Cricket column by Gloucestershire CCC president John Light
AT LAST! A thrilling home victory in the T20 Blast.
The win against Kent was just the tonic the Bristol crowd needed.
With the senior batsmen not firing much is needed from the lower order, and how well they are responding. Benny Howell, with his ability to bowl economically and then to bash boundaries, is one of the best 20-over cricketers in the country, and Jack Taylor can hit hard and handsomely.
However, it was wicketkeeper Adam Rouse who masterminded the final push for victory. A happy and noisy crowd saw 15 runs come from the last over, and set the scene for Friday’s home game with Sussex.
The previous evening at Lord’s had been most unsatisfactory. A poor Lord’s pitch defeated our batsmen (Benny H excepted) and a total of 106 may not have been enough.
Then it rained. Despite the poor score the pitch was such that our players thought they had a real chance but all that was left for us all was a wet drive home.
Captaincy is a big topic at the moment. I thought the Glamorgan captain got matters completely wrong in the drawn County Championship game.
He had three opportunities to press for a win and took none of them. He could have declared and invited a run chase.
With the Gloucestershire attack as weak as it currently is that was his best chance of victory.
He did not take it, nor did he declare on the evening of the third day, having a ‘pop’ at tired Gloucestershire batsmen. He compounded this mistake by batting on the final morning, giving his bowlers little time to bowl us out. A tame draw resulted.
As captain you have to push for victory and that worries me about England skipper Alastair Cook. He is far too cautious.
The Lord’s declaration was far too late and at Headingley his tactics were sterile and repetitive.
We need Alastair scoring runs at the top of the order but I have severe doubts about him as captain.
Sunday was a great day for Sheepscombe Cricket Club as they held a match to commemorate the centenary of Laurie Lee’s birth and the purchase of the ground from the Laurie Lee Trust.
Mike Gatting represented the ECB, taking time off from his MCC presidential duties. He was good value as ever, but the sight of the two of us together prompted Mrs Light to utter ‘two portly presidents’. I hope Gatt did not hear.