Lewis takes the fight to Warne for Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire 210-9 - Hampshire 64-4

Ever since Mike Gatting had his off-stump trimmed by the perfect leg-break at Old Trafford 12 years ago, England have been attempting to come up with a plan to counteract the brilliance of Shane Warne. Graham Gooch, Michael Atherton, Robin Smith and Alec Stewart, four of England's finest batsmen, have all tried to get the better of the Australian legend, but sadly each failed.

But yesterday in a totesport league First Division match in Southampton Gloucestershire came up with a novel idea. The cunning plan is unlikely to catch on in Test cricket but it involved sending a tail-ender - John Lewis - up the batting order with the clear instructions to have an enormous slog at Warne.

And for 33 minutes it seemed to work. Lewis entered the fray when Matt Windows limped off with a hamstring injury, and immediately struck Alan Mullally for two fours. He then turned his attention to Test cricket's highest wicket-taker who he smashed for one huge six and two boundaries.

The benefits of Lewis' 28-ball innings of 40 were three-fold for Gloucestershire. The right-handers powerful strokeplay took the initiative away from Hampshire, angered Warne - the leg-spinner resorted to bowling Lewis a bouncer which he upper-cut for four - and stung Philip Weston into action.

Before the arrival of Lewis, Weston was struggling to get the ball away but the sight of his team-mate swinging his bat so freely at the Australian legend seemed to loosen him up. But the left-handed opener continued to show Warne respect and decided to get after the off-spin of Shaun Udal, which he twice struck down the ground for six.

The pair took 51 runs off six overs of spin before Warne gained his revenge by bowing Lewis. Gloucestershire continued to adopt their ultra-positive approach until Upul Chandana and Weston were stumped in consecutive overs from Warne and Udal.

The loss of these two was a set-back, but with 12 overs of their innings remaining Gloucestershire, on 150 for 4, were in a good position on a pitch where anything above 200 is difficult to chase. Chris Taylor and Steve Adshead scored useful runs, while Sean Ervine and Chris Tremlett took five cheap wickets.

Warne's captaincy has made Hampshire an exciting side to watch, but when he arrived home last night he must have questioned his decision to bowl 17 overs of spin. Tremlett and Ervine both went for less than four runs an over, as did Richard Logan, who bowled only six of his nine-over allocation.

Lewis did not allow his success with the bat affect the jon he is paid to to - bow - and in an excellent opening spell he dismissed two of Hampshire's most dangerous players. The Australian, Simon Katich, was trapped in front attempting to work one to leg and Sean Ervine edged a loose waft through to the keeper.

This brought Kevin Pietersen to the crease, and once again he failed to thrill an expectant crowd.

Batting here is sure to test the skill and patience of the England one-day star, but he will consider himself slightly unfortunate to have hit a full blooded cut-cum-drive straight to Chandana at deep gully.

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Sport
sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there