Steve Dent reports from Bedminster CC
Gloucestershire maintained their 100% record in the 50-over county championship with a comprehensive 178-run win against Wiltshire at Bedminster CC.
After winning the toss and batting, openers Abby Evans and Charlie Walker started positively with quick running and positive stroke play. With the total on 41, Walker was unluckily run out backing up for a bright 19 off 31 balls. Bethan Moorcraft joined Evans and the pair proceeded to put together a large partnership. Every time the Wiltshire bowlers erred in line or length, both players took advantage and the scoring rate accelerated.
Evans reached her fifty first with Moorcraft following not far behind as the pair put on 141. Moorcraft was run out for 50 from 76 balls with 4 boundaries, but Evans then proceeded to dominate the rest of the innings; she reached a superb hundred from 137 balls as she shared in partnerships of 42 with Naomi Forecast (14) and Amelia Andrew (24* from 14 balls). She was run out on the last ball of the innings for a high class 132, including 20 boundaries, as Gloucestershire finished on 284-4 from their 50 overs.
In reply, Wiltshire never really showed any intent to chase the target down and set out to frustrate the Gloucestershire bowlers. It took until the 10th over before the breakthrough was made by Eve Alder and the bowlers had to remain patient. The introduction of spinners Abby Evans and Chloe Davis saw more wicket-taking opportunities emerge and Evans trapped Wakeling and Morgan lbw in her spell of 2-20 off 10 overs. Davis took the wicket of Amore with another lbw decision before a series of run outs set Wiltshire further back. Naomi Forecast pounced at backward point to run out More and this was followed by direct hit runs outs from Amelia Andrew and Evans as Wiltshire fell to 79-7.
The reintroduction of Alder saw her trap Farrant lbw before a superb catch diving forward at short extra cover by Chloe Davis gave Charlie Walker her first wicket. A last wicket partnership of 20 frustrated Gloucestershire. but with the total on 106, Davis took a return catch off her own bowling to end the Wiltshire innings. Davis finished with 2-20 from 7.3 overs, Eve Alder ended with 2-23 and Walker 1-25.
Coach Steve Dent said afterwards: “Abby’s high class century was a real highlight today and continues her excellent form this season. She batted all the way through the 50 overs and gave us the platform for a significant score. We kept the pressure on the Wiltshire batters with some disciplined bowling and fielding and the win consolidates our position at the top of Division Four.”
Gloucestershire are next in action in the County T20 competition against Scotland and Devon on 2nd August at Frocester CC.