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Staff and agencies
July 26, 2000
Photo © Gary M Prior / AllSport
Gloucestershire opener Tim Hancock has described as "very satisfying" his team's sixty-two run NatWest Trophy quarter-final victory over Northamptonshire at Bristol today.
In exactly the sort of big-occasion atmosphere that allows players to reclaim the spotlight, Hancock returned from persistent injury troubles to score a crucial first one-day century of the season and lead his team to an imposing 280/8 in the morning session. Showing few ill-effects from a serious hand injury that has badly disrupted his summer and prevented him from appearing in a single NatWest Trophy match before today, he was at his delightful, free-stroking best in his 110 and the obvious choice as man of the match.
"I was very pleased with today," said Hancock after watching as his bowlers reduced the visitors to 218/9 in reply. "We always felt that if we got a good total we could defend it.
"Northants are a highly-rated batting side, and we did well with the ball again. It was a very satisfying win.
"It is always nice to get a hundred but mainly I am very pleased to win, to be honest."
As for the injury itself, Hancock was quick to attest to the frustration it had caused him. "It was my first ever injury and I was fairly bored for four weeks doing nothing."
It's doubtful too many among a delighted local crowd were similarly bored by his batting today nor will be as he and his teammates line up in a home semi-final against Lancashire again in a fortnight's time. And that's even if there exists the odd hint that this all-conquering one-day team's relentless march into a succession of one-day finals is starting to become a little too monotonous for some around the country.
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