Gloucestershire take on Glamorgan at the Brightside Ground, Bristol
Two counties without a win in the Specsavers County Championship meet at the Brightside Ground, Bristol hoping to break their respective ducks.
Gloucestershire sit in fifth place in the table while their visitors Glamorgan currently occupy last spot. Both teams have played four games: Glamorgan losing two, at Cardiff against Leicestershire and to Kent at Canterbury, both by ten wickets. Gloucestershire have suffered one defeat- at the hands of leaders Essex at Chelmsford in their opening match.
In their most recent games both counties had their matches affected by the weather. Gloucestershire were on the wrong end of a draw at Canterbury. Indeed, late on the last day it looked as if an innings defeat was likely but an unbroken ninth wicket stand by Jack Taylor and David Payne saved the game. Less play was possible in the draw at Cardiff where Worcestershire were the visitors. Glamorgan conceded 456-6 in the Midland county’s only innings and only 20 overs were possible of the Glamorgan reply.
Gloucestershire’s off-spinning all-rounder Jack Taylor has made an excellent start to his red- ball season. He has taken eight wickets, just two less than his total Championship haul last season. But it is his batting which has caught the eye, scoring 346 runs at an average of 57.67- an impressive performance from someone who has been seen until now as something of a white- ball specialist. It’s no wonder that some are tipping the 24 year- old Oxfordshire born brother of left- arm seamer Matt, also with Gloucestershire, for higher things. He’s building on the fine impression he made when winning the man of the match award at Lord’s last September in the Royal London One- Day Cup Final.
Glamorgan’s 19 year- old batsman, Swansea born Aneurin Donald will have mixed memories of Bristol. It was there, in the last game of last season, he hit his highest Championship score. But it saw him miss his maiden Championship century by just two runs.
Donald played only five Championship matches in 2015, but he has started this season as a regular, scoring 178 runs at 35.6. He has also represented England Under 19s.
The young right- hander has an impressive pedigree which is not lost on older Glamorgan followers. His great uncle, Bernard Hedges, played 422 matches for the county between 1950 and 1967.
Gloucestershire add South-African all rounder Graeme Van Buuren to their squad for the first time. The South African made an unbeaten half century in the abandoned second XI game with Essex this week. Liam Norwell and Will Tavare are still unavailable.
Gareth Roderick (c, wk), Cameron Bancroft, Ian Cockbain, Chris Dent, Tom Hampton, George Hankins, Hamish Marshall, Craig Miles, Kieran Noema-Barnett, David Payne, Jack Taylor, Josh Shaw, Graeme Van Buuren
Glamorgan coach Robert Croft is confident that despite a slow start that his charges can turn around their fortunes this season. He told the county’s website: “I have got belief in these boys. They’re doing things right, they’re practising hard and we hope with that type of work ethic and attention to detail, things come round for us.”
Croft is likely to name a similar side to the one which drew against Worcestershire earlier in the week, with Andrew Salter and Harry Podmore both in contention to return to the side.
Jacques Rudolph(c), Will Bragg, Chris Cooke, Aneurin Donald, Michael Hogan, David Lloyd, Craig Meschede, Harry Podmore, Nick Selman, Andrew Salter Timm van der Gugten, Graham Wagg, Mark Wallace(wk),
Weather and conditions
The weather forecast for Bristol for the duration of the match is cloudy and cool with the possibility of light rain later in match.
Date: 15th-18th May 2016.
Ground: The Brightside Ground, Bristol.
Umpires: Richard Illingworth and Graham Lloyd.
Odds (SkyBet): Gloucestershire: 8/11, Glamorgan: 11/10