Day 1 - BARNARD AMONGST THE WICKETS AT CHELTENHAM BEFORE TAYLOR TON

Worcestershire all-rounder Ed Barnard impressed with the ball on the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

The former England Under-19 player picked up four wickets to take his Championship tally for the campaign past the 20 mark.

But a century from Jack Taylor – his second in a row against Worcestershire in the Championship – rescued Gloucestershire after he came to the wcket at 129-5.

He survived a chance on 16 off Josh Tongue and went onto reach three figures from 122 balls with 14 fours and a six as the home side recovered to 343-8 by the close of play

Barnard ended with 4-67 from 25 overs – his second four wicket haul in Championship cricket.

Skipper Joe Leach picked up two wickets and there were one apiece for Tongue and George Rhodes as Worcestershire stuck to their task on another hot day.

Leach opted to bowl first via an uncontested toss and struck with the first delivery of the day as Cameron Bancroft (0) was trapped lbw.

For a while runs flowed at a steady pace and Will Tavare on 16 survived a difficult chance to Daryl Mitchell at second slip diving away to his left off Josh Tongue.

Tavare added only five more runs before Leach struck for a second time after switching from the Chapel End to the College Lawn End.

He pushed forward and keeper Ben Cox pulled off a superb low catch away to his right with 53 on the board.

Denly escaped a run out chance to Barnard at mid off on 32 after a firm push off Tongue.

Gareth Roderick (11) then attempted to pull Ed Barnard and top edged a catch to John Hastings at point.

It became 85-4 when Graeme van Buuren (1) attempted to cut spinner George Rhodes’ third ball and was caught behind.

Dent was unbeaten on 44 out of 87-4 at lunch and reached his half century off 103 balls with six boundaries.

Gloucestershire skipper Phil Mustard was fortunate when he tried hook Leach and the ball flew over the slips for four.

Barnard bowled an excellent post lunch spell and was rewarded when Dent (65) went back and was lbw to the former England Under-19 player.

Jack Taylor rode his luck in the early stages of his innings as he got off the mark with a nick for four off Barnard and then survived a chance to Clarke at third slip off Tongue.

He was full of aggressive intent and went to a 51-ball fifty with seven fours and a six.

Taylor and Phil Mustard steered Gloucestershire through to 221-5 off 64 overs at tea but then two wickets fell shortly after the restart.

Mustard completed his half century off 125 balls with five fours but in the next over was comprehensively bowled by Barnard after attempting an expansive drive to end a stand of 96 in 23 overs with Taylor.

Then Cox produced his second excellent catch of the day, this time at full stretch above his head as Kieran Noema-Barnett (0) nicked a delivery from Tongue.

But Taylor found a staunch partner in Craig Miles and their half century stand came up in 12 overs.

Worcestershire claimed the second new ball at 275-7 off 80 overs and Taylor went to his hundred with a straight drive for four off Leach.

He had also scored a century in the Championship match between the sides at New Road last summer.

Barnard returned to claim a fourth success as Miles (39) pushed forward and edged through to Cox – his fourth catch of the innings.

The Taylor-Miles stand was worth 89 in 20.3 overs.

Taylor ended the day on 118 not out from 149 balls with one six and 16 fours

Day 2 - SUPER COX HITS CAREER BEST SCORE AS COUNTY HIT BACK AT CHELTENHAM

Ben Cox scored a career best 124 and – with sterling support from George Rhodes – inspired a Worcestershire recovery on day two of the Specsavers County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

The wicket-keeper batsman completed a chanceless century when he drove Liam Norwell for his 17th four.

Cox’s third Championship ton also completed two sixes and came off 136 balls and once again he made runs when they were most needed with his side in considerable trouble.

He came to the wicket with Worcestershire 69-4 in reply to Gloucestershire’s first innings total of 383.

And the 25-year-old found an excellent ally in Rhodes who made an accomplished half century during a fifth wicket partnership of 141 in 36 overs.

Cox then went past his previous career best score of 109 versus Somerset at New Road in a Division One fixture in May 2015.

He had come close to three figures last month when, batting at number five, he scored 93 against visiting Glamorgan.

But he was not to be denied on this occasion and was hugged out in the middle by Ed Barnard after reaching his century.

Skipper Joe Leach then boldly declared at 300-9 with eight over remaining in the day and Gloucestershire closed on 20-0.

Worcestershire had run into early trouble when they launched their reply with Daryl Mitchell (6) lbw to David Payne and Tom Fell (2) caught shoulder high by Kieran Noema-Barnett at fourth slip off Norwell.

Brett D’Oliveira and Joe Clarke looked in good nick and added 36 before both fell either side of lunch.

Clarke (23) shouldered arms to Noema-Barnett and was bowled and then D’Oliveira (25) pulled Craig Miles straight to Norwell at deep square leg.

Rhodes cover-drove Noema-Barnett to the boundary to bring up the 100 in the 34th over and then Cox pulled Norwell for six as the 50 stand was completed in 13 overs.

The pair kept pace with each other for much of the partnership and Cox tucked into a short Will Tavare delivery to complete the 100 partnership in 27 overs.

Cox, whose half century was brought up off 91 balls with eight fours and a six, accelerated after tea with three boundaries in an over from Miles.

A single off Norwell took Rhodes to his fifty from 118 balls with seven fours.

The stand was finally broken as Rhodes (52) cut Miles to backward point and Ross Whiteley (1) was bowled by Norwell.

But Cox was not to be denied his hundred and then his seventh wicket partner Ed Barnard produced a series of handsome cover-drives for four.

The return to the attack of Noema-Barnett brought an end to Cox’s innings as he attempted a cut and was caught behind after hitting two sixes and 20 fours in his 169 ball knock.

Barnard (23) – caught at slip – and John Hastings (0) – at mid off – fell in Noema-Barnett’s next over to leave Worcestershire on 286-9.

But Leach struck a quickfire 17 not out before the declaration to seal a third batting point.

When Gloucestershire resumed on 343-8, Barnard was looking for one more wicket to complete a five-for in first class cricket for the first time.

But it was Josh Tongue who polished off the innings with Payne (15) bowled by the third delivery of the day and Jack Taylor caught by Joe Leach running back from mid on for an excellent 143 off 170 balls with one six and 20 fours.

Day 3 - HASTINGS REWARDED WITH BREAKTHROUGH AFTER TESTING SPELL

Worcestershire paceman John Hastings was rewarded with a deserved wicket during a truncated third day of the Specsavers County Championship clash with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

The Australian all-rounder bowled a probing spell from the Chapel End during the 70 minutes play possible and his first four overs of the innings were maidens.

He made the breakthrough when Gloucestershire opener Cameron Bancroft (22) nicked through to Ross Whiteley who held onto a low catch at first slip with 33 on the board.

It was Hastings 16th Championship wicket of the campaign in which he missed four four-day matches due to his ICC Champions Trophy commitments with Australia.

Skipper Joe Leach also posed problems for the batsmen from the College Lawn End.

Gloucestershire had resumed on 20-0 after Leach had boldly declared 83 runs behind yesterday evening once Worcestershire  had secured a third batting bonus point.

Chris Dent was particularly circumspect and scored only four runs off 42 balls – a boundary wide of the slips off Hastings – in the 15.3 overs possible this morning after resuming on seven not out before bad light and then rain intervened.

Will Tavare was more adventurous and had moved onto 23 from 29 deliveries with four boundaries when .bad light and the rain brought a halt to proceedings.

An early lunch was taken and it looked as if play was going to resume at the scheduled time of 1.10pm.

But just as the players were taking the field the heavens opened and heavy rain set in.

Day 4 - CLARKE SHINES AS WORCS SHARE SPOILS AT CHELTENHAM

Joe Clarke hit an unbeaten 93 to earn Worcestershire an honourable draw from the Specsavers County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

Worcestershire lost early wickets after being set a demanding target of 370 in 51 overs.

But Clarke continued his recent good form in striking 15 fours in his 95 ball knock as Worcestershire closed on 155-5 with nine overs remaining.

He was given good support by Ben Cox and Ross Whiteley as Worcestershire collected 11 points from the game – three for bowling, three for batting and five for a share of the spoils.

Gloucestershire had extended their second innings from 62-1 to 286-4 before the declaration.

Opener Brett D’Oliveira (0) was lbw to David Payne from the third ball of the innings, Tom Fell (0) departed to the same bowler – also lbw – and then Daryl Mitchell (5) was bowled by Liam Norwell.

Worcestershire were then 5-3 in the sixth over with Clarke and George Rhodes joining forces.

Clarke collected the first boundary of the innings via a handsome cover-driver off Payne and then Rhodes pulled the same bowler to the ropes.

The former bristled with attacking intent and reeled off a series of fours in reaching 32 out of 47-3 from 16 overs at tea.

A fourth wicket went down just after the interval when Rhodes (9) shouldered arms and was bowled by Norwell.

First innings century-maker Ben Cox went to the middle and the partnership with Clarke added 63 in just nine overs.

Clarke completed a fluent half century containing eight fours – many of them fluent cover drives – from just 49 deliveries.

But the stand with Cox (21) was broken when the wicket-keeper offered no stroke to Kieran Noema-Barnett and became the third lbw victim of the innings.

Earlier Gloucestershire opener Chris Dent (135 not out) and keeper Gareth Roderick 81) added 189 in 30 overs for the third wicket.

They came together at 90-2 after Will Tavare was lbw to Ed Barnard (32) – his fifth wicket of an impressive match with the ball.

John Hastings had bowled a long testing spell at the start of the day and again looked to be in a good rhythm.

Dent and Roderick upped the scoring rate after the introduction of spinners D’Oliveira and Rhodes.

The century for Dent came up off 186 balls with two sixes and 11 fours. He survived a dropped chance at deep square leg off D’Oliveira on 108.

Josh Tongue ended the stand by bowling Roderick for 81 and then Graeme van Buuren (0) was caught at mid-off off Mitchell immediately before the declaration.

SCORECARD

WAGON WHEEL

MANHATTAN

Match Information

Date:
09 Jul 2017
Match:
Venue:
College Ground, Cheltenham
Start time:
11:00:00
Umpires:
Ian Blackwell / Russell Evans
Toss:
Worcestershire elected to bowl.
Home Scorer
Adrian Bull
Away Scorer
Phillip Mellish
Gloucestershire
383 All Out (102.1 overs)
Worcestershire
300 / 9 (77.0 overs)
Gloucestershire
286 / 4 (66.4 overs)
Worcestershire
155 / 5 (42.0 overs)
  • Gloucestershire
  • Chris Dent
  • Cameron Bancroft
  • William Tavare
  • Gareth Roderick
  • Graeme van Buuren
  • Phil Mustard
  • Jack Taylor
  • Kieran Noema-Barnett
  • David Payne
  • Craig Miles
  • Liam Norwell
  • Worcestershire
  • Daryl Mitchell
  • Brett D'Oliveira
  • Tom Fell
  • Joe Clarke
  • George Rhodes
  • Ben Cox
  • Ross Whiteley
  • Ed Barnard
  • Joe Leach
  • John Hastings
  • Josh Tongue