County suffer knock-out blow

First published in WCCC

WORCESTERSHIRE’S Clydesdale Bank 40 knock-out qualification hopes took a blow with a 109-run crushing by rivals Gloucestershire at New Road.

Will Gidman made his first limited-overs half-century in the Gladiators’ total of 238-6 and then took 2-10 as the Royals limped to 129 all out after losing half their side for just 25.

Worcestershire’s lowest 40-over score of 86 looked some way off until James Cameron (35) and Gareth Andrew (23) mustered a face-saving partnership of 46 with the help of a couple of fielding lapses by Gloucestershire.

The failure of the front-line batsman was due to good, accurate seam bowling and a sluggish pitch which shackled the stroke-makers.

When Vikram Solanki drove to mid-on in Gidman’s third over, he set the pattern for a dramatic collapse.

Moeen Ali edged a flashing drive off James Fuller and Phil Hughes, after successive CB40 centuries against county opposition, was one of two victims in a lively spell by David Payne.

Cameron was the only specialist batsman to survive for any length of time but was brilliantly caught by Kane Williamson, back-pedalling towards long on for off-spinner Jack Taylor’s first success in a spell of 2-21.

Earlier, the Gidman brothers, with fifties of contrasting styles, underpinned an innings that came to life when the last seven overs produced 64 runs.

Left-hander Will continued his adjustment to a new role as a one-day opener with only three fours in making 76 from 98 balls and Alex launched the late surge with a 6-4-4-6 sequence off successive deliveries from Andrew.

Those were the first boundaries in 16 overs as Gloucestershire tired of picking off singles on the stodgy surface.

Hamish Marshall’s early rush was quickly halted when he scooped up an easy catch and Benny Howell was barely under way when Hughes held a more difficult chance at point.

Both wickets fell to the emerging left-arm seamer Jack Shantry and at the end of the innings he took his CB40 tally to 14 wickets in six games this season after yorking Alex Gidman for 59.

Shantry also bowled Ian Cockbain in his 4-37 but Worcestershire’s support bowlers had limited success.

The hosts slumped to their third Group ‘A’ defeat from six games.

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