Gubbins’ first Hampshire century makes county firm favourites to beat Gloucestershire and qualify for Division 1 of the Championship

Nick Gubbins’ unbeaten 137 in only his second innings for the county set Hampshire up to press for a victory at Cheltenham that would seal a place in Division 1 of the County Championship

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 7:23 pm
Nick Gubbins struck his first century for Hampshire in only his second innings for the county at Cheltenham. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.

Gubbins’ 10th first class century in his 88th appearance helped Hampshire to 486-7 declared before Gloucestershire closed day three on 107-3 in their second innings, trailing by 150, writes ALEX SMITH.

The 27-year-old left hander, who recently joined Hampshire on loan from Middlesex ahead of a permanent move, helped his side rack up a massive first-innings lead of 257 and collect three batting points.

Hampshire declared shortly before tea and Mason Crane bowled Miles Hammond for 15 with a beauty that turned out of the footholds, George Scott whacked a full toss to midwicket for 29 and Kyle Abbott flicked the top of James Bracey’s off stump for eight.

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It leaves Hampshire firm favourites to secure the victory they need to leapfrog Gloucestershire and qualify for the top flight with a chance to progress to the showpiece Bob Willis Trophy final.

How Gloucestershire need an innings like that played by Gubbins, who has shown signs of reviving his career in the past year and a half.

His 1,409 runs helped Middlesex to the 2016 County Championship and suggested he was an England international of the future. But, not helped by injuries, he hasn’t got anywhere near replicating that return in a season since.

Last year’s Bob Willis Trophy brought an improvement in form and 124 for Middlesex at The Oval this season was a highly-acclaimed innings.

He turned down a contract extension at Lord’s, made an immediate move to Hampshire and here provided a perfect hand to give his side the ideal platform to win the game on the final day.

His stand of 38 with wicketkeeper Lewis McManus calmed a wobble on the second evening and on the third morning the pair almost batted through the morning session, extending their alliance to 129 - McManus making 39.

Gubbins cut Dan Worrall and drove Matt Taylor through cover to reach fifty in 149 balls. He cut and swept Ollie Price’s off-spin before holding the pose after another sweet cover drive off Taylor.

Two loose deliveries from Glenn Phillips were dispatched before an edged cut against Worrall flew where a slip might have been for his 15th four, one that brought up his second first class century of 2021 in 209 deliveries.

Scott finally broke the 39-over partnership when McManus pushed to extra-cover but Gloucestershire were left with only one bowling point.