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In-form Dent helps Gloucestershire to full batting points

Leicestershire 334 (Dexter 136, McKay 55, Cosgrove 54, Norwell 4-72) drew with Gloucestershire 403 for 2 dec (Dent 165, van Buuren 121*)
Scorecard

Gloucestershire opener Chris Dent maintained his impressive form with a third Championship century of the season as a little more than four hours of cricket were salvaged from another contest wrecked by rain.

In largely benign conditions, Dent, the 25-year-old left-hander, thoroughly dominated the Leicestershire attack for the most part on a final day spent chasing bonus points. Defeated finally on 165, Dent had survived a couple of scares but otherwise was particularly impressive, hitting the ball cleanly all around the wicket, picking up 112 runs in boundaries.

It was an innings that will only reinforce Gloucestershire coach Richard Dawson's conviction that Dent should be under consideration for the England Lions, who meet Pakistan A during the Cheltenham Festival in July.

South African Graeme van Buuren supplemented Dent's commanding performance with an authoritative century of his own - his second in the Championship - as Leicestershire's bowling was made to suffer in Gloucestershire's successful push for maximum batting bonus points.

They took 12 points to Leicestershire's eight, lifting them to third in the Division Two table after the two had begun the match level pegging.

Dent has scored 805 runs at 57.80 in first-class matches this year and has been in good form in white-ball cricket too, with two hundreds to his name in 50-over matches for good measure.

He might have been out on 81 when Ned Eckersley, keeping wicket while Niall O'Brien recovers from a calf injury, missed a leg-side catching chance off Richard Jones and perhaps should have been stumped on 147 off Neil Dexter but those were rare errors.

When play began at 1.10pm after warm sunshine had drawn enough of the moisture from a sodden outfield for play to begin, the start of Dent's five hours at the crease must have felt that it belonged to another match. He had been 34 from 83 deliveries before Tuesday's close, when scoring runs was a difficult process on a slow pitch.

More than five full sessions were then lost, including the whole of the third day, taking Leicestershire's tally of overs surrendered to the weather this season beyond 900 in the Championship alone. Yet while the outfield remained damp, the pitch looked to have quickened up.

Certainly, Dent and van Buuren made it appear that way. Dent reached his hundred from 163 balls and added the next 50 at a run a ball. Van Buuren, who had emerged after an hour when Gareth Roderick edged Jones to first slip, then turned an 82-ball half-century into a 123-ball hundred in a partnership that added 177 in just 34 overs.

Dent was beginning to take liberties a little when he was leg before to Dexter attempting to whip the ball through midwicket in search of another boundary, but his departure merely ushered in Michael Klinger, whose rapid unbeaten 45 helped take the total beyond 400 and the expected handshakes from just 89.1 overs.

Gloucs 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st138CDJ DentGH Roderick
2nd177CDJ DentGL van Buuren
3rd88M KlingerGL van Buuren