sport

Gloucestershire close on victory

Gloucestershire sensed a first County Championship Division Two victory of the season after compiling an imposing 351-run lead against Kent.

Day two of the match at the County Ground saw Gloucestershire coast to 213 for four at the close of play, with Alex Gidman making 85 before succumbing to the bowling of Darren Stevens, while Hamish Marshall was not out on 66.

The match had looked well poised after the home side were restricted to 252 in their first innings, only for Kent to be skittled for a paltry 114.

Kent started the day on 33 for six, still 219 runs behind, having lost six final-session wickets in a humiliating collapse.

And while they faired moderately better when play resumed - resistance was offered by Sam Billings with 42 and Adam Ball's 37 - they still fell too easily.

Apart from Billings and Ball, no player was able to reach double figures, with James Fuller and Will Gidman spearheading Gloucestershire's assault with four wickets each.

Early hopes of gaining something from the match rose when Kent sent Chris Dent and Michael Klinger back to the pavilion cheaply, but Gloucestershire soon steadied the ship.

William Tavare fired a rapid 27 before Gidman and Marshall began flailing Kent's struggling attack with Stevens, who finished with three wickets, their only genuine threat.

A first win in six games now beckons for Gloucestershire, who have two days to wrap-up victory.