overs later, Hall enjoyed success with the ball when James Franklin played over the top of a full-length delivery and was bowled.
Taylor offered a few defiant blows, most notably a hooked six behind square off Evans but the paceman had his revenge next ball when Taylor was caught by Stephen Peters at extra cover for 31.Evans had more to celebrate in his next over when Hussain gloved a legside catch to wicketkeeper Paul Harrison, which made it 179 for 8.
Snell hooked Hall for six over long-leg and Jon Lewis greeted the introduction of Brooks into the attack by hitting him for four through extra cover. Lewis, though, was dismissed next ball when he got a thin-edge to a ball from Brooks and Harrison took the low catch.
Gloucestershire took lunch on 197 for 9 and Snell and Kirby managed to prolong the game by nearly 11 overs after the interval. Kirby brought up the 200 by straight-driving Brooks for three, while Snell hit the same bowler for four through wide long-on and lofted a delivery from David Lucas over the midwicket rope for six.
Evans returned to the attack in the 68th over and nearly wrapped up the match with his second ball. But Snell, on 40, was reprieved when Mal Loye spilled a waist-high chance at gully. Snell progressed to a 58-ball half-century before Brooks had him leg before to bring the match to an end.
Northamptonshire will be delighted to have bounced back from last week's defeat by Leicestershire, while Gloucestershire will hope to fare better when Sussex visit Bristol later this week.