Leicestershire run through Gloucestershire to take control of opening day

Leicestershire run through Gloucestershire to take control of opening day

 

Gloucestershire collapsed from 191-4 to 202 all out as Leicestershire seized control of an opening day in Bristol that for long periods had threatened to finish honours even.

The wicket of Jack Taylor, lbw to Ackermann for 21, instigated a period of play all too familiar for Gloucestershire fans this season.

His dismissal came just before the new ball was due, something that the Leicestershire pair of Ben Raine and Mohammad Abbas exploited to ruthless effect.

Raine was the first to strike trapping Ryan Higgins lbw for 0, before repeating the feat in his following over on 17-year-old Ben Charlesworth.

Pakistan international Abbas would then get in on the act, dislodging James Bracey for 76, the Gloucestershire top scorer also out leg before.

His wicket exposing what is a weak Gloucestershire tail, so it was no surprise when David Payne and Matt Taylor then fell in successive overs.

Payne edged behind to Eckersley off Raine and Taylor gave Abbas his fifth wicket of the innings which completed a quite extraordinary eight overs of play. Gloucestershire all out for 202.

The hosts would grab a late wicket of their own, David Payne inducing an edge from Harry Dearden for four leaving Leicestershire 11-1 at the close, trailing by 191 runs.

Though that would be the one positive of an evening session that had ruined a day of hard work and graft due to some wonderful bowling and reckless batting.

Most of that hard work had once again been done by youngster Bracey, as he has done on so many occasions this season. Gloucestershire’s number three batted with control, leaving excellently but also making use of the drive. A shot that the majority of his eleven boundaries came from.

Though Bracey should not take all the credit. Gloucestershire’s initial improvements with the bat began with openers Chris Dent and Miles Hammond putting on exactly fifty for the first wicket.

An impressive stand which kept the likes of Abbas and Raine at bay. Their effort was certainly a slow one taking twenty overs, but on a cloudy morning in Bristol it was just what was required.

Gavin Griffiths would be the man to get the breakthrough for Leicestershire, forcing Dent to chop onto his own stumps for 28.

A disappointing way for the Gloucestershire captain to get out, made all the more annoying that his fellow opener Hammond would also be back in the hutch before another run was added. Abbas got the wicket, and Eckersley took his first catch of the contest.

50-0 was now 50-2 and would quickly become 50-3 as Benny Howell was soon out for a duck, Abbas bamboozling the all-rounder who could only edge the ball straight into the hands of Ackermann at slip. This mini-collapse foreshadowing what was to come later on.

That would bring Bracey and Gareth Roderick together for the most fruitful partnership of the Gloucestershire innings.

The pair added a century of runs for the fourth wicket batting throughout the entirety of the afternoon session until Abbas removed Roderick lbw for 41, with Gloucestershire now 150-4. A third wicket for Abbas on a day where he finished with 5-30.

Bracey would be joined by Jack Taylor for a brief partnership of 41 until the latter was removed by Ackermann, and then chaos ensued.

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