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Gidman leaves Leicestershire giddy

All-rounder Will Gidman returned career-best bowling figures as Gloucestershire assumed the upper hand on the opening day of the LV= County Championship Division Two match against Leicestershire at Bristol.

Extracting bite and movement off the seam, Gidman claimed 6-15 as the visitors were shot out for 117 in 41.2 overs.

Opening batsmen Michael Klinger and Chris Dent then raised 163 in 35 overs to help Gloucestershire reach the close on 210 for four, already 93 runs ahead with six first-innings wickets in hand.

Only opener Greg Smith offered any real resistance after Leicestershire were put in on a drying wicket. He made 54 from 83 balls, striking eight fours and a six, and was one of just four batsmen to reach double figures.

Gloucestershire's seam bowlers utilised early moisture in the pitch to fully justify Klinger's decision to field. Benny Howell weighed in with 3-19 in 8.2 overs and there was also a wicket for teenage paceman Craig Miles, while left-arm seamer Matt Taylor bowled tidily on his first-class debut.

But it was Gidman who did most to undermine the opposition in a new-ball burst of 3-11 in nine overs during the morning session.

Leicestershire opener Angus Robson had a first-class debut to forget, pushing at a ball of full length from Gidman and offering a catch behind without scoring.

Two wickets then fell with the score on 37, Ned Eckersley fending a sharp delivery to Dent at second slip and Matthew Boyce departing lbw for a duck. Boyce appeared to get more than a little bat on the ball and trudged off shaking his head in disbelief.

There was no doubting the validity of the next dismissal, Miles locating Shiv Thakor's outside edge and Gareth Roderick taking a comfortable catch behind, before Howell pinned Josh Cobb on the front foot for five.

Not surprisingly, Klinger threw the ball to Gidman immediately after lunch and he again made his presence felt in an incisive burst of 3-4 in 16 balls.

Having resisted manfully during the morning session, Smith departed for 54, held at first slip by Alex Gidman. The brothers then combined once more as James Sykes succumbed in identical fashion, and Ben Raine was trapped lbw for 12.

Howell bowled Ollie Freckingham for four and had Alex Wyatt held by Klinger at second slip, at which point Leicestershire had lost six wickets for the addition of just 26 runs.

Klinger and Dent afforded Gloucestershire's reply the perfect start and the home side were already 46 runs to the good when the latter cut a short-pitched delivery from Sykes to backward point for 77.

Dent faced 106 balls, struck 13 fours and passed 1,000 first-class runs for the season before surrendering his wicket within sight of what would have been his fourth century of the campaign.

Klinger fell 14 runs short of a hundred, driving loosely at a ball outside off stump from Thakor and edging to wicketkeeper Eckersley.

Alex Gidman and Roderick then departed in quick succession, leaving Hamish Marshall and Howell to see out the final eight overs.

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