Cricket: Cotterell a spinner of real promise

Northamptonshire 341 Gloucestershire 156-4
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NOT EVERYTHING went according to plan for either side here yesterday. Northamptonshire missed out on a bonus point that seemed there for the taking and Gloucestershire suddenly found batting more problematical than it should have been on this pitch.

Neither side would have worried unduly, though, with more than a day and a half lost to the weather, and everyone was more or less marking time for whatever denouement today's finale throws up.

The pitch remains half- decent, although the bounce tended to become lower and the spinners on both sides discovered that the flighted ball would turn enough. No one enjoyed this more than Tom Cotterell, Gloucestershire's 22-year-old slow left-armer who a week ago was playing league cricket for Stroud. His registration was rushed through because of injuries to various bowlers. At around 6ft he is taller than most of his type, but his height enables him to obtain awkward bounce. He is a genuine spinner of the ball and Gloucestershire seem to have unearthed a real gem.

With three wickets, his bowling here has been a definite plus in difficult circumstances; so too were the efforts of Michael Cawdron, whose 5 for 54 was his second five-wicket haul in only his second Championship match.

The Northamptonshire innings was built around Tony Penberthy, who batted with sense and selectivity to make 92 in 141 balls. When Gloucestershire batted, left-arm spinner Michael Davies took two of the four wickets to fall.