Report by Andrew Stockhausen.
Captain Chris Dent scored 92 earlier than Gloucestershire collapsed in dramatic vogue on the opening day of their Bob Willis Trophy match in opposition to Worcestershire in Bristol.
Dent received the toss and top-scored whereas Graeme van Buuren made a swashbuckling 60 as Gloucestershire reached 205-2 to take the sport by the scruff of the neck.
However Worcestershire’s bowlers caught to their job magnificently and Charlie Morris impressed a late fightback, claiming three victims in 18 balls to spark a slide wherein the hosts surrendered six wickets for 38 runs in 18 overs, ending the day on 246-8.
Leg spinner Brett D’Oliveira and seamer Josh Tongue weighed in with two wickets apiece, whereas Joe Leach additionally obtained in on the act as Worcestershire displayed character aplenty to bounce again in type.
Taking part in his first aggressive innings since main his aspect to promotion to Division One of many County Championship 10 months earlier, Bristolian Dent was unfazed by Covid-19 restrictions and the absence of spectators, batting for four-and-a-half hours, going through 184 balls, accruing 9 fours and sharing in stands of 127 and 55 with van Buuren and George Hankins for the second and third wickets respectively.
Whereas fellow opener Miles Hammond threw warning to the wind and perished for 14 by the hands of Tongue, caught on the wicket through an inside edge within the 12th over, Gloucestershire’s captain was a mannequin of circumspection.
When Dent lastly opened his shoulders and plundered three boundaries in a single over on the expense of D’Oliveira shortly earlier than the lunch interval, it signalled a change of drugs. Aided and abetted by a rising variety of unhealthy balls from Worcestershire’s ring-rusty change bowlers, the Bristolian made up floor on the dashing van Buuren and was first to grasp 50.
The second wicket pair superior their partnership to 3 figures in simply 31 overs as runs continued to move within the afternoon sunshine. Having survived a top-edged pull off D’Oliveira that fell between three converging fielders at mid-wicket when on 27, van Buuren made good his escape to publish a 115-ball 50. The South African raised his bat to acknowledge a smattering of applause from residents in close by flats and his team-mates on the pavilion balcony in an in any other case abandoned floor.
Van Buuren had scored 60 from 138 balls and accrued eight boundaries when leg spinner D’Oliveira lured him onto the entrance foot and yorked him with a flighted ball that dipped instantly earlier than clipping the highest of the bails. D’Oliveira then halted Dent’s hitherto serene progress by bowling him via the gate, whereas Hankins, having carried out the exhausting yards in reaching 30, chopped the ball onto his stumps to current Morris with a deserved wicket.
Jack Taylor got here and went with out scoring, edging a Tongue supply behind, whereas Morris accounted for Ryan Higgins and Tom Worth in the identical over as Gloucestershire’s center and decrease order folded. Leach had David Payne caught on the wicket and the house aspect have been thereafter indebted to Gareth Roderick and Josh Shaw, who held out when it seemed as if the hosts may be dismissed earlier than the shut.
Earlier than the beginning of the match gamers from either side noticed a minute’s silence as a mark of respect for the victims of Covid-19 after which took the knee to register their assist for inclusivity in cricket.
Talking on the finish of play Chris Dent mentioned: “It is a disgrace issues resulted in the way in which they did.
“We did the exhausting yards and set issues up properly after a difficult begin. But it surely wanted me or Graeme (van Buuren) to go on and make a very large rating and neither of us was fairly ready to do this.
“Issues have been a bit bizarre with Covid and we’ve not been capable of put together in the way in which we wish. That mentioned, I felt good on the market and would have favored to go on.
“He (Brett D’Oliveira) managed to get a superb ball via me and there was nothing I might do about it. I believe that was the turning level and, having damaged the partnership, Worcestershire took their alternative.
“Dropping six wickets within the closing session was disappointing. We now need to dig in tomorrow and hope that Gareth Roderick and Josh Shaw can do a job for us.”