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.
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.
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.
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.