May 022013

BENNY Howell finished with career-best match figures of 8-96 as Gloucestershire were set 188 to beat Leicestershire on the third day of the LV= County Championship match at Grace Road.

Will Gidman claimed 4-39 to help bowl out the home side for 217 in their second innings, while Howell’s 3-39 followed his 5-57 in the first innings.



By the close Gloucestershire had reached 16 without loss in their second innings and require a further 172 today for their first Championship win of the season.

Leicestershire begun the day on 32-2 and lost nightwatchman Ollie Frekingham with only three runs added.

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When Ned Eckersley was bowled by Howell for 45, it was 69-4 and the lead was only 39.

But Josh Cobb (43) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (44) then put together a fifth-wicket stand of 76, which threatened to take the home side into a winning position before both fell to Howell, pictured, in quick succession.

It was another remarkable effort from the Gloucestershire man, who before this game had never taken more than two wickets in a first-class innings.

Jack Taylor removed Shiv Thakor cheaply to put the visitors on top, but another half-century partnership, between Matthew Boyce and Jigar Naik looked to be turning the tables again.

Will Gidman had Boyce caught behind for 35 on his way to match figures of 7-104 and Craig Miles cleaned up the tail to leave Gloucestershire facing what looked a manageable target.

Michael Klinger and Chris Dent were both unbeaten on eight at stumps, with an exciting final day in prospect.

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