Gidman gives Gloucestershire control
Alex Gidman registered his first hundred in more than a year to put Gloucestershire in the driving seat on the second day of their LV=County Championship match against Division Two leaders Derbyshire at Bristol.
Gidman posted a superb 129 in a total of 294 as the hosts established a meaningful first-innings lead of 199.
Shot out for a meagre 95 on the opening day, Derbyshire summoned gritty defiance when it was most needed second time round, reaching the close on 211 for five thanks, in the main, to half-centuries from skipper Wayne Madsen and Dan Redfern.
Although the fourth-wicket pair raised 97 to delay Gloucestershire’s victory charge, a first defeat in eight championship games remains a very real possibility for a Derbyshire side that is just 12 runs ahead with five wickets remaining.
On a day when batting proved less than straightforward beneath leaden skies, it was the elder of Gloucestershire’s Gidman brothers who provided the main talking point.
His five-hour sojourn saw him stage useful partnerships of 81, 63, 25 and 41 with Kane Williamson, Hamish Marshall, Chris Dent and Will Gidman respectively and surpass the 70 he made against Kent at Canterbury in April, his previous highest score this season.
Gidman’s first hundred since his 164 against Leicestershire at Grace Road in early May 2011 comprised 227 balls, included 14 fours and helped the home side attain a position of strength after resuming their first innings on 182 for five.
Derbyshire conceded a first-innings lead to Leicestershire last month before turning the tables to win, but a similar outcome appeared unlikely after their top-order again succumbed to poor shot selection.
Matt Lineker drove at a ball outside off stump and guided a straightforward catch to gully, gifting Will Gidman his fifth wicket in the match.
His tally soon rose to six, Wes Durston failing to move his feet and edging a regulation catch behind.
New Zealander international Martin Guptill suffered a rush of blood to the head and - cutting - edged the admirably accurate Ian Saxelby behind as the visitors slumped to 106 for three at tea, still 93 behind.
But Gloucestershire were held up by Madsen and Redfern, who staged a restorative stand of 97 in 26 overs for the fourth wicket.
Madsen was threatening to take the game by the scruff of the neck when Gidman returned at the Pavilion End to dismiss him lbw for 72 shortly before the close. Derbyshire’s captain faced 130 balls and struck eight fours.
Gidman then had Ross Whiteley caught at the wicket for 11 to end the day with 4-38. Redfern remains unbeaten on 64 and represents Derbyshire’s best hope of avoiding a rare defeat.