Gloucs break Cheltenham duck

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Jon Lewis

Veteran seamer Jon Lewis returned 3-31 as Gloucestershire crushed Kent by an innings and 142 runs to record a rare win at Cheltenham

Gloucestershire defeated Kent by an innings and 142 runs to claim a first LV= County Championship victory at Cheltenham in 20 attempts and 10 years.

After being dismissed for 515 early in the day, Gloucestershire bowled struggling Kent out for 168 by mid-afternoon to register a fourth win of the campaign and move up to second in the Division Two table.

Young left-arm seamer David Payne was the chief destroyer with 4-60 in 11.5 overs, while veteran Jon Lewis ripped through the middle order with a burst of three wickets in five overs and finished with 3-31.

Kent will be bitterly disappointed to have been bowled out inside 43 overs on a good pitch, with only tailender Simon Cook, who hit a belligerent 46 not out, and Darren Stevens, with 35, offering any real resistance.

Gloucestershire had started day three on 486 for seven and Chris Taylor cover-drove the first ball from David Balcombe to move onto 196 and equal the career-best he made against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 2001.

Unfortunately for the 34-year-old batsman, he was unable to beat that milestone when he edged the next ball from Balcombe into the gloves of wicketkeeper Geraint Jones.

Kent required just a further five overs to take the last two wickets as Richard Coughtrie skied a pull to Jones off Stevens and Lewis edged Balcombe to Martin van Jaarsveld at second slip.

Balcombe, on loan from Hampshire, finished with career-best figures of 5-103.

Joe Denly got the Kent second innings under way with a flurry of boundaries but the visitors were then reduced to 32 for three with the loss of three wickets in nine balls.

Payne bowled Chris Piesley and had Sam Northeast caught behind in a double wicket-maiden; then Denly fell leg before to Ian Saxelby for 26.

Stevens survived a difficult low chance to wicketkeeper Coughtrie off Saxelby when on one, but the momentum was still firmly with Gloucestershire and a fine spell from Lewis after lunch effectively sealed the win.

He had van Jaarsveld and Jones lbw for 12 and 20 respectively before Stevens went for 35 via a thin edge to Coughtrie.

It became 113 for seven when Kane Williamson took a low return catch to dismiss James Tredwell in his first over, and 151 for eight when Alex Blake was beaten by Will Gidman's throw from the midwicket boundary and run out at the bowler's end.

Cook struck some defiant blows, including two straight sixes off Williamson, but there was no stopping Gloucestershire's surge towards victory.

Payne returned at the College Lawn End to wrap up the game by having Balcombe caught by Saxelby at mid-on and Robbie Joseph lbw in the same over.

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