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Bristol, June 11 - 14, 2023, County Championship Division Two
368 & 202
(T:221) 350 & 221/5

Leics won by 5 wickets


Lewis Hill hundred steers Leicestershire as Zaman Akhter looks lively

Draw looms after captain's hundred drags visitors close to first-innings parity

ECB Reporters Network
Lewis Hill's century underpinned Leicestershire's first innings  •  Getty Images

Lewis Hill's century underpinned Leicestershire's first innings  •  Getty Images

Gloucestershire 368 (O Price 85, Lamb 70, Dale 52, Wright 3-40) and 9 for 0 lead Leicestershire 350 (Hill 103, Patel 59, Akhter 4-33) by 27 runs
Lewis Hill maintained concentration in energy-sapping heat to score his seventh first-class century as Leicestershire battled for first-innings parity on the third day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Bristol.
The visiting skipper's 103 occupied nearly five and a half hours and led his side to a total of 350 in reply to 368. Rishi Patel cracked 59 off 70 balls, while Louis Kimber contributed 34 before being given out for obstructing the field.
Seamer Zaman Akhter was the most successful Gloucestershire bowler with four for 33 from 17 overs in only his third first-class match. By the close, the hosts had made nine without loss in their second innings and a draw looks by far the most likely outcome tomorrow.
A sweltering day began with Leicestershire 23 without loss. Openers Patel and Sol Budinger set about the task of reducing the deficit of 345 in positive manner.
Patel looked in prime form, timing the ball sweetly and pulling a six off Tom Price as the pair brought up fifty in the seventh over of the morning.
They looked set to build a significantly larger stand when, with the total 66, Budinger, on 21, aimed an ugly cross-batted swing at a wide delivery from Akhter and edged to wicketkeeper James Bracey.
Patel struck fours off successive deliveries from Danny Lamb to reach an impressive 56-ball half-century and followed up with a straight six off Zafar Gohar's first over, the 19th of the innings.
It was a surprise when Patel fell in the following over, edging a defensive shot off Akhter to second slip with the score on 85. A watchful Hill took 24 balls to get off the mark, before sweeping two fours off Gohar.
Akhter's initial five-over spell from the Ashley Down Road End finished with figures of two for five, reward for the 24-year-old generating sustained pace and bounce.
At lunch, the scoreboard read 132 for two off 37 overs, with Hill unbeaten on 34. The afternoon session was interrupted at just after 2.15pm by a fire alarm, triggered by the effects of the high temperatures, which resulted in the pavilion being evacuated.
Among those required to leave the building were the scorers, so play was held up. But after a ten-minute delay, normal service was resumed. Colin Ackermann contributed 21 to a stand of 66 with Hill before cutting at a wide delivery from Akhter and edging to Ben Charlesworth at first slip.
Two runs off Tom Price took Hill to a half-century off 108 balls, with six fours, out of a total of 182 for three. Slowly but surely, Leicestershire moved to within striking distance of their opponents' first-innings total.
They lost former Gloucestershire player Peter Handscomb for 25 with the score on 193 when off-spinner Ollie Price squeezed a delivery through his back-foot defence to clip off stump.
But by tea Kimber had helped the indefatigable Hill add 40 for the fifth wicket and their team looked comfortably placed at 233 for four.
The pair took the score to 258 before Kimber, on 34, departed in unusual fashion, given out after playing a delivery from off-spinner Ollie Price defensively into the ground, up onto his shoulder and then flicking the ball away with a hand.
Price immediately appealed for obstruction and umpires Graham Lloyd and Paul Baldwin consulted before quickly sending Kimber on his way.
Hill had an anxious moment on 83 when he played a delivery from Tom Price with the second new ball to gully and was called for a suicidal single by Rehan Ahmed, Miles Hammond's throw to the bowler's end lacking the necessary accuracy to run him out.
It was all the assistance Hill required to move to three figures off 205 balls, with 12 fours. But Akhter wasn't finished and produced a brute of a short ball, which Ahmed, having breezed to 28 off 32 balls, could only fend to second slip.
Hill's long vigil ended when he gave a return catch to Ollie Price and Gohar quickly sent back Chris Wright and Callum Parkinson. But Tom Scriven's 30 before falling lbw to Ollie Price (three for 40) ensured a third batting point for Leicestershire.

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County Championship Division Two