Gloucs in control after Gidman fifty

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An unbeaten half-century from captain Alex Gidman kept Gloucestershire in control of their LV= County Championship Division Two clash with Kent.

Gidman kept his concentration despite three rain breaks, which led to the loss of 23 overs, to post 60 as Gloucestershire finished the penultimate day in Canterbury on 191 for three - a lead of 296.

The visiting skipper featured in stands of 47 with Richard Coughtrie, who made 40, and 94 with fourth-wicket partner Hamish Marshall, unbeaten on 55.

Coughtrie’s 135-minute vigil ended in fading light with a top-edged sweep that wicketkeeper Geraint Jones pouched, but, with the floodlights on, New Zealander Marshall enlivened proceedings with a 64-ball fifty that kept Gidman company through to stumps.

Alex Gidman

Alex Gidman, pictured, and Hamish Marshall struck unbeaten half-centuries to leave Gloucestershire in command against Kent

Batting for a second time in the match by noon of day three, Gloucestershire lost opener Chris Dent to the final ball of the 11th over for 24 when his loose, back-foot shot against Matt Coles gave Jones a regulation catch behind the stumps.

The drizzle intensified almost immediately after, and the teams were forced back to the pavilion three balls later for an early lunch.

Another, lengthier rain break after the interval led to the loss of another 14 overs, and the lapse in focus appeared to play a part in Benny Howell’s dismissal 10 minutes after the resumption.

Working across the line to a Mark Davies off-cutter, he went lbw for 10 to bring together Coughtrie and Gidman for their telling third-wicket stand.

Kent had started the day in a tricky first-innings battle to match Gloucestershire’s 255 all out and, resuming on 119 for six, proceeded to lose their last four wickets for 31 runs.

The rot started with the loss of three wickets for two runs in the space of 19 balls as Alex’s brother, Will Gidman, returned figures of 5-43.

England tourist James Tredwell was the first to go, dragging Gidman on to leg stump, before, fresh from a maiden century at Headingley, Coles ran himself out for one.

Pushing to mid-on, the left-hander set off for a risky single, only to see substitute fielder James Fuller make a diving stop and throw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end.

Last man Charlie Shreck helped move the score to 150 but, without addition, ballooned a bat-pad catch to short-leg, leaving Kent facing a first-innings deficit of 105.

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