In-form Williamson downs Leicestershire
Kane Williamson’s career best one-day score of 112 led Gloucestershire to a thumping 164-run Clydesdale Bank 40 win over Leicestershire at Bristol.
The 21-year-old New Zealander top-scored in a total of 294 for six, receiving excellent support from Benny Howell, who made 88 and shared in a third-wicket stand of 152.
In reply Leicestershire, who had won the toss, could manage only 130 as Chris Dent picked up 4-43 with his off-spin and seamer Graeme McCarter 3-15. Robert Taylor top scored with 29 not out.
Williamson walked to the wicket with Gloucestershire 44 for two in the seventh over. By the time he was dismissed the scoreboard read 269 for five and he had faced 92 balls, hitting eight fours, in beating his previous best one-day score of 108.
Howell, who is hoping for a Gloucestershire contract after being employed on a match basis, excelled for the third successive CB40 game, following up scores of 72 not out against the Netherlands and 45 not out against Middlesex with another fluent innings.
The 23-year-old former Hampshire player faced 82 deliveries and blasted nine fours and a six before being the victim of a leg-side stumping by Ned Eckersley off Taylor.
Leicestershire’s fielding was sluggish and their bowlers had a tendency to drop short, a failing punished relentlessly by Williamson and Howell.
Alex Gidman’s 24 and Ian Cockbain’s unbeaten 25 made brisk contributions to a positive Gloucestershire batting display.
Leicestershire made the worst possible start to their reply as, without a run on the board, Josh Cobb was caught at short midwicket off Ian Saxelby.
It was 33 for two when Greg Smith was bowled by Will Gidman, a wicket that brought skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan to the crease.
He could only watch as Jacques du Toit and Matt Boyce departed in quick succession to leave their team 55 for four in the 15th over and already well behind the required run rate.
The game was as good as over by the time Jon Batty stumped Wayne White off Dent to make it 65 for five in the 19th over.
Sarwan himself could only struggle to 18 off 33 balls, without hitting a boundary, in a dismal Leicestershire performance.
It was 74 for six when he was out and, despite Taylor's late rally, rampant Gloucestershire were soon to make it four points from their first three Group A games.