Kent with battle on their hands

Saturday 21st April 2012

Men’s First Team

Kent with battle on their hands

An unbeaten half-century from Gloucestershire captain Alex Gidman kept his side in control of their LV= County Championship Division Two game at Kent as they closed day three with a 296-run lead.

Alex Gidman kept his concentration despite three rain breaks which led to the loss of 23 overs to post 60 as Gloucestershire finished the penultimate day in Canterbury on 191 for three.

The visiting skipper featured in a stand of 47 with Richard Coughtrie (40) and an unbroken 94 with fourth-wicket partner Hamish Marshall (55 not out).

Coughtrie’s 135-minute vigil ended in fading light with a top-edged sweep to wicketkeeper Geraint Jones soon after tea but, with the floodlights on, New Zealander Marshall enlivened proceedings with a 64-ball 50 to keep Alex Gidman company through to stumps.

Batting for a second time in the match by noon of day three, Gloucestershire lost opener Chris Dent to the final ball of the 11th over for 24 when his loose, back-foot shot against Matt Coles gave Jones a regulation catch behind the stumps.

The drizzle intensified almost immediately afterwards and the teams were forced back to the pavilion three balls later for an early lunch.

Another, lengthier rain break after the interval led to the loss of another 14 overs, and the lapse in focus appeared to play a part in Benny Howell dismissal 10 minutes after the resumption.

Working across the line to a Mark Davies off-cutter he went lbw for 10 to bring together Coughtrie and Alex Gidman for their telling third-wicket stand.

Kent had started the day in a tricky first-innings battle to match Gloucestershire’s 255 all out.

Resuming on 119 for six, the hosts proceeded to lose their last four wickets for 31 runs.

The rot started with the loss of three wickets for two runs in the space of 19 balls as Will Gidman’s returned figures of five for 43.

England tourist James Tredwell was the first to go, dragging one from Gidman on to leg stump, before, fresh from a maiden century at Headingley, Coles had only one to his name when he ran himself out.

Pushing toward mid-on, the left-hander set off for a risky single only to see substitute fielder James Fuller make a diving stop and throw down the stumps at the non-striker end.

Last man Charlie Shreck helped post Kent 150 but, without addition, ballooned a bat-pad catch to short leg to leave Kent facing a first innings deficit of 105.

Click here for the scorecard

Click here for video highlights of day three

Photo: Sarah Ansell