Gloucs grind out dull draw
Gloucestershire ground it out on the final day to make sure their LV= County Championship match at Derbyshire finished in the dullest of draws.
Though it made for a spectacle that offered no warmth to the few souls who braved the weather, Gloucestershire did all they needed to do by seeing out the remainder of a game in which they struggled from the start.
With New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson (128) and his compatriot Hamish Marshall (90) taking their third-wicket partnership to 166 in the morning, there was little chance of Derbyshire being able to press for victory on a flat wicket.
The highlight of the day's play came late in the afternoon, when the umpires called for a drinks break of hot tea in an attempt to rouse players.
Gloucestershire, who were made to follow on after trailing by 182 in the first innings, finished on 408 for four in their second innings.
They began the day with a small lead of 37 and Derbyshire needed to make early progress if they were to wrestle back control of the contest.
The second new ball, available after only eight overs of the morning session, offered them their best chance and Derbyshire thought they had made their breakthrough in the third over with it when they appealed for a catch behind the wicket with Marshall on 53 and were crestfallen when umpire David Willey was unmoved.
They were made to wait until shortly before lunch for their first wicket, which came when Jon Clare beat the defensive push of Williamson and wicketkeeper Tom Poynton took the catch. The 21-year-old rising Black Caps star faced 272 balls and hit 16 fours.
That was 291 for three and, with a lead above 100, Gloucestershire would have had to collapse woefully following the loss of Williamson for the match to reignite but they made sure not to allow Derbyshire even the faintest scent of late hope.
The main focus of the afternoon was whether or not Marshall would get his first century for the county in almost three years but he fell 10 runs short when Tim Groenewald had him lbw at 314 for four.
Ian Cockbain (63 not out) and Will Gidman (33 not out) comfortably batted out the remainder of the game and wicketkeeper Poynton was the only Derbyshire not to have a go at bowling before the Gloucestershire declaration 10 minutes before the start of the final hour signalled the end of the match.
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