Gidman returns to form

Lv County Championship

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Alex Gidman

Alex Gidman built on Kane Williamson's century with a fine 168 as Gloucestershire continued to pile on the runs against Leicestershire

Gloucestershire captain Alex Gidman scored his first century for nearly two years to lead his side into a commanding position against Leicestershire in their LV= County Championship Division Two match at Grace Road.

Gidman made a magnificent 168, his first ton since September 2009, as the visitors totalled 504 for nine before declaring, with New Zealander Kane Williamson scoring 149.

Off-spinner Jigar Naik was Leicestershire's most successful bowler, claiming 4-91 from 27 overs, while Matthew Hoggard finished with 3-80.

That left Leicestershire to face eight overs before stumps, and they reached 15 without loss to trail by 489 with two days remaining.

But the day belonged to Gloucestershire after they resumed on 177 for three, with Williamson on 102 and Gidman 32.

Gidman made his intentions clear with a six over long-on off left-arm spinner Claude Henderson, which brought up his half-century from 83 balls.

Williamson was far more circumspect as he progressed to within one run of 150 before he was superbly caught low at slip by Will Jefferson off Hoggard to end a 196-run fourth-wicket stand. The young New Zealand Test star faced 264 balls and struck 23 boundaries.

Gidman continued to bat impressively with some excellent shots through the leg side and reached a well deserved century off 167 balls, with 11 fours in addition to his one maximum.

Will Gidman, who has been in better form than his elder brother this season, contributed 16 to a fifth-wicket partnership of 68 before being trapped lbw on the back foot by the ever-improving Naik.

The next landmark for Gloucestershire was Gidman senior’s 150, which was soon followed by the 400 being posted, giving the visitors their fifth batting bonus point with one ball to spare.

Some lusty blows from Ed Young kept the scoreboard moving, but Gidman was out shortly after tea, falling lbw to Henderson after a fine 244-ball innings.

After that, it was a case of how quickly Gloucestershire could score to give themselves a chance of bowling Leicestershire out twice and they moved past the 500-mark despite late wickets falling, with Naik claiming three of them.

Jefferson and Matt Boyce safely negotiated the last few overs of the evening, with the latter helping himself to three boundaries.

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