Duo bowl Gloucs to tense win
Will Gidman and Ian Saxelby bowled Gloucestershire to a tense 33-run victory over Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
Hampshire were set 290 to inflict a second defeat of the season on Gloucestershire, but were bowled out for 256 with only a handful of overs remaining.
Gidman took four for 66 to give the medium-paced bowler match figures of nine for 114, while Saxelby did the early damage in a three-wicket burst at the top of the Hampshire order.
The fourth day began with Gloucestershire on 129 for five in their second innings, a lead of 244 on a wicket which always helped the seamers.
They added a further 45 with Gidman contributing 29 in a stand of 72 for the sixth wicket with Ian Cockbain, which proved to be crucial.
Gloucestershire were all out for 179 with Cockbain ninth out for 47, run out by a smart piece of fielding by James Vince.
Hampshire made a dismal start in the pursuit of their target as the pitch eased in the bright sunshine, losing their first six wickets for 72.
Gidman made the first breakthrough at 23 when he sent back Liam Dawson and David Payne, then accounted for Dawson's opening partner Jimmy Adams to a slip catch.
Saxelby came on to remove Simon Katich, Vince and Sean Ervine to leave Hampshire reeling, and when Gidman had Michael Carberry caught at the wicket, Gloucestershire looked to be heading for a comprehensive win.
But it was then the match appeared to swing back Hampshire's way as seventh-wicket pair Michael Bates and Chris Wood fashioned a stand of 118 in 30 overs as Gloucestershire began to despair.
Just when it seemed Hampshire might save the game, or even accelerate to a shock victory in the circumstances, Wood holed out to Hamish Marshall off Payne for an aggressive 65 which included 12 fours.
Even then it was not over. Bates was joined by Hamza Riazuddin in another profitable partnership, this time of 56 for the eighth wicket.
Gidman came back in a final late push by Gloucestershire, making the big breakthrough almost immediately when he bowled the battling Bates for 87, the young wicketkeeper hitting 11 fours in an innings of 149 balls.
Gidman struck again one run later by bowling Riazuddin and Payne sparked celebrations among Gloucestershire's young team when he knocked over the stumps of last man David Balcombe.
Balcombe can consider himself particularly unlucky to finish on the losing side, taking three Gloucestershire wickets in the second innings to finish with exceptional match figures of 11 for 119.
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