Leicestershire 295 and 147 for 1 v Gloucestershire 159
Leicestershire dominated the second day of the County Championship game against Gloucestershire at Grace Road to keep alive their slim chances of promotion. After dismissing Gloucestershire for 159 Leicestershire moved into a commanding position by reaching 147 for 1 at stumps to lead by 283 runs.
Greg Smith was still there at the close on 70 having shared stands of 69 with Matt Boyce and 78 with Jacques Du Toit to complete an impressive day for the home side. But it was a feeble batting performance from Gloucestershire who still harbour hopes of snatching the second promotion place from Division Two. After the start was delayed for 45 minutes because of early morning mist and damp conditions, Gloucestershire lost their last eight wickets for 105 runs in 45 overs.
It would have been an even lower total but for a determined innings of 61 from Hamish Marshall. The next-highest contribution came from opener Jonathan Batty who made 29. Batty began the day on 24 with Gloucestershire 241 behind at their overnight 54 for 2. But having added five runs to his score Batty was caught behind off Matthew Hoggard to bring to an end a third wicket stand of 71 with Marshall.
It proved to be the last partnership of any substance as the Gloucestershire innings subsided in the face of some accurate bowling from Leicestershire's seamers and spinners. Nathan Buck picked up his third wicket of the innings when he squared up Alex Gidman to find the edge and provide wicketkeeper Tom New with another comfortable catch.
Marshall however remained defiant reaching 50 off 72 balls with eight fours. But the turning point came when Nadeem Malik dismissed both Marshall and Chris Taylor in the last over before lunch leaving Gloucestershire in disarray at 117 for 6.
It was turgid fare after the break as Gloucestershire scored 38 runs in 21 overs before spinners Claude Henderson and Jigar Naik both took two wickets in an over. Henderson caught and bowled James Franklin for 23 and then had Jon Lewis lbw. Naik then brought the innings to an end by having Ed Young taken at slip and Anthony Ireland caught at mid-on.
Naik finished with 2 for 9 off 3.5 overs while Henderson conceded only 17 runs in 18 overs for his two wickets. Buck claimed 3 for 47 and two wickets fell in an over on four occasions.
Leicestershire tightened the screw even further as Smith and Boyce confidently put together a partnership of 69 that ended when Boyce mistimed a pull off Franklin and was caught at mid wicket. But there were no more alarms as Smith reached 50 off 89 balls and, along with Du Toit, steered Leicestershire safely through to the close and into a match-winning position.
Leics vs Gloucs
County Championship Division Two
England Domestic Season