Group A, Radlett, August 21, 2022, Royal London One-Day Cup
(47.1/50 ov, T:257) 257/5

Gloucs won by 5 wickets (with 17 balls remaining)


Zafar Gohar curbs Stephen Eskinazi's run-strewn sequence

Ben Charlesworth's 97 organises well-judged run chase

ECB Reporters Network
Zafar Gohar appeals for another Gloucestershire wicket, Royal London Cup, Durham v Gloucestershire, Chester-le-Street, August 12, 2022

Zafar Gohar appeals for another Gloucestershire wicket  •  Getty Images

Gloucestershire 257 for 5 (Charlesworth 97, Harris 57) beat Middlesex 256 for 9 (Malan 81, Robson 59, Gohar 4-38) by five wickets
Zafar Gohar and Ben Charlesworth were the star turns as Gloucestershire beat high-flying Middlesex by five wickets in the Royal London Cup at Radlett to keep their faint hopes of a play-off place alive.
Gohar produced a spinning masterclass with four for 38, supported by two for 42 from Ajeet Singh-Dale as Middlesex were restricted to 256 for 9 despite 81 for Pieter Malan and another half century for Sam Robson.
Charlesworth ensured the chase was never overly taxing with a finely constructed 97, sharing a second-wicket stand of 141 with Marcus Harris (57) as the visitors eased home with 17 balls to spare.
Gloucestershire skipper Jack Taylor said: "Zafar is a gun bowler. I see him as one of the best spinners in the country. The amount of drop he gets on the ball and the control he's got. He has a mindset like a fast bowler too so wants to take wickets. He takes it on and does a good job for us."
The pitch was the same one Middlesex had scored 374 on in beating Warwickshire, but the used surface under cloudy skies proved a very different beast from 48 hours earlier.
Gloucestershire dropped an early clanger when Tom Price reprieved Stephen Eskinazi, spilling a sharp chance from the second ball of the match. His head in hands gesture suggested he feared the worst having given the highest scorer in the competition a life, but Gohar, given the new ball, induced the opener to mishit to cover in the following over. The Pakistani international soon snared another with a peach which took Mark Stoneman's inside edge to give James Bracey a simple catch.
At 19 for 2 the hosts were up against it and there were fears for Pieter Malan when he was struck on the hand by Paul Van Meekeran, but the South African carried on after treatment.
The recovery was a slow process, 12 overs passing without a boundary and Sam Robson going more than 40 balls before finding the fence.
Malan reached 50 from 71 balls with his sixth four, finding the boundary again with the next ball to raise the hundred partnership.
The stand reached 125, but just as the Middlesex pair pressed the go button, Gohar removed them both, pinning Robson lbw for a stoic 59 before having Malan caught at mid-wicket from the worst ball he bowled. Thereafter it was story of cameos, most notably from Martin Andersson whose unbeaten 31 took them just beyond 250.
Chasing a below par target, Gloucestershire were dealt an early blow when Toby Greatwood bowled Ben Wells with a beauty which hit the top of off-stump.
Charlesworth made up for dropping a howler in the field with two towering sixes as he raced to a run-a-ball 50. Marcus Harris proved a good foil as the stand past 100 and the Australian reached his own 50 with his first maximum as the chase gathered pace. By the time Luke Hollman broke the stand when Harris skied one to Eskinazi the visitors needed just over 100 to win.
Hollman was in the action again with a blinding catch to remove the dangerous Bracey cheaply from a Robson full toss. Ollie Price too came and went caught behind off Max Harris, and when Charlesworth fell three short of a century there was just the hint of a wobble.
But Taylor quelled nerves, lofting Robson for a huge six in making an unbeaten 48 as the visitors eased home.

Gloucs Innings
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Royal London One-Day Cup
Group A
Group B