June 16, 2000

Gloucestershire v Zimbabweans, Day 1

Zimbabwe batsman Murray Goodwin took advantage of a weakened Gloucestershire attack to post a career-best 194 on the opening day of the Vodafone Challenge Series match at Gloucester.

The home county decided to rest seven of the side which won them the Benson and Hedges at Lord's last weekend, and they struggled for penetration on a placid festival wicket.

Goodwin, a century maker against England at Trent Bridge earlier this month, showed why he has a Test average of just over 40 with some magnificent strokeplay.

He struck a six over midwicket off Tom Cotterell's left-arm spin and hit 30 fours in his 238-ball innings, the majority of which were cut or driven crisply through the offside.

Trevor Gripper and Alistair Campbell also contributed half-centuries as Zimbabwe eased to 405-4 from 104 overs by the close of play.

Zimbabwe skipper Andy Flower must have been delighted to win the toss in such good batting conditions, and the runs soon started to flow.

Craig Wishart was the only one to miss out. He had made 12 when he was caught by wicketkeeper off a defensive edge from Jon Lewis's bowling.

After that, Goodwin took control and he shared stands of 127 and 191 with Gripper and Campbell respectively.

Goodwin eased past his previous highest score of 166 not out, made in a Test match with Pakistan in Bulawayo two years ago.

And a double hundred looked on the cards until he offered no stroke to a delivery from Lewis, which cut in off the seam and won an lbw verdict from umpire Allan Jones.

Lewis, who had just taken the second new ball, also accounted for Campbell in the same over.

The former Zimbabwe captain had struck six fours in his 129-ball innings before he snicked a catch to Russell.

Ben Gannon had earlier marked his first appearance of the season for Gloucestershire by having Gripper caught at the wicket for an assured 54.

But there was nothing else for the home side to cheer as acting captain Tim Hancock used seven bowlers, including himself,on a day of unbroken sunshine.

Lewis was comfortably the most impressive of the attack, as he finished with 3-62 from 22 overs.

But it was a fruitless day for spinners Cotterell and Martyn Ball. They sent down 29 overs between them and returned 0-137.

The Flower brothers, Andy and Grant, had put on an unbroken 58 for the fifth wicket by the close.