WRETCHED Welsh weather prevented a convincing win for Gloucestershire in Cardiff.
Fine bowling and determined batting showed how well our team responded to the Hampshire defeat. Two days of cricket showed we have the ability to win matches. The two days lost to the weather saved the Welsh side from a heavy defeat.
It was encouraging to see spinner Tom Smith having a better game with both bat and ball, but it was Will Gidman who took the honours. With outstanding figures of 6-50 off 25 overs.
Thinking about writing this column earlier in the week, I intended to start it with a simple sentence – Gidman for England! Two respected judges, captain Michael Klinger and Hamish Marshall, beat me to it.
Will could certainly fill the Tim Bresnan role in the Test XI and those of us who watched the limp performances in the winter one-day games know he is so much better than the succession of serial losers we saw representing our country.
We are lucky to have Will. Like brother Alex he was missed on leaving school and headed for Lord’s where he joined the MCC young cricketers. After that he joined Durham on a two-year contract where he became frustrated at no championship opportunities. Since joining us, or to put it another way, coming home, he has been a revelation.
Will’s story shows how many mistakes we made in our recruitment policy. Hopes were high for Will Rudge, Tom Stayt, Jackson Thompson and David Brown making the grade. With them on the staff there was no room for Will. Worse still Liam Dawson and Joe Vine were allowed to nip away from nearby North Wiltshire to join Hampshire where they are now established first-teamers.
Such errors of omission would not happen now. There are good relations with all neighbouring minor counties, and as a result a 14-year-old from Oxfordshire played in a Second XI match against Surrey. Watch out for young all rounder Mark Lazar, who scored 83 off 59 deliveries, including nine fours and three sixes.
Rain has already bitten into the match against Essex and unless there are declarations or forfeits a result will be hard to come by. With their experienced international players – Cook, Bopara, Panesar, Masters and wicket keeper/captain Foster – our visitors will be hard to beat, but in a game now shortened by at least a day anything can happen.