Gloucs edge thriller at Ageas Bowl
Will Gidman and Ian Saxelby bowled Gloucestershire to a tense 33-run victory over Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
Having been set 290 to inflict a second defeat of the season on Gloucestershire, the hosts were bowled out for 256 with only a handful of overs remaining.
Gidman took 4-66 to complete match figures of 9-114, and Saxelby did the early damage in a three-wicket burst at the start of the innings.
The fourth day began with Gloucestershire 129 for five in their second innings, 244 runs ahead on a wicket that was giving help to seamers.
They added a further 45, Gidman contributing 29 in a stand of 72 for the sixth wicket with Ian Cockbain.
Gloucestershire were all out for 179 - Cockbain was ninth to go for 47, run out by a smart piece of fielding by James Vince.
Hampshire made a dismal start in pursuit of their target as, with the pitch easing in the bright sunshine, they lost their first six wickets for 72.
Gidman made the first breakthrough when he sent back Liam Dawson and David Payne then accounted for the hosts’ other opener Jimmy Adams, Chris Dent catching in the slips.
Saxelby removed Simon Katich, Vince and Sean Ervine in quick succession and when Gidman had Michael Carberry caught at the wicket, Gloucestershire looked to be heading for a comprehensive win.
But it was then the match appeared to swing back Hampshire’s way, seventh-wicket pair Michael Bates and Chris Wood fashioning a stand of 118 in 30 overs as Gloucestershire began to despair.
Yet, just when it seemed Hampshire might save the game, or even accelerate to a shock victory in the circumstances, Wood holed out to Hamish Marshall off Payne for an aggressive 65, which included 12 fours.
Even then it was not over as Bates was joined by Hamza Riazuddin in another profitable partnership, this time of 56 for the eighth wicket.
Gidman came back in a final late push by Gloucestershire, making the big breakthrough almost immediately when he bowled the battling Bates for 87, the young wicketkeeper hitting 11 fours in a 149-ball innings.
The all-rounder struck again by bowling Riazuddin, and Payne sparked celebrations among Gloucestershire’s young team when he knocked over the stumps of last man David Balcombe, who will consider himself unlucky having taken 11-119 in the encounter.