Apr 142013

Gloucestershire had to settle for nine points from an encouraging first LV=County Championship performance of the season after the rain-ruined game with Essex at Chelmsford drifted towards an inevitable draw.

Starting the final day on 177-3, the hosts batted through to close on 353-6 when more rain brought a premature conclusion, Tom Westley making 163 and James Foster 51.


Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Cameron Herring made a promising first-class debut against Essex in the drawn Championship match at Chelmsford.

There were wickets for Liam Norwell, Will Gidman and Benny Howell, his second of the innings, but in the end the only winners were the weather and a good batting pitch.

Only 51 overs were bowled in the day and the main excitement was Westley reaching his century off 184 balls with 15 fours.

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By the time he became a first Championship victim for young Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Cameron Herring on debut, off the bowling of Gidman, the 24-year-old opener had batted for more than six hours and extended his boundary count to 23.

Gloucestershire’s bowlers stuck to their task and produced some tidy figures. Howell finished with 2-42 from 15 overs, James Fuller 2-77 from 26 and Gidman 1-88 from 30.

Caution was the Essex watchword early on and only eight runs arrived from the opening ten overs sent down by Fuller and Gidman.

But the tempo increased appreciably when sNorwell and David Payne were introduced into the attack as both batsmen drove and pulled boundaries in confident style.

The partnership had produced 95 in 29 overs before Gloucestershire claimed their solitary success of the morning session. It arrived when Mark Pettini, whose share was 35, was trapped leg before to provide Norwell with reward.

Another half-century stand followed, as Foster settled in to support Westley, and the pair looked so comfortable that it came as something of a surprise when Westley pushed at a delivery from Gidman and nicked a simple catch into the gloves of Herring. The fifth wicket partnership was worth 73 and carried Essex to 307.

As the clouds gathered, Foster and Greg Smith scored at a run a ball before the former was magnificently caught by Fuller inside the fine leg boundary from a slog-sweep against Howell immediately after completing his half century. His 51 included six fours and came off 91 balls.

Foster’s departure came as rain started to fall but there was time enough for Smith to claim a fourth batting point for Essex before the players sought the shelter of the pavilion and an early tea.

Unfortunately rain only increased with intensity and at 4.30 pm the game was abandoned

The bonus points were Gloucestershire nine and Essex eight.

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