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Lancs edge closer to crown

Will Gidman finished with 5-61 as Lancashire declared their first innings on 310 for eight before Gloucestershire reached 90 for three on the third day of the LV= County Championship match at Bristol.

The visitors earned a third batting point to close in further on the Division Two title after starting the day on 292 for seven. Oliver Newby secured it with a boundary off the final ball of the 110th over.

By then Gidman had claimed his fifth wicket, bowling Tom Smith, who failed to add to his overnight 88.

After eight overs today bad light and rain intervened, forcing the players off until a 4.30pm restart. A further 25 overs remained to be bowled in the day, which saw Gloucestershire reach 90 for three.

Gidman is now on 49 first-class wickets for the season. The all-rounder claimed 10 in the previous championship game with Leicestershire and is finishing the season in top form.

He dismissed Smith with the fifth ball of the day, rearranging his stumps. The batsman had faced 219 deliveries and hit 13 fours in helping his side recover from 105 for four on the previous day.

Lancashire were 293 for eight at the end of the 107th over, needing a further seven runs off 18 balls to achieve a third batting point.

That came down to four off the 110th over, bowled by Matt Taylor. Newby and Kyle Hogg both took singles before Newby, having surprisingly played no shot to the fifth delivery, pulled the sixth to the midwicket boundary.

Bad light interrupted play at just after 11am and then persistent rain set in. Umpires Peter Willey and Mark Benson inspected at 3:45pm and gave the go-ahead for a resumption 45 minutes later, at which point Lancashire declared.

Gloucestershire's reply got off to a bad start as skipper Michael Klinger, having scored 13 off the first seven balls of the innings, was caught at second slip off the eighth, Glen Chapple being the successful bowler.

Gareth Roderick had made 12 when being well caught low down by Luis Reece at gully off Hogg to make it 44 for two in the 13th over.

The next over saw Chris Dent fall lbw to Newby for 19 but the experience of Alex Gidman and Hamish Marshall, who ended on 21 and 14 respectively, saw Gloucestershire through to the close in bright sunshine with an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 42, which meant their side trailed by 220 runs.

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