Chris Dent’s ton helps Gloucestershire to inevitable draw against Glamorgan
Chris Dent’s 21st first-class century proved the highlight of a low-key final day as the LV= Insurance County Championship match between Gloucestershire and Glamorgan at Cheltenham ended in an inevitable draw.
With so much time having been lost to rain, including a third-day washout, there were only bonus points to play for as Gloucestershire advanced their first innings from an overnight 134 for one to 402 for six before declaring.
Experienced opener Dent led the way with an assured 113 off 206 balls, with 15 fours, while Ollie Price contributed 84, Miles Hammond 57 and James Bracey 60 not out. Leg-spinner Mitch Swepson claimed three of the wickets, but at a cost of 142 runs from his 37 overs.
By the time the players shook hands at 4.50pm, Glamorgan had made 62 without loss in their second innings. They took 12 points from the game, while Gloucestershire had to settle for 11 and remain without a win in the Championship this season.
Dent was unbeaten on 61 overnight, with Price on 49. The pair extended their second-wicket stand to the century mark before a Price boundary to third-man off Timm van der Gugten took him to 50 off 123 balls, with seven fours.
Soon both batters were capitalising on the true pitch, Price producing an exquisite on-drive for four off James Harris and Dent matching it with a sweetly-timed cover drive to the boundary off Van der Gugten.
The partnership had been extended to 171 when Price was caught behind trying to force a delivery from Swepson through the off side. He stood crestfallen at the error, having hit 16 fours, knowing a great chance of a hundred had slipped away.
Dent brought up his first ton of the season with a two to square leg off Harris, having faced 190 deliveries, and added a further 13 to his score before miscuing a drive off Zain-ul-Hussan to Harris at mid-on.
By then Hammond had signalled his intention to up the scoring rate with four fours in moving to 17. He was joined by debutant Joe Phillips and together they took the score to 261 for three at lunch.
Phillips had reached 17 in his maiden first-class innings when falling victim to the second new ball, bowled looking to pull a delivery from Andy Gorvin. He had faced 42 balls and hit three fours.
Bracey brought the 300 up by getting off the mark with a square driven boundary off Gorvin before Hammond moved to 50 off 78 balls, with eight boundaries. It was 337 for five when he top-edged an attempted pull off Harris and Colin Ingram pouched a simple catch at mid-off.
Tom Price made only 16 before being pinned lbw on the back-foot by Swepson, but Bracey progressed serenely to the eighth half-century of the match, having faced 62 balls and cracked eight fours.
There was some strange cricket as tea approached, Zafar Gohar leaving the last ball before the interval with Gloucestershire needing just two runs for a fourth batting point.
They had to face three more balls after the break before Bracey brought up the 400 and declared immediately, which meant another 10-minute interruption to play.
The home side then set about avoiding a penalty for a slow over-rate, which was plus four at the end of the Glamorgan first innings.
Spinners Gohar and Price were given the new ball and fielders scampered between overs, playing catch-up.
Gloucestershire rattled through 16 overs in 39 minutes to make sure they claimed their full entitlement of points and it seemed almost incidental that Glamorgan openers Ul-Hussan and David Lloyd produced an array of attacking shots in the late afternoon sunshine.
Lloyd was unbeaten on 38 and Ul-Hassan 24 when the second declaration of the day ended a game ruined by the wet weather.
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