Gloucestershire hang on for narrow 33-run win over Hampshire
County Championship Division Two, Rose Bowl
Gloucestershire 314 & 174 beat Hampshire 199 & 256 by 33 runs
Gloucestershire 22pts, Hampshire 3pts
Will Gidman and Ian Saxelby were the chief destroyers as they bowled Gloucestershire to a tense 33-run win over Hampshire at the Rose Bowl.
After bowling out Gloucestershire, 129-5 overnight, for 174, Hampshire were set 290 for victory.
But, despite Michael Bates (87) and Chris Wood (56), they were bowled out for 256 with only a few overs left.
Gidman took 4-66 to earn match figures of 9-114, while Saxelby did the early damage in a three-wicket burst.
The final day began with Gloucestershire, already 244 in front on a wicket which always helped the seamers, looking to avoid a second straight defeat of the season.
But they added only a further 45, Gidman contributing 29 in a stand of 72 for the sixth wicket with Ian Cockbain, ninth out for 47.
Hampshire made a dismal start, losing their first six wickets for 72, but the match then swung back Hampshire's way as the seventh-wicket pair of Bates and Wood fashioned a stand of 118 in 30 overs.
Just when it seemed Hampshire might save the game, or even accelerate to a shock victory, Wood holed out to Hamish Marshall off Payne for an aggressive 65.
Even then it was not over, as Bates was joined by Hamza Riazuddin in another profitable partnership, this time of 56 for the eighth wicket.
But Gidman came back in a final late push, making the big breakthrough almost immediately when he bowled the battling Bates.
Gidman struck again one run later by bowling Riazuddin before David Payne (3-56) sparked celebrations among Gloucestershire's young team when he knocked over the stumps of last man David Balcombe.
Balcombe can consider himself particularly unlucky to finish on the losing side, taking three Gloucestershire wickets in the second innings to finish with exceptional match figures of 11-119.
VIEW FROM THE COMMENTARY BOX
BBC Radio Solent's Kevan James:
"Hampshire always had their work cut out when Gloucestershire scored 314 in first innings, at least 50 more than they should have got.
"Once Chris Wood went for a Championship best 65, it was a question then of whether Hants could hold on.
"Bates also achieved a Championship best and, even when he departed, it still looked as though Hampshire would save the game."