NatWest Pro40 - Division One
Gloucestershire Gladiators 245-8 Innings Complete (A P R Gidman 80, C M Spearman 63) v Essex Eagles 174 (S P Kirby 4-29)
Gloucestershire beat Essex by 71 runs
Alex Gidman top-scored as the Gloucestershire Gladiators beat Essex by 71 runs in their relegation dogfight at Chelmsford on Tuesday.
The Gladiators moved into sixth in the Pro 40's top division standings as a result, while the defending champions are still just one point above Warwickshire and bottom spot.
Gidman (80) and Craig Spearman (63) helped the visitors post 245 for eight, and Essex never recovered in their reply after James Foster and Ryan Ten Doeschate perished in the 24th and 25th overs.
Essex had made a disastrous start with openers Mark Pettini and Varun Chopra and Zimbabwean Grant Flower dismissed with just 20 on the board.
And in the end Gloucestershire ran out easy victors, with Steve Kirby the pick of the attack recording figures of four for 29 from his 6.4 overs.
Earlier Gidman had smashed 14 boundaries in his quickfire knock, with Spearman contributing 63 from 65 deliveries.
Eagles leg-spinner Danish Kaneria trapped the number three batsman leg before wicket, and finished with three for 27 from his eight overs.
Ten Doeschate also picked up three wickets in his spell, but the 2005 and 2006 title winners are now in real danger of the drop with just one game remaining.