Dent and Cockbain frustrate Hampshire
Chris Dent and Ian Cockbain rescued Gloucestershire from trouble with defiant half-centuries on a rain-ruined first day of the LV= County Championship Division Two match against Hampshire.
Opening batsman Dent batted through the 60 overs allowed by rain and bad light to finish with 59 not out from 171 balls, including eight fours, while Cockbain made an unbeaten 52 from 118 deliveries.
After David Balcombe took 3-38 to leave Gloucestershire struggling on 87 for four, the young pair saw out the remainder of the day, sharing an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 108.
Hampshire’s new captain Jimmy Adams won the toss under overcast skies at the newly-renamed Ageas Bowl and had no hesitation in fielding first.
Fresh from a heavy defeat by Essex in their opening championship fixture, Gloucestershire’s young side were struggling from the start.
In his first over, paceman Balcombe had Richard Coughtrie caught by Australian Simon Katich at first slip with only eight on the board.
Dan Housego soon followed 14 runs later, held by wicketkeeper Michael Bates off Balcombe without scoring, and much now depended on captain Alex Gidman to prevent further damage.
Gidman looked in good touch, hitting five fours in his 27 and quickly out-scoring Dent, but, with score on 63, Gloucestershire were in difficulty once more when Sean Ervine won a leg-before decision.
Left-hander Dent did not score his first boundary until the 16th over, yet survived to lunch and then prospered afterwards with Hamish Marshall as his fourth-wicket partner.
Together they took the score to 87 before Balcombe returned to the attack to strike again; he trapped Marshall in front for 18, which included a quartet of fours.
Marshall’s wicket proved to be Hampshire’s last success of the day as Dent was joined by Cockbain and, as conditions eased, the duo took advantage of some erratic bowling to compile a century stand before the weather brought a premature end to the day’s play.