Six of the best for Saxelby
Ian Saxelby claimed a career-best 6-48 as Gloucestershire dismissed Leicestershire for 162 in the LV= County Championship Division Two match at Cheltenham.
No play was possible on Wednesday and, after a damp outfield further delayed the start until after lunch today, Saxelby and the rest of Gloucestershire’s youthful seam attack made up for lost time by bowling Leicestershire out inside 52 overs.
Saxelby struck twice with the new ball and then claimed the last four wickets in 19 deliveries to ensure he bettered his previous best return of 6-69, taken against Surrey at the Kia Oval last year.
Vastly-experienced West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan top-scored for Leicestershire with 50; his fifth-wicket stand of 57 with Matthew Boyce was the highest of the innings.
Gloucestershire were left with 18 overs to bat and lost Benny Howell and Dan Housego in advancing to 40 for two at stumps.
After acting Leicestershire skipper Josh Cobb won the toss, the visitors were reduced to 13 for three inside eight overs. Saxelby had Greg Smith caught behind off a defensive edge and uprooted Michael Thornely’s middle stump, before Ned Eckersley popped up a return catch to Liam Norwell.
Sarwan, who played for Gloucestershire in 2005, and Cobb put on 48 for the fourth wicket before the latter sliced a drive off James Fuller and was caught by Ed Young at point for 23.
Three overs later, Young dropped a difficult low chance at point to reprieve Sarwan on 28 off Saxelby, and the Guyanese batsman continued his impressive run of form by progressing to a 94-ball half-century, which contained eight boundaries.
The right-hander received good support from Boyce, who made 22 before he gloved a delivery from David Payne to wicketkeeper Jonathan Batty from the last ball before tea.
It became 127 for six when Sarwan was bowled by a superb inswinger from Payne as he tried to work the ball on the leg side.
Wayne White hit a brisk 22, but the innings quickly folded up after he had edged Saxelby to second slip, where Ian Cockbain took a head-high catch.
In his next over from the College Lawn End, Saxelby struck twice in successive balls when he had Paul Dixey caught behind and Robbie Joseph taken at first slip by Alex Gidman.
With no addition to the total, Saxelby took his sixth wicket as Nathan Buck edged behind to give Batty his fourth catch of the innings.
Buck had better luck with the ball and, in the seventh over of Gloucestershire’s innings, Howell gave a chest-high catch to Smith at first slip.
There was another wicket for Leicestershire to celebrate just before the close when Housego shouldered arms to Claude Henderson’s left-arm spin and was bowled.