County Championship Division Two: Worcestershire lose for first time this season
Last Updated: 17/08/14 11:52pm
A brilliant innings by former Minor Counties player Richard Oliver failed to prevent Worcestershire's first LV= County Championship defeat of the season as Gloucestershire claimed their first victory at New Road since 1986.
The 24-year-old left hander's career-best 179 in four and a half hours enabled the Division Two leaders to wipe out a deficit of 184, but the West Country team were hardly challenged by a target of 177 and cruised home by seven wickets.
Paceman Liam Norwell broke Worcestershire's resistance in a new-ball spell of 4-16 and opener Chris Dent led the victory rush with his first half-century in three months after taking the key wicket of Oliver in his role as occasional left-arm spinner.
Will Tavare made 33 in an opening stand of 67 before falling lbw to Joe Leach and when Dent was out for 51, driving Shaaiq Choudhry's fourth ball straight to mid-off, Alex Gidman followed his first-innings century with an unbeaten 45 from 43 balls.
Leach claimed his 30th wicket of the season when Gareth Roderick was caught behind for 25 but this was only a blip as Gloucestershire comfortably completed their third win of the season.
Stand-in captain Gidman was proud to be the first man to lead Gloucestershire to a championship victory at New Road in 28 years.
He said: "It's a lovely place to play and I've been a few times but never won. To have done that was really enjoyable.
"It was a challenging wicket but a good cricket wicket and we probably applied ourselves a little bit better over three days. We had the best of the conditions. On the first day I didn't think we bowled as well as we could but the boys kept going really hard."
Opener Rory Burns hit a century to boost Surrey's promotion push and their hopes of victory over Leicestershire at Grace Road.
Although they were unable to force the follow-on, Surrey added 217-4 to their first innings lead of 107 to leave Leicestershire trailing by 324 runs at the end of the third day.
That could set up an exciting final day, with Surrey looking to close the gap on leaders Worcestershire, who lost to Gloucestershire, and Leicestershire desperate for their first Championship win for nearly two years.
Burns scored 102 and shared an opening partnership of 103 with Zafar Ansari, who made 43 before becoming one of Jigar Naik's three victims.
Off-spinner Naik bowled impressively, keeping one end going as Surrey chased quick runs after bowling out Leicestershire for 373.
10 for Monty
Monty Panesar completed a match haul of 10 wickets to help Essex to the brink of victory going into the final day against Glamorgan at Swansea.
The former England slow left-armer followed up 5-50 in the first innings with 5-90 in the second.
But, despite claiming an extra half-hour on the third evening, Essex failed to take the final two wickets with the Welsh county finishing the third day 237-8 after they had been set 348 to win.
Essex, who were down two bowlers - Graham Napier (calf) and Ryan ten Doeschate (shoulder) - were frustrated by an impressive 64 not out from Graham Wagg, who ensured the match went into a fourth day.
Hampshire's promotion push continued to gather momentum in Canterbury putting them in the position to push for a last day victory over Kent.
Having set their hosts a mammoth victory target of 501 runs, Hampshire dodged the rain showers to reduce Kent to 95-2 after 33 overs of their second innings.
Kent lost Rob Key (five) lbw to former team-mate Matt Coles then, after a second-wicket stand of 70, left-hander Ben Harmison (38) clipped lazily to short mid-wicket off the slow bowling of Danny Briggs.
Things might have been even worse for Kent at stumps but night watchman Adam Riley survived a huge concerted appeal for a catch behind from Coles' final ball of the day to see Kent go into the final day needing a further 406 for an unlikely win.