GLOUCESTERSHIRE’S batsmen struggled on a difficult Lord’s pitch before rain caused their NatWest T20 Blast game against Middlesex to be abandoned.

After deciding to bat first, Gloucestershire made just 105-6 from their 20 overs against the only side below them in the South Group and a downpour that brought proceedings to a premature end at the halfway stage saved them from what appeared to be a likely defeat.

The visitors were reduced to 16-3 before Benny Howell (39) and Will Gidman (24*) steered them towards three figures, teenager Harry Podmore taking 3-13 with the ball.