Mitchell's second ton seals six-wicket win
Worcestershire 278 and 339 for 4 beat Gloucestershire 480 and 136
Daryl Mitchell's second century of the match and 94 from Moeen Ali led Worcestershire to a six-wicket win over Gloucestershire in their County Championship Division Two clash at Cheltenham. Mitchell, who finished 134 not out, and Ali put on 181 for the fourth wicket as Worcestershire reached their target of 339 with 14.2 overs remaining and for the loss of just four wickets.
Worcestershire captain Vikram Solanki also played an important part in his side's fourth Championship win of the summer, contributing 64 to a second-wicket stand of 96 with Mitchell. It was a bitterly disappointing day for Gloucestershire, who had been hoping to increase the pressure on Sussex and Glamorgan at the top of the Division Two table.
Gloucestershire began the day looking to register their first County Championship victory at the College Ground since they beat Sussex in 2001. They enjoyed an early success when, in the third over of the day, David Wheeldon was caught down the legside by wicketkeeper Jonathan Batty off Gemaal Hussain.
But that proved to be Gloucestershire's only success of the morning session as Mitchell, who had made 104 in the first innings, and Solanki batted with great patience to take the score on to 73 for 1 from 35.4 overs at the interval, which was taken two balls early due to rain.
The first boundary of the innings did not arrive until the 15th over - a straight drive by Solanki off Hussain - and 50 was not reached until the 30th over. Solanki, on 22, survived a sharp chance to Chris Taylor at short leg off left-arm spinner Vikram Banerjee. Other than that, he played with increasing confidence and fluency on his way to a 92-ball half-century, which he reached with a boundary driven through extra cover off Hussain.
Mitchell and Solanki had put on 96 for the second wicket when Jon Lewis dismissed Solanki, who could count himself unlucky to fall victim to a superb diving catch by Taylor at midwicket. Shakib Al Hasan got off the mark by sweeping Banerjee for six over midwicket and hit the next ball for four to the same area. But the Bangladesh allrounder rather recklessly tried another big hit off the next delivery and holed out to Will Porterfield on the midwicket boundary.
That brought Ali to the middle and he and Mitchell saw Worcestershire through to 202 for 3 at tea with few alarms. The biggest escape came when Ali, on 28, was put down by Porterfield at extra cover off James Franklin.
Worcestershire now had victory in mind and Mitchell confirmed their intentions by pulling three successive fours off Anthony Ireland, the last of which was all-run. Mitchell had required 152 balls to reach his half-century, but he needed just 66 more to reach his second ton of the game, which arrived when he straight-drove a single off Banerjee.
Ali reached his fifty from 84 deliveries and looked set for a hundred until he drove a return catch to Franklin, shortly after the second new ball had been taken. His 124-ball innings contained 15 fours, the majority of which were driven through the off-side.
There was no dislodging Mitchell, though, who ended with 16 fours in his 256-ball innings. Alexei Kervezee hit Banerjee for six over long-off and ended the match in the same over by driving him for another boundary to long-on.