Gloucestershire 280 and 16 for 0 need 172 more runs to beat Leicestershire 250 and 217
Gloucestershire looked on course for their first win of the season at the end of the third day against Leicestershire at Grace Road. They bowled out the hosts for 217 in their second innings to leave a victory target of 188, and had reached 16 without loss off seven overs by the close.
Will Gidman took 4 for 39 and Benny Howell 3 for 39 as Leicestershire limped along at just over two runs an over throughout the day. Ned Eckersley top scored with 45 and there were only two partnerships 50 or better, with the home side completely shackled by an accurate Gloucestershire attack on a slow paced pitch. The result was that Leicestershire added only 185 runs in 87 overs to their overnight 32 for 2, falling well short of the sort of target they hoped to set Gloucestershire.
It did not take Gidman long to make the first breakthrough of the day when he had nightwatchman Ollie Freckingham lbw in his second over of the morning. That brought in Ramnaresh Sarwan, and he survived a sharp chance to wicketkeeper Cameron Herring off Howell when he had made 9.
But Eckersley, having added 25 to his overnight 20, was not so fortunate against the same bowler, beaten by a swinging delivery that clipped the off stump. At 69 for 4 it was an uphill battle for Leicestershire but Sarwan and Josh Cobb buckled down to share a stand of 76 for the fifth wicket.
Cobb occasionally chanced his arm and, having just cleared mid-off with one shot, followed it up by taking successive boundaries off Craig Miles to raise the half-century partnership. But just when it seemed Leicestershire had steered their way out of trouble they hit the buffers again, with three wickets falling for 12 runs in seven overs.
Cobb was the first of them, caught low down at midwicket off Howell for 43 and Sarwan followed in the seamer's next over. The Leicestershire captain was bowled off an inside edge after scoring 44 off 141 balls with six boundaries.
Shiv Thakor was bowled round his legs by Jack Taylor before Matt Boyce and Jigar Naik shared a stand of 50 to take Leicestershire past the 200 mark. But the second new ball brought a quick end to the innings as Gidman and Miles put the finishing touches to an impressive Gloucestershire bowling performance.