Will Tavare completed a six-hour century as Gloucestershire built a strong position on the second day of the Specsavers County Championship match against Leicestershire at Bristol. Resuming their first innings on 236 for five, the hosts declared on 466 for eight, Tavare top-scoring with 101, well supported by Phil Mustard (72), Jack Taylor (60) and David Payne (54 not out). Gavin Griffiths finished with four for 101.
In reply, Leicestershire slumped to 14 for three before a fighting stand of 102 between skipper Mark Cosgrove (48) and Mark Pettini (54). They fell in quick succession and by the close the visitors were back in trouble at 165 for six, trailing by 301.
Tavare, who missed much of last season with a knee problem, was unbeaten on 73 overnight and moved to a painstaking hundred off 271 balls, with 8 fours and a six. He had batted for six hours and 12 minutes when bowled by a full-length ball from Griffiths.
"After a frustrating season with injury last year, it's good to have started well. My knee is still swollen, but the fitness guys at the club have done wonders and it is manageable," said Tavare.
It was Leicestershire’s only success in the morning session, despite beating the bat on numerous occasions. Mustard, unbeaten on 13 at the start, was 51 not out at lunch, having shared a stand of 89 with Tavare and helped Gloucestershire to three batting points.
Mustard fell soon after the interval, bowled by Neil Dexter aiming a big hit over the leg side, having faced 159 balls and hit 7 fours.His application, allied to that of Tavare, gave Taylor and Payne licence to play positively after Craig Miles had been caught at short-leg off a lifter from Richard Jones for five to make it 378 for seven.
Taylor breezed to his half-century off 65 balls, with 6 fours and a six, before being caught behind attempting to pull a ball from Griffiths.
Payne needed only 48 deliveries to reach fifty, having struck 8 fours and a six. He and Liam Norwell added 33 before Mustard declared, leaving the Leicestershire batsmen a tricky period before tea.
Paul Horton was pinned lbw by Payne, playing across the line, for six and when Harry Dearden fell for eight to another leg-before decision upheld in Norwell’s favour off the last ball before the break the visitors were 14 for two.
That became 14 for three when Dexter looked to drive Payne at the start of the evening session and edged a catch to second slip where Chris Dent leapt to hold a sharp chance.
Batting started the look more straightforward from the moment Cosgrove joined Pettini and they gradually led a recovery.Cosgrove was merciless on anything short from the seamers and had moved to within two of a half-century when carelessly giving a return catch to off-spinner Taylor to make the score 116 for four.
Pettini moved to his fifty off 77 balls, with 9 fours, but in the same Norwell over was caught behind attempting to leave the ball.
Colin Ackermann was forced to retire hurt with an injury to his right hand on eight with the total 146, having been hit by a delivery from Craig Miles and Ben Raine fell for a duck, caught behind off the same bowler. Ned Eckersley was 25 not out at stumps.
UPDATE | Ackermann has tried to bat through the pain barrier but he's having to retire hurt on 8. Leics 146-5 with Raine joining Eckersley— Leicestershire CCC🏏 (@leicsccc) April 15, 2017