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Leicestershire find no release after de Bruyn exit

Gloucestershire 218 for 3 (Dent 57, Roderick 57) trail Leicestershire 222 (Cosgrove 92, Shaw 4-54) by four runs

Gloucestershire's top order batsmen put the visitors into a strong position, trailing Leicestershire by just five runs with seven first innings wickets in hand, at the end of the second day of the Specsavers County Championship match at the Fischer County Ground.

An opening partnership of 96, the biggest of the game so far, between openers Cameron Bancroft and Chris Dent laid the foundations for Gloucestershire after the seamers had continued the good work they had begun on day one, when only 26.3 overs had been possible.

Resuming on 90 for 4, winless Leicestershire quickly lost Neil Dexter, the South African wafting at a wide delivery from Josh Shaw to give Gareth Roderick a simple catch behind the wicket.

Leicestershire captain Mark Cosgrove, not out 38 overnight, picked up where he had left off, twice guiding Liam Norwell to the boundary behind square on the off-side as he passed 50. The Australian was given good support by Lewis Hill in adding 68 for the sixth wicket before Cosgrove, on 92, was beaten by a full in-swinging delivery from the left-arm seamer to be dismissed leg before.

Ben Raine was also leg before, to a gently seaming delivery from Kieran Noema-Barnett that would have gone on to hit the left-hander's leg stump, and the New Zealander picked up a second wicket when Matt Pillans' off-side force sent the ball looping towards point, where Jack Taylor held the low catch.

Lewis Hill cut a short wide delivery from Josh Shaw straight to Taylor at point, before Clint McKay's lofted off-drive was well held by George Hankins at short extra cover, again off the bowling of Shaw, to end the innings.

With the pitch, green-tinged throughout the damp first day, beginning to flatten, Bancroft and Dent found batting a rather more straightforward prospect than their Leicestershire counter-parts, though to what extent that was down to less effective bowling was a matter of debate.

The Foxes may also have been unfortunate to have several vociferous leg before appeals turned down, but they did not help themselves by failing to hold their catches, wicketkeeper Hill being particularly culpable when he grassed a straightforward chance given by Bancroft when he edged a Raine delivery on 21.

Hill partially redeemed himself when Bancroft thin-edged Dexter on 42, but Dent and then Roderick both passed 50. Dent eventually fell leg before to Raine, and Roderick was furious with himself after guiding a wide delivery from Dexter straight to first slip, but Gloucestershire had almost overhauled Leicestershire's first innings score when bad light ended play 13.1 overs early.