Spearman completes Yorkshire's misery

Yorkshire 183 Gloucestershire 184-2 Gloucs win by 8 wickets
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The Independent Online

Craig Spearman and Philip Weston produced an opening stand of 143 to set the pace for Gloucestershire's comfortable victory over Yorkshire here yesterday. The National League leaders made short work of a target of 184, getting home with 12.2 overs to spare with Spearman undefeated on 93.

It was a dominant performance from Gloucestershire, who now take a four-point lead into tomorrow's game with second-placed Surrey at The Oval.

James Averis took 4 for 50 as Yorkshire were bowled out for 183 in 41.5 overs after winning the toss. Matthew Wood top-scored for the visitors with 38.

Yorkshire made a decent start to their innings with Wood and Stephen Fleming putting on 62 in less than eight overs, before Fleming skied an attempted drive off Averis and fell to a good catch by Alex Gidman facing the sun at mid-on for 21.

Gloucestershire then turned the screw with some accurate bowling backed up by excellent ground fielding.

Wood had looked in fine form, hitting six fours in his 43-ball innings, before getting a nick to an attempted pull off Averis and offering a straightforward catch to Jack Russell. Michael Lumb played soundly for his 28 and Craig White was going well on 27 when becoming the first victim of two run-outs in the 29th over, bowled by Mike Smith.

White drove to mid-off and was well in when Mark Alleyne hit the stumps at the bowler's end. The ball rebounded, offering the chance of a second run, but the alert Smith grabbed it and his fast throw to Russell beat White by a yard.

Richard Blakey fell to more good fielding, this time by Shoaib Malik at square-leg as he was sent back attempting a quick single and Gloucestershire's bowlers never released their grip.

The total was well below par on the fast-scoring College Ground as Spearman and Weston soon proved. Steven Kirby conceded nine boundaries in his first four overs as both openers went on the attack.

The only down side for Gloucestershire was an injury to Smith, who wrenched his back when fielding and had to go off. He could miss the Surrey game as a result.