Cricket: Broad gains in pain: Alleyne's support

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The Independent Online
Gloucestershire . . . . . . . . . . . . . .155-4


GETTING off the mark has been less of a problem for Chris Broad than for Gloucestershire. Last summer the county were the last to achieve a Championship victory - as late as August.

This summer they were first-time victors against Somerset, who were well and truly Walshed, Courtney taking 11 for 143. Broad has been next to excel, his 50th first-class hundred against Sussex last week rapidly followed by an innings yesterday of great courage.

Broad has been suffering from migraine and hip trouble already this season, but his four-hour innings of 76 on a pitch assisting the seam bowlers denied Worcestershire.

After making 16 in 80 minutes, the start having been delayed by rain until 2.20pm, Broad changed his bat, had pain-killing tablets and battled on to a half-century in almost three hours with six fours.

More boundaries would have been a personal labour- saving relief because he was hobbling and in such discomfort that lesser mortals would have retired hurt. The ball moved around, disconcerting even the fully fit.

The less mobile had major problems as it seamed and swung, which explained the ponderous scoring rate. Broad's comforters included Mark Alleyne, whose 21 from 85 balls made his partner's progress seem quite rapid.

Dean Hodgson had been caught at the wicket, Simon Hinks was dismissed in Phil Newport's third over and Neal Radford ousted Alleyne, who had been dropped off a sharp chance to Phil Weston in the gully off Stuart Lampitt.

It mattered little because Alleyne added only 11 more runs on a day best described as abbreviated, attritional and more geared to the following three than the one at hand.