Gloucestershire v Worcestershire: Leaders win despite record stand

LV= County Championship Division Two, Cheltenham

Worcestershire 395 & 51-2 beat Gloucestershire 156 & 289 by eight wickets

Gloucestershire 2pts, Worcestershire 23pts

Match scorecard

Worcestershire moved closer to promotion by beating Gloucestershire by eight wickets, despite being held up by a record-breaking 10th-wicket stand.

Coming together at 152-9, Craig Miles and Liam Norwell put on 137 to ensure the leaders had to bat again.

Both hit career-bests with Norwell last to go for 78, leaving Miles 62 not out.

Gloucestershire's total of 289, left the visitors 51 to win, a target they reached for the loss of Daryl Mitchell and Richard Oliver.

Resuming on 10-1, having followed on 229 behind, Gloucestershire were soon in trouble as they slipped to 30-3 with New Zealand left-armer Mitchell McClenaghan (2-55) striking twice.

Jack Shantry (4-52) and Charlie Morris (3-52) then took them to the brink of defeat before Miles and Norwell resisted for 33 overs, collecting 22 boundaries between them, plus a six by Norwell

Gloucestershire's last-men standing

Craig Miles' and Liam Norwell's stand of 137 was the best for the final wicket for Gloucestershire in their 144-year history.

The previous highest against Worcestershire was 130 in 1999, at the same ground, by Martyn Ball and Jon Lewis.

Norwell hit the highest-ever score by a number 11 for the county, eclipsing Lewis's 62 made in that same match 15 years ago.

His knock of 78 more than trebled his previous best score of 25.

Miles' unbeaten 62 was the second half century of his career.

Norwell was eventually bowled by Morris, leaving Worcestershire to complete the formalities and earn a day off on Thursday.

Captain Mitchell, who carried his bat in the first innings, was caught at slip by home skipper Michael Klinger off Tom Smith for 13 before Oliver hit a delivery from Benny Howell to cover for 18.

But Tom Fell and Alexei Kervezee saw Worcestershire to their seventh win of the season, taking them further clear at the top of Division Two.

They lead Surrey, in second, by 43 points with a game in hand and are 45 ahead of third-placed Hampshire.

Gloucestershire's Liam Norwell:

"I can't quite believe what I've done. Craig kept me going and we took it a step at a time, first trying to stop Worcestershire winning too easily and then looking to make them bat again.

"It means a lot to make Gloucestershire history. McClenaghan didn't seem to like me much, but it was good banter and he got me up for a battle."

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes:

"We are still not taking anything for granted and need to take our remaining games one at a time, focussing fully on each one.

"Our seamers take a lot of credit for this win. Saeed Ajmal was great for us, but they set up a lot of opportunities for him and have come to the fore now he has gone."

BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Bob Hunt:

"The heroics of Craig Miles and Liam Norwell put gloss on a generally sub-standard performance by Gloucestershire in which the frontline batsmen didn't build a platform and the bowlers, with the exception of Miles, leaked too many runs.

"Having said that, Miles' all-round effort in his first game of the summer shows that they have a player who can make a real impact as the county look to improve."