sport

Gloucestershire ease to victory

Gloucestershire wiped out their negative points tally as they claimed a comfortable first T20 Blast win of the season against Middlesex.

Gloucestershire - who began their South Division campaign on minus two points as punishment for preparing a poor pitch last season - eased to a five-wicket victory over the Panthers.

They restricted Middlesex to 111 for eight from their 20 overs and then knocked off the runs with 15 balls to spare.

James Fuller (three for 29) and Liam Norwell (three for 27) both did damage as the Panthers struggled to generate momentum in their innings after a rain-delayed start.

Middlesex lost wickets at regular intervals and Dawid Malan (18 from 11 balls) and captain Dan Christian (18 from 24) were unable to build on good starts.

They looked set for a score well below par as they slipped to 67 for six in the 11th over.

A solid effort from John Simpson (22 not out) and Ollie Rayner (15) - the pair put on 32 for the seventh wicket - gave them a more competitive total, but their hopes still rested on Steven Finn's bowling.

Finn (two for 23) did trouble the Gloucestershire batsmen, and he removed captain Michael Klinger with the score on two, but he and the other Middlesex bowlers did not have enough runs to work with.

Chris Dent (24), Hamish Marshall (24) and Ian Cockbain (18) laid the platform before Cameron Herring (18no) finished the job.

Middlesex did not help themselves in the field with Christian dropping Cockbain at one point and Rayner putting down a chance off Herring.