LV County Championship - Division Two
Cheltenham - Day Four
Gloucestershire 315 (M J North 104, H J H Marshall 70, C G Taylor 50, J Allenby 4-40, D du Preez 4-55) & 265-3 (H J H Marshall 83, W T S Porterfield 66, M J North 51 no, C G Taylor 50 no) v Leicestershire 228 (S P Kirby 4-70)
Leicestershire (8pts) drew with Gloucestershire (10pts)
Steady rain on Saturday wrecked any chance of a result in the clash between Gloucestershire and Leicestershire.
Umpires Nigel Llong and Nick Cook made numerous inspections before finally calling off play at 4pm without a ball being bowled on day four.
Gloucestershire, at 265 for three with a lead of 352, were looking to force their first Championship victory in 11 months - Leicestershire were the opponents when they last won.
The home county's frustration did not end there as the weather also put paid to their hopes of avoiding a two-point penalty for a slow over rate in the first innings.
Gloucestershire remain on course to record their first LV County Championship win since last September after amassing a 352-run lead at stumps on day three.
Having bowled the visitors out for 228 to establish a first-innings lead of 87, Gloucestershire stamped their authority thanks to half-centuries from former New Zealand Test opener Hamish Marshall and Irish left-hander Will Porterfield.
The hosts reached the close on 265-3 and, weather permitting, will chase their first win in four-day cricket since they beat the same opponents at Grace Road nearly 12 months ago.
Resuming the day on 201-9, Leicestershire's tail wagged commendably as Nadeem Malik and Johan Malcolm-Hansen added 44 for the last wicket.
Slow left-armer Vikram Banerjee eventually broke the partnership allowing openers Kadeer Ali and Porterfield the chance to add to their already healthy advantage.
Ali made just 10, however Marshall and Porterfield continued to tuck into some inviting Leicestershire bowling.
But Gloucestershire's progress was checked when Porterfield (66) and Marshall (83) departed in the space of two Malik overs, both caught at the wicket attempting to drive.
Thereafter, Marcus North and Chris Taylor were charged with the task of rebuilding the innings, and those two added 98 in fading light for the fourth wicket to steady the ship and keep their side in the box seat.
Taylor claimed 50 from 62 balls and struck five fours, while North required 13 balls fewer to reach the same landmark.
Steve Kirby picked up four Leicestershire wickets to give Gloucestershire hope of their first County Championship win of the season on the second day at Cheltenham.
Kirby collected figures of 4-56 as Leicestershire limped to 201-9 in reply to Gloucestershire's first innings total of 315, a deficit of 114.
Gloucestershire are without a four-day win since beating the same opponents almost a year ago, but their seam bowlers ripped into Leicestershire to put them in command at the College Ground.
Fully recovered from a side strain, skipper Jon Lewis made the initial breakthrough, locating Boeta Dippenaar's outside edge to present wicketkeeper Steve Snell with a routine catch.
Gloucestershire's dominance was then confirmed by a rush of four wickets for 27 runs in four overs.
Oliver Newby tempted Paul Nixon to edge to substitute fielder Will Rudge, before Kirby bowled Matthew Boyce and had John Allenby caught.
When HD Ackerman drove loosely at David Brown and was snaffled by Snell, Leicestershire were 95-5 and by no means sure to save the follow-on.
A stand of 65 for the sixth wicket between Tom Smith and Josh Cobb eased those fears, but another flurry of wickets shortly before the close confirmed Gloucestershire's supremacy.
Marcus North finally scored his first hundred of the English domestic season as Gloucestershire finished day one against Leicestershire on 256-5.
The Australian made up for the first session being washed out with 104, finally reaching three figures this summer after falling in the 90's on three occasions.
He hit 19 fours off 149 balls after coming to the crease with the home side having lost their second wicket with 61 on the board, opener Kadeer Ali departing for 41.
North shared a third-wicket stand of 167 with Hamish Marshall before eventually Jim Allenby ended his innings courtesy of a catch by Boata Dippenaar.
The Leicestershire all-rounder also dismissed Marshall for 70 nine runs later. The former New Zealand international had hit seven fours and a six to return to form after a barren run.
Dillon du Preez removed David Brown shortly before the close having picked up the wickets of Will Porterfield and Ali early in the innings as the pick of the bowlers with 3-40.