Footitt leads Derbyshire fightback at Bristol

Footitt leads Derbyshire fightback at Bristol

Stumps, Day One: Derbyshire 24/0 trail Gloucestershire 275 (Roderick 76) by 251 runs, at Bristol

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Alex Hughes took two wickets for Derbyshire.
An entertaining day’s cricket on a bright, chilly Spring day at Bristol ended with the visitors marginally on top as they bowled out Gloucestershire for 275, making 24/0 in reply at the close.

This represented a much better outcome for the Midlanders than they would have hoped for at tea with the the home county on 227/4. But as the sun came out to warm the hardy early season spectators the Derbyshire bowlers stepped up a gear and had the little bit of good fortune which sometimes eluded them earlier in the day. The six post tea wickets that fell were shared between Mark Footitt, Alex Hughes, who both took two, Tom Taylor and Tony Palladino. It was a spirited performance by the Derbyshire seamers who shared all but five of the 87.4 overs bowled in the Gloucestershire innings.

Derbyshire won the toss on a cold Bristol morning on which the skies matched the grey of the smart new seats installed on the Mound Stand side of the Nevil Road ground. Unsurprisingly the visitors decided to bowl, but it was the Gloucestershire openers Chris Dent and Will Tavaré who seized the initiative, batting brightly and confidently until Dent, a centurion in his last innings at Northampton, was caught behind off Palladino for 22 with the score on 30, compiled in as many minutes.

Tavaré was joined by wicket-keeper Gareth Roderick for a second- wicket stand in which both batsmen played with the same confidence as had been shown for the previous wicket. Both drove straight particularly well and took the score to 98 shortly before lunch when Tavaré played an uncharacteristically loose shot outside off the stump edging the former Leicestershire all- rounder Shiv Thakor to Skipper Wayne Madsen at first slip.
Taking lunch at 106-2 the hosts would have been pleased with their morning’s work after having been inserted, although their progress wasn’t without some fresh- air shots, particularly from the bowling of Footit who bowled an impressive second spell from the Ashley Down End.

Soon after lunch Gloucestershire’s new Australian signing Peter Hanscomb, on his home debut, was bowled off stump by the lively Tom Taylor for 17. He has the style of a batsman who will prosper when the sun shines more consistently than it did in Bristol today, but today was not his day. However, it did look as if it may be Roderick’s day. Although his timing sometimes showed early season rustiness, and he rode his luck on occasions, he looked as if he could reach three figures. But it was not to be. On 76 he mistimed a pull off Footit and was pouched by square leg Alex Hughes.

Hamish Marshall was soon batting in his busy style. This is the long-serving New Zealander’s benefit season and he was soon gifted an early contribution by Ben Slater when the young visiting batsman dropped him at point off Shiv Thakor’s medium pace. The half hour prior to tea saw some of the most fluent stroke- making of the day as skipper Geraint Jones and Marshall took the score to 227/4 at the interval.

In the second ball after tea Jones shouldered arms to a ball from Taylor that moved into him. He was soon followed to the pavilion by Marshall who was lbw to Alex Hughes for 41. 227/4 had suddenly become 249-6. Only Kieran Noema-Barnett, the New Zealand all-rounder with a British passport, offered much resistance with 21 as the Gloucestershire lower order succumbed to the Derbyshire pace attack.

Derbyshire openers Billy Godleman and Ben Slater negotiated the closing six overs of the day successfully.

It was a day that new Gloucestershire skipper Geraint Jones will see as a missed opportunity to make a more sizeable total having been handed first use of the pitch, although he later admitted that we would have bowled first had he been successful with the toss. Leading Derbyshire wicket-taker Mark Footitt, who took 3/72 from his 18 overs thought that they could have bowled the hosts out more cheaply.

He told the county’s website: “If we had bowled as well as we could in the morning session we would have got them out for under 200. But from the situation we found ourselves in at tea, we were pretty satisfied with the day as a whole.”

Much will depend in the morning on how quickly the young Gloucestershire pace attack can put the ball in the right places. But with a poor weather forecast for later in the match both sides will be keen to keen not to take the match much beyond the third day.

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