Cricket: Windows brightens up Gloucestershire

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Gloucestershire 291; Yorkshire 126-0

GIVEN Gloucestershire's reputation for crashes - not all associated with cricket, one might add - yesterday's effort represented a minor triumph. Climbing from the wreckage created by Glamorgan and Hampshire, they survived some early alarms against Yorkshire and, in the tranquil setting of the College grounds here, raised their first batting bonus points of the month.

Another bonus was that Courtney Walsh, top of the bowling averages coming into this match, was able to make the starting line-up. On Saturday evening, the captain was involved in a car accident and had to have his neck encased in a brace.

The club's run of bad luck on the roads this season had begun with Simon Hinks and Chris Broad. On the field, they were also on a hat-trick - of Championship defeats following the reversals at Bristol and Portsmouth - and at 20 for 2 after being put in, things appeared to be following a horribly familiar pattern.

Help, though, was at hand. The ball may have not been quite coming on to the bat, but a parched outfield offered rich rewards and Matt Windows and Bobby Dawson cheered their employers with a stand of 134 for the third wicket.

The pair also achieved Championship bests. Windows, coming in for the dropped Broad, made 73, 52 of his runs coming in boundaries, while Dawson included 10 fours and two sixes in his 71. Jack Russell also chipped in with an unbeaten 38, although Martyn Ball was swept away by Michael Vaughan after taking 10 in two deliveries from the off-spinner.

This Vaughan over cost 22 runs, Walsh's arrival marked by two thumping blows that cleared the boards. The West Indian, however, could not separate Yorkshire's openers before the close, Vaughan exacting revenge with a 51-ball half-century.