Gloucester cruise to a three-peat

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The Independent Online

Gloucestershire announced their arrival as the new one-day kings of county cricket today by securing a third successive Lord's final with a comprehensive victory over standard-bearers Lancashire.

Gloucestershire announced their arrival as the new one-day kings of county cricket today by securing a third successive Lord's final with a comprehensive victory over standard-bearers Lancashire.

Despite last season's successes in the Benson & Hedges Super Cup and NatWest Trophy many inside the club believed they were not given the credit they deserved during last summer's double triumph.

But against the star-studded line-up of Lancashire - the side widely regarded as the best in the country in the limited overs format - they completed a 15-run triumph to become the first side since Warwickshire in 1993-94 to reach three successive knockout finals.

Coach John Bracewell had made clear to his side that this match would be the guide to how far they had progressed and how far behind they were to the sides who consistently challenge for honours.

Even without all-rounder Ian Harvey, who was ruled out with a hamstring strain, they achieved their victory with some to spare and will now enter the June 10 final against local rivals Glamorgan as clear favourites.

Determination and astute running between the wickets enabled them to set a competitive total of 220 for six, despite a slow Bristol wicket which made run-scoring far from easy. They followed this by maintaining a tight line and length to frustrate a Lancashire side and restrict them to 205 for nine in reply.

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