Career-best Gidman guides Gloucs

Lv County Championship

Alex Gidman

Alex Gidman surpassed his previous best of 142 in guiding his county to a formidable position on day two

Alex Gidman led from the front with a career-best 159 as Gloucestershire built a healthy first-innings advantage over Leicestershire in their LV= County Championship Division Two match at Bristol.

The skipper progressed from an overnight 34, sharing stands of 82 with nightwatchman Steve Kirby (27) and 128 with Steve Snell (69 not out) as his side reached 361 for seven by the time bad light ended play 13 overs early.

That gave Gloucestershire a lead of 228. Gidman reached his century off 174 balls, with 11 fours and a six. It was his first championship hundred since July 2007 after a troubled time last year.

Carl Crowe was the most successful Leicestershire bowler with 3-84, while teenaged seamer Alex Wyatt claimed 2-42, bowling economically on championship debut.

The visitors were frustrated from the outset of day two as Gloucestershire resumed on 70 for four. Kirby, unbeaten on four overnight, dropped anchor and spent 39 balls on that figure before taking three off a delivery from Wyatt.

Gidman’s half-century occupied 94 balls and included eight fours. After playing and missing several times early on, he began to dominate, hitting a straight six off Crowe to overtake Leicestershire’s score.

Kirby also began to take more chances and hit three fours in his valuable 99-ball innings before falling to Crowe to leave Gloucestershire 152 for five.

Rob Woodman did not last long in the afternoon session, lbw trying to sweep Crowe. But, from 166 for six, Gidman and wicketkeeper Snell began to put the home side in a commanding position.

Gidman stroked a two through the covers off Crowe to bring up his hundred and celebrated with both arms in the air.

Snell proved a watchful partner and Leicestershire’s hopes that the new ball would quickly break the stand were dispelled.

Gidman overtook his previous highest score of 142, made against Surrey at Bristol in 2005, by hoisting Crowe through midwicket for four. His 150 came up off 253 balls, with 19 fours and a six.

Making particularly elegant use of the square cut, the Gloucestershire captain finally fell after adding two more boundaries as he was held at slip by HD Ackerman, trying another cut off Crowe..

Seven runs later came a break caused by bad light. On the resumption, Snell moved to his half-century off 138 balls, with four fours.

There was more frustration for Leicestershire as young pace bowler Tom Stayt contributed 30 not out to an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 67.

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