Williamson finally delivers

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Kane Williamson

New Zealand's Kane Williamson guided Gloucestershire to a useful 177 for three from 52 overs at stumps with an unbeaten 102 against Leicestershire at Grace Road

Kane Williamson posted his first century for Gloucestershire on a rain-interrupted opening day in the LV= County Championship Division Two match against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

Gloucestershire, who lost a wicket to the second ball of the day without a run on the board, recovered to reach the close at 177 for three - with New Zealand batsman Williamson unbeaten on 102.

Williamson's top score in his first two championship games for Gloucestershire was a modest 26, but he cruised past that in some style - reaching his century from 152 balls with 17 boundaries.

He shared partnerships of 75 with Richard Coughtrie for the second wicket and then 89 with Alex Gidman for the fourth to steer Gloucestershire into a strong position.

On what looked an excellent pitch, Gloucestershire had no hesitation batting first after winning the toss. But they were stunned by an immediate strike from Matthew Hoggard.

The Leicestershire captain’s second delivery of his first over found the edge of Ian Cockbain’s bat as he pushed outside the off-stump to provide wicketkeeper Paul Dixey with a regulation catch.

There was some movement for the Leicestershire seamers in the early overs and Williamson was fortunate on occasions when he edged wide of the slips and down to the vacant third man boundary.

It kept the scoreboard ticking over and a perfectly-timed cover drive by Williamson off Nadeem Malik brought up the fifty partnership with Coughtrie.

However, Gloucestershire's progress was halted by rain 25 minutes before lunch - and when play resumed two hours later 12 overs had been lost.

The interruption also brought a change of fortune for Leicestershire with Hoggard sending Coughtrie's middle stump cartwheeling with an inswinging yorker in his first over after the break.

Another stoppage for rain followed two overs later with Gloucestershire on 84 for two - and this time it was nearly two and a half hours before the teams returned to the field in glorious evening sunshine.

Once again, however, Leicestershire claimed a wicket in the first over on the restart with Chris Taylor bowled by Malik off an inside edge.

But Williamson cover drove the same bowler to the rope to reach his half-century from 94 balls, with 44 of the runs coming in boundaries.

The 20-year-old then cut loose with some fluent attacking shots. His second 50 occupied 58 balls, with his 17th boundary coming off the first delivery of the final over of the day from Claude Henderson.

Gidman provided fine support and was still there at the close on 32 with the stand worth 89 runs in 22 overs.

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