Fuller puts Gloucestershire in control
James Fuller’s maiden LV= County Championship half-century helped Gloucestershire into a promising position on the third day of their Division Two clash with Leicestershire at Cheltenham.
The home side were in disarray at 137 for seven replying to Leicestershire’s 162.
However, a stand of 95 between Fuller and Ed Young, who hit 57 and 37 respectively, guided Gloucestershire to 229 all out, a lead of 67; Nathan Buck and Wayne White claimed three wickets apiece, while Michael Thornely returned 2-29.
Leicestershire openers Greg Smith and Thorneley wiped out all but one run of the deficit before both fell.
When Ned Eckersley was bowled by left-arm spinner Young, it was 89 for three and the visitors were only 22 in front.
Ramnaresh Sarwan, who ended on 30 not out, and skipper Josh Cobb added 42 to give Leicestershire hope before Fuller had the latter caught behind for 15.
Young then had Robbie Joseph caught off bat and pad in the penultimate over.
The hosts began the day on 40 for two and, having progressed to 67, were plunged into trouble by White, who took 3-11 in the space of 21 balls, removing nightwatchman David Payne, Alex Gidman and Jonathan Batty.
All three fell to deliveries that nipped back off the seam, Payne being bowled and the other two falling lbw.
Hamish Marshall looked in good form and Ian Cockbain helped add 38 before he was caught at second slip by Smith off Joseph.
But Gloucestershire were still 30 runs behind when Marshall played a loose shot against Buck and was picked up in the slips by Cobb.
That brought in Fuller to join Young and together they lifted the home supporters with some positive shot-making, the former passing his previous best first-class score of 24, made for Otago in 2009.
His maiden fifty came off 58 balls, with seven fours. He eventually fell to a slip catch off Thornely, who then held a good low return chance to dismiss Ian Saxelby first ball.
Forced to hit out, Fuller was caught at deep square-leg off Buck, but not before helping his side to a handy first-innings advantage.