Gloucestershire v Leicestershire, Bristol, 3rd day May 12, 2010

Gloucestershire eye comfortable win

Leicestershire 102 and 279 for 9 v Gloucestershire 376

Gloucestershire were left on the brink of their third consecutive County Championship win after rain and bad light wiped out 22 overs on the third day at Bristol.

Leicestershire's last-wicket pair of Jaques Du Toit and Matthew Hoggard safely negotiated 79 balls to leave their side 282 for 9 at the close after following on. That meant a lead of just eight runs.

Openers Paul Nixon (63) and Matt Boyce (62) were the main contributors, while Anthony Ireland (three for 84) was the most successful bowler. Leicestershire faced a backs-to-the-wall fight from the start of a day which began with them 122 without loss, but still 152 behind.

Boyce could add only three to his overnight score before the ninth ball of the morning saw him caught by Alex Gidman at first slip to give Gemaal Hussain his 30th Championship wicket of the season.

It was 125 for one and after four runs had been added there was a break for rain in which eight overs were lost. Nixon was in no mood to surrender his wicket lightly on the resumption and scored only three runs in the first 15 overs of the day before edging Anthony Ireland for a boundary.

The total had moved to 150 for one at lunch, with Nixon having progressed from an overnight 50 to 58. Having added five more to his score after the interval, the veteran wicketkeeper top edged a pull shot off Ireland and was well caught by Will Porterfield at backward square.

Nixon had faced 205 deliveries, but his colleagues could not match his application. Andrew McDonald had made only 12 when hooking a short ball from Gidman down the throat of James Franklin at deep square.

Will Jefferson had dropped down the order to number five because of a twisted ankle and had to bat with a runner. He was lbw for nine driving at Jon Lewis to make the score 205 for 4.

That was the first over with the second new ball and it soon brought another breakthrough as, without a run added, James Taylor was bowled playing a loose shot at Franklin, having played well for his 39.

Franklin took his second wicket when Tim New, on nine, was caught low in the slips by Chris Dent after edging a drive. At 219 for 6 with the ball still new, Leicestershire were staring down the barrel of defeat inside three days.

Du Toit and Claude Henderson did their best to avoid that ignominy, putting on 27 before more rain wiped out a further 10 overs. That partnership extended to 54 before Henderson (29) cut Ireland to the diving Chris Taylor at point.

Nathan Buck followed next ball, pushing forward to Ireland. Andrew Harris failed to trouble the scorers, but Gloucestershire could not force a win, even though Gidman claimed the extra half hour, which bad light curtailed with a possible four more overs remaining.