Northamptonshire set to miss vital points

Northamptonshire 316 for 9 v Gloucestershire

Will Gidman took five wickets on an enthralling first day of Gloucestershire's promotion clash with Northamptonshire in the Division Two of the County Championship at Wantage Road.

Northamptonshire captain Andrew Hall made a fine 86 off 151 balls while Kyle Coetzer scored 84 off 177 deliveries as the second-placed hosts recovered from 50 for 4 to close on 316 for 9. David Willey also blasted 64 off just 69 balls in his first Championship game of the season with Gloucestershire seamer Will Gidman a constant menace to the home batsmen as he took 5 for 60.

The hosts came into this match one point ahead of third-placed Surrey while Gloucestershire, who are fourth, were nine points behind their opponents in the table. Hall won the toss and chose to bat in very windy conditions but the start was delayed for 25 minutes because of a wet outfield.

Rob Newton then fell in the second over when he was caught behind by Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Richard Coughtrie off Will Gidman. Three overs later, wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien followed him back to the pavilion when he slashed Jon Lewis to Coughtrie.

Northamptonshire then lost Alex Wakely for 13 with the final ball before lunch when he edged Will Gidman to New Zealand international Kane Williamson at third slip. In the second over of the afternoon, Will Gidman took out the off stump of David Sales, who faced four balls without scoring.

Scotland international Coetzer was dropped on 38 by Coughtrie off Ian Saxelby and he made the most of his let-off by completing a half-century off 124 balls. Hall also went past 50 off 86 balls but Coetzer finally departed when he was caught and bowled by Will Gidman to end a fifth-wicket stand of 121 in the penultimate over before tea.

Hall became the second batsman to perish in the 80s when he smashed David Payne to Hamish Marshall at backward point. Willey went on to bludgeon his way to a half-century off just 53 balls but his wicket sealed Will Gidman's third five-for of his career when Chris Dent took a superb catch at second slip.

Chaminda Vaas went when he edged Lewis to Gloucestershire captain Alex Gidman at first slip before the same bowler dismissed David Lucas for a duck with three overs left. James Middlebrook and Lee Daggett survived until the close and will resume tomorrow on 28 and 5 , respectively.