Cricket: Alleyne maintains reign

Durham 86 & 357 Gloucestershire 471-6 dec Glos won by inns and 28 runs
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The Independent Online
Gloucestershire's captain Mark Alleyne believes his side are still very much part of the Championship race after beating Durham at the Cheltenham festival.

It took Gloucestershire just 40 minutes to claim the three wickets they needed to beat Durham by an innings and 28 runs on the fourth day of their Championship match yesterday.

"After losing three games everyone was writing us off but that wasn't the view of the guys in the dressing room,"Alleyne said. "We've already raised a few eyebrows this season and are very much the surprise package. Right now we are playing superbly and have every confidence of winning each time we go out."

Rain closing in from the hills overlooking the picturesque College Ground posed a threat to Gloucestershire's ambitions but they won the race with minutes to spare - the rain fell as they started celebrating taking 48 points from the festival.

Durham were hanging on in the hope the weather would rescue them from their second successive innings defeat. They needed 64 to make Gloucestershire bat again but added just 36.

Durham's cause was not helped with four players suffering stomach illnesses after visiting a restaurant in Cheltenham the night before.

The worst effected was Nick Speak, but he went out to bat and, having started his innings the previous day, faced a total of 58 balls for his unbeaten 31.

The wickets, though, went down in 10.2 overs, Alleyne claiming two of them to finish with 4 for 69 to go with his 5 for 14 in the first innings.

He went round the wicket to have John Wood caught at wide mid-off but reverted to his normal style then to have the final batsman, Simon Brown, caught behind by Jack Russell.

Kent's opening batsman David Fulton is set to miss the rest of the season after breaking the knuckle on his left hand. Fulton, 25, will be out for up to six weeks after being hit batting against Middlesex at Lord's.