Gidman comes to Gloucestershire's aid

Lv County Championship

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Alex Gidman

Gloucestershire's batsmen found life difficult early on at Bristol today, before skipper Alex Gidman marshalled a recovery with a doughty 81

Captain Alex Gidman came to Gloucestershire’s rescue on the opening day of the LV= County Championship match with Leicestershire at Bristol.

Leadership was needed when the hosts slumped to 82 for five after losing the toss. Gidman provided it with an innings of 81, sharing a stand of 121 with Ian Cockbain, who contributed 46 not out as Gloucestershire reached 235 for six.

Matthew Hoggard was the pick of the Leicestershire bowlers with end-of-day figures of 2-30 from 22 overs, while Nathan Buck claimed three wickets.

Fourteen overs were lost to rain in the afternoon and, ultimately, both sides could feel satisfied with their efforts.

Hoggard and Buck exploited excellent seam-bowling conditions after the 10.30am start and the former made the first breakthrough with the total on 23 when Chris Dent edged to third slip.

Buck removed Kane Williamson and Chris Taylor in quick succession before having the obdurate Richard Coughtrie caught behind for 30 to leave Gloucestershire 72 for four.

When Hamish Marshall, failing to move his feet, was lbw to Hoggard after lunch, Gloucestershire were in deep trouble and could see their last flickering hopes of promotion slipping away.

But Gidman was in a defiant mood and found an equally determined partner in Cockbain. The skipper moved solidly to a half-century off 83 balls as the century stand arrived in 22 overs.

Gidman played and missed occasionally on the drive and Cockbain was caught off a Buck no-ball, but both batsmen also produced some attractive shots to take the score to 200 and earn a first batting bonus point.

Rain forced the players off at 2.55pm and an early tea was taken.

Play resumed at 4.40pm, with 14 overs lost, and with just three runs added Gidman was beaten in the flight by off-spinner Jigar Naik and gave wicketkeeper Ned Eckersley his third catch. He had faced 114 balls and hit 12 fours.

Brother Will, who is in sight of the double of 1,000 runs and 50 wickets in his first season with Gloucestershire, and Cockbain were extremely watchful under heavy grey skies as they painstakingly built an unbroken stand of 32 by stumps.

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