Unstoppable Spearman finishes off Middlesex

Click to follow
The Independent Online

After recording the highest individual score and the highest team total in the history of Gloucestershire CCC, it was only fitting that the West Country side should go on and beat Middlesex at Archdeacon Meadow. If not, a doctor with a large beard would have been spinning in his grave.

After recording the highest individual score and the highest team total in the history of Gloucestershire CCC, it was only fitting that the West Country side should go on and beat Middlesex at Archdeacon Meadow. If not, a doctor with a large beard would have been spinning in his grave.

Fitting, too, that the former New Zealand batsman Craig Spearman, who made 341 in the first innings, should be there at the end to lead the side to their 10-wicket victory, knocking off the 47 required. It lifted Gloucestershire from seventh to third in the table.

If "the new WG" had not retired from international cricket and been playing as a domestic registration for his county, he might have been called up for the one-day triangular NatWest Series, so potentially explosive is his batting and so depleted his erstwhile team-mates by injury.

Middlesex resumed on 151 for 2, still 161 in arrears but buoyed by an unbroken stand of 130 between the captain, Owais Shah, and Ed Joyce. Yet they added only another four runs before Joyce fell for 71.

After Shah was dismissed for 72, Paul Weekes chipped in with 53, but it was left to Lance Klusener to provide a much-needed boost, as he had in the first innings. The South African all-rounder must be the most dangerous No 8 in the business. Yesterday he made 68 not out off 69 balls with 10 fours and a six, putting on 91 with Chris Peploe; in the first innings, he hit 63 off 53 balls with 12 fours, adding 94 with Peploe. But it was not enough to make a dent on the hosts' 696 for 9 as the slow left-armer Ian Fisher took 4 for 110 and paceman Jon Lewis picked up 3 for 36.

In the other First Division match, second-placed Kent were set a target of 439 to beat Worcestershire at New Road after the home side declared on 405 for 6. Ben Smith went on to 127 and Vikram Solanki 86, while the fast bowler Ben Trott took 4 for 109. Michael Carberry recovered from a blow to the forehead off Matt Mason to score 64, but Kent lost wickets rapidly until the last pair clung on for 31 balls to secure a draw on 244 for 9.

Glamorgan made it four wins in a row as they thrashed Leicestershire by 409 runs at Sophia Gardens, the sixth-highest victory in the Championship in terms of runs. The visitors, set a mammoth target of 547, were just looking to save the game, but an overnight score of 51 for 2 soon turned into 63 for 5 as David Harrison took 3 for 3 in 11 balls.

Brad Hodge, the Australian who is averaging 85.40 this season, was the only one likely to hang around all day. He was last out for 61 as his side subsided meekly for 137, the Welsh county keeping pace with Nottinghamshire at the top of the Second Division.

Comments