Five-star Gidman gives Gloucs hope
Will Gidman took five wickets on an enthralling first day of Gloucestershire’s promotion clash with Northamptonshire in Division Two of the LV=County Championship at Wantage Road.
Northants captain Andrew Hall made a fine 86 off 151 balls while Kyle Coetzer scored 84 off 177 deliveries as the second-placed hosts recovered from 50 for four to close on 316 for nine.
David Willey blasted 64 off just 69 balls in his first championship game of the season, with Gloucestershire seamer Gidman a constant menace as he took 5-60.
Northants came into this match one point ahead of third-placed Surrey, while Gloucestershire, who are fourth, were nine points behind their opponents.
Hall won the toss and chose to bat in very windy conditions but the start was delayed for 25 minutes because of a wet outfield.
Rob Newton fell for four in the second over, caught behind by wicketkeeper Richard Coughtrie off Gidman, three overs later Niall O’Brien slashed Jon Lewis to Coughtrie, and Alex Wakely succumbed to the final ball before lunch when he edged Gidman to Kane Williamson at third slip.
In the second over of the afternoon, Gidman took out the off stump of David Sales, but Coetzer was dropped on 38 by Coughtrie off Ian Saxelby and he made the most of his let-off by completing a half-century off 124 balls.
Hall also went past 50 off 86 balls but Coetzer was finally caught and bowled by Gidman in the penultimate over before tea to end a fifth-wicket stand of 121.
Hall became the second batsman to perish in the 80s when he smashed David Payne to Hamish Marshall at backward point.
Willey went on to bludgeon his way to a half-century off just 53 balls but his departure sealed Gidman’s third five-wicket haul of his career, Chris Dent taking a superb catch at second slip.
Chaminda Vaas edged Lewis to Alex Gidman at first slip before the Sri Lanka dismissed David Lucas for a duck with three overs left.
James Middlebrook and Lee Daggett survived until the close and will resume tomorrow on 28 and five respectively.