Spinners earn Gloucestershire tight victory
Gloucestershire 153 for 6 beat Middlesex 149 for 7 by four runs
Spinners Richard Dawson and Aaron Redmond played key roles as Gloucestershire gained only their third Friends Provident t20 win at the expense of Middlesex at Bristol.
The home side posted 153 for 6 after losing the toss, Hamish Marshall making 52 not out and Alex Gidman 42. There were two wickets each for Pedro Collins and Tim Murtagh. Middlesex looked favourites until Dawson (2 for 20) and Redmond (1 for 26) bowled eight tight overs of spin in mid-innings, helping to restrict the visitors to 149 for 7 and give their side victory by four runs.
Dawid Malan hit 44 off 39 balls, with five fours, but lacked support in a disappointing Middlesex batting effort. They needed 12 off the last over, but Steve Kirby bowled Malan with the first delivery and then kept the ball full to ensure there were no boundaries.
David Payne claimed 2 for 38 on his t20 debut, while leg-spinner Redmond's dismissal of Josh Davey was the first wicket since joining Gloucestershire for the remainder of the competition last week.
Earlier, the Gladiators had lost openers Will Porterfield and Redmond with only 24 runs on the board. Porterfield pulled a catch to deep midwicket off Collins and Redmond was caught behind driving at Tyrone Henderson.
It was 44 for 3 when James Franklin, on 22, overstretched to a delivery from Neil Dexter and was stumped by Ben Scott. Marshall survived a caught and bowled chance to Tom Smith on 10 and went on to share a fourth-wicket stand of 94 with skipper Gidman, who hit sixes off Smith and Murtagh in his 33-ball innings before being caught at long-on.
Marshall reached his half-century off 38 balls, with two fours and a six, but Dawson and Kadeer Ali perished in the bid for quick end-of-innings runs and Murtagh produced a tight last over.
Defeat cost Middlesex the chance of joining the clubs on 10 points in the South Division, while the result took Gloucestershire to six points from 10 games and just about kept their hopes of a top-four finish alive.