Gidman guides Gloucestershire
Another telling contribution from consistent all-rounder Will Gidman put Gloucestershire in control on the second day of the LV= County Championship match with Leicestershire at Bristol.
The 26-year-old former Durham player hit an unbeaten 85 to guide his side from an overnight 235 for six to 394 all out and four batting bonus points. Ian Cockbain, who struck 63, Ian Saxelby and David Payne shared in useful stands, while Nathan Buck finished with 5-99.
Payne then claimed 3-26 as Leicestershire collapsed to 49 for five before Wayne White and Ned Eckersley gave their total some respectability with a partnership of 81.
The visitors closed on 131 for six, Gidman taking 2-20.
If Gloucestershire can win the game and take 23 points they will go into their final fixture just nine behind opponents Northants and still in the thick of the promotion race.
Showers interrupted the morning session as Cockbain and Gidman looked to build on overnight scores of 46 and 11 respectively.
There were two rain breaks before, with the total on 256, Cockbain was caught at midwicket trying to pull a delivery from Buck.
An early lunch was taken at that point and play resumed at 12.55pm. Twenty runs were added before Jon Lewis was bowled by Buck for eight.
After Gidman had passed 50, Saxelby and Payne ensured Leicestershire were kept in the field for longer than they would have expected and there was an early shock in store for the visitors when they began their reply.
Lewis, making his final appearance for Gloucestershire at Bristol before moving to Surrey next season, marked the occasion by striking with the first delivery of the innings, knocking back Will Jefferson’s middle stump.
The ball beat the bat on countless occasions before four wickets fell in rapid succession. Greg Smith was leg before pushing forward to Gidman for 33 in the 16th over and left-arm seamer Payne followed up by sending back Matt Boyce, Josh Cobb and James Taylor for the addition of only five runs.
Boyce was caught behind driving, Cobb bowled for a duck and Taylor lbw on the back foot to an inswinger.
Leicestershire were in disarray, but White and Eckersley showed more mettle than their predecessors to defy the home attack until the former, having hit seven fours, was caught at backward point off Gidman, who now has 45 wickets to add to his 977 championship runs this season.