Spearman leads Gloucestershire charge

Lv County Championship
Craig Spearman

Craig Spearman got his team off to an explosive start with a quick 95 © Getty Images

Craig Spearman, Will Porterfield and Chris Taylor all made half-centuries as Gloucestershire reached 334 for six on the first day of the Gloucester Festival match with Warwickshire.

Spearman, with 95, and Ireland captain Porterfield, who made 63 on his LV County Championship Division Two debut, gave Gloucestershire a great start with an opening stand of 149 after home skipper Jon Lewis won the toss.

Warwickshire fought back with five wickets for 51 runs during the afternoon session, which included a burst of 3-1 in 13 balls from James Anyon.

Taylor (72 not out) and Steve Snell (45) regained the initiative for Gloucestershire with a stand of 118, which was broken just before the close when Anyon had Snell caught behind.

The first boundary of the day did not come until the eighth over when Spearman cut a ball from Chris Woakes through the vacant third-man area.

That proved the cue for Spearman to bat in his more familiar, belligerent style and the New Zealander progressed to a 54-ball half-century with 10 more fours.

Spearman then hit three boundaries in four balls off Neil Carter and straight drove a six off Woakes to raise the prospect of making a century before lunch.

As it transpired, he ended the session on 90 and, with Porterfield unbeaten on 32, Gloucestershire went into lunch on 133 for no wicket off 31 overs.

The only chance in the morning's play had been offered by Porterfield, who was reprieved on 20 when Ant Botha failed to grasp a head-high chance at square leg off Carter's bowling.

William Porterfield

Ireland's William Porterfield made 63 on his LV County Championship debut

Carter was again out of luck when Porterfield, on 33, edged a delivery to wicketkeeper Tony Frost, who only succeeded in diverting the ball to the boundary with his left hand.

Warwickshire's fortunes began to change in the 38th over when Spearman, playing off the back foot to a ball from Carter, gave a low catch to Jonathan Trott at first slip. His 105-ball innings had contained 15 fours and a six.

Fellow New Zealander Hamish Marshall departed for one in the next over when Naqaash Tahir beat his defensive push and hit off stump.

Porterfield, who made a half-century in Ireland's win over Warwickshire in the Friends Provident Trophy this month, progressed to another one against them when he cover-drove a delivery from Carter for three runs.

Marcus North had helped Porterfield put on 46 in 14 overs for the third wicket before he played a ball from Anyon on to his leg stump and was dismissed for 25.

Anyon struck twice more in his next two overs from the River End to further boost Warwickshire.

Alex Gidman was caught by Jim Troughton at point before he had scored, and Porterfield, having hit eight fours and a six in his 151-ball innings was caught behind off a defensive edge.

After bad light had prompted an early tea and the loss of four overs, Taylor and Snell revived the Gloucestershire innings with a partnership of 118 in 34 overs.

Taylor cover-drove Tahir for three fours on his way to a 92-ball half-century, which also included five other fours and a pulled six off Anyon.

Snell gave good support until Anyon, armed with the second new ball, had him caught down the legside by Frost.