Gloucestershire vs Worchestershire: Will Gidman rekindles the glory years
CB40 result: Glos beat Worcs by 109 runs.
Whisper this quietly, but Glos might be on the verge of becoming a decent one day side. No, quieter than that. Plus we did say, 'on' the verge of becoming a good one day outfit. There's no telling how long that verge stretches into the distance.
Yesterday Gloucestershire dismantled Worcestershire at New Road. We still don't know why Will Gidman is opening the batting, but yesterday he came good and got the team off to a solid start with 76 runs from 98 balls. Big brother then helped out with a rapid fire fifty to post a respectable total of 238 from the ridiculous 40 overs.
This is hardly a spectacular total. It's not mouth watering. It doesn't win a game by itself. But it is very competitive. It's also exactly the sort of total Glos use to post regularly back in the glory days of King John's first trip on the Gloucestershire haycart. It's the sort of total that good, tight early bowling makes look very good. Now unfortunately this Gloucester team doesn't have a Harv and Smudger to send down the first 10 overs whilst barely conceding a run, but yesterday Will Gidman did a bloody good impression. Heck, even muck flinging James Fuller did a good job. David Payne also continued his good form since returning from injury. After 10 overs, Worcestershire were 25 for 5. Game over.
Gloucestershire now lie third in the imaginatively titled Group A, five points behind surprising leaders Holland, but with three games in hand. The tournament now moves aside for the t20 circus, resuming again in a month's time when everyone will have forgotten what is happening and the competition will have lost all impetus. Seriously, would it be that difficult to play all the group matches before the t20. Then have a break, and have the knockout stage of the competition in the second half of the season? Why do you want to stop a competition in its tracks, and then try and resume it again. The structure of the CB40 competition leads itself very logically to playing group games first, then a break, then the excitement of the knockout rounds. Maybe that's just us. Or maybe we are just cricket administration geniuses and nobody else has the Jessop Tavern View's clarity of vision. Somehow we doubt this last point is true.
Anyway, getting back to Glos. A lot of credit needs to go to....and take a big gulp here....King John and the coaching staff. The comparisons with the magnificent one day side of a decade ago are there for all to see. Intelligent batting that sets competitive totals. Disciplined bowling that keeps the pressure on the opposition. Wonderful fielding. Ok, so the quality isn't quite the same. For Boo-Boo, read captain Gidders. For Kimbo, read Hamish Marshall. For smudger, read David Payne. For Snape and Ball, read Taylor and Young. For Jack, read (and this one is painful) Jon Batty. You see what we mean. Still, the blueprint is the same, and the real secret of Gloucester's success 10 years ago was the team ethos. The team was always better than merely the sum of its parts.
So lets hope this can continue. It will certainly be interesting to watch how the boys go in the t20.