Bob Willis Trophy: Game in balance for Gloucestershire and Warwickshire

bob willis trophy game in balance for gloucestershire and warwickshire - Bob Willis Trophy: Game in balance for Gloucestershire and Warwickshire
Graeme van Buuren helped Gloucestershire win promotion to Division One of the County Championship last summer
Bob Willis Trophy, Bristol County Ground (day three):
Gloucestershire 210 & 197-6: van Buuren 72, Higgins 51; Hannon-Dalby 2-43
Warwickshire 247: Lamb 65, Rhodes 41; Higgins 4-54
Gloucestershire (4 pts) lead Warwickshire (4 pts) by 160 runs with 4 wickets left

Gloucestershire kept their victory hopes alive with half-centuries from Graeme van Buuren and Ryan Higgins against Warwickshire at Bristol.

After bowling out the Bears for 247, to concede a first-innings deficit of 37, the hosts looked in trouble at 30-3.

But van Buuren (72) and Higgins (51) shared a defiant fourth-wicket stand of 110 either side of lunch, helped Gloucestershire to reach 197-6 by the time bad light ended play eight overs early, a lead of 160.

All results remain possible on day four, but in the end the only winner could be the slow pitch, which has made the match hard work for batsmen and bowlers alike.

All-rounder Higgins had earlier taken the two remaining Warwickshire wickets to finish with 4-54 – having Tim Bresnan caught behind for 38 and last man Oliver Hannon-Dalby taken at second slip for a duck.

But Hannon-Dalby then followed up his career-best 6-33 in the first innings by pinning Ben Charlesworth lbw, playing no shot, for 14 and having George Hankins well caught low down at first slip by Bresnan for a duck.

Bresnan had already removed Gloucestershire captain Chris Dent, bowled off an inside edge without scoring, and it was tough going for the home side, who were still seven runs behind when van Buuren and Higgins came together.

With two new batsmen at the crease, Gloucestershire needed to be watchful after tea.

But Gareth Roderick, Worcestershire-bound at the end of the season, lost concentration and carelessly drove a low catch to Matt Lamb at cover off the bowling of Craig Miles.

There followed a period of nine overs from Bresnan and Miles in which only one run was scored. But George Scott, on his Gloucestershire debut, and Jack Taylor (23 not out) were equally content just with survival.

Match report supplied by PA Media.

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