Weatherley and Holland’s superb century stand puts Hampshire in control of must-win Championship game at Gloucestershire

Joe Weatherley and Ian Holland put Hampshire on top at Cheltenham with a 174-run opening stand as their side made 270-5 to lead Gloucestershire by 41.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 7:20 pm
Updated Monday, 12th July 2021, 7:22 pm
Joe Weatherley scored his first Championship half century of the 2021 season at Cheltenham. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.
Joe Weatherley scored his first Championship half century of the 2021 season at Cheltenham. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.

Having taken the final four Gloucestershire wickets for only 15 runs inside six overs of day two to bowl the hosts out for 229, Weatherley and Holland shared a partnership into the 52nd over of the reply, writes ALEX SMITH.

Weatherley made 78 - his first half-century of the season - and Holland continued his fine campaign with 74, the sixth score of 50 or more for Hampshire’s leading first class run scorer in their 10th and final County Championship 2 encounter.

When they were finally parted, Gloucestershire mounted a comeback - taking five wickets for 58 runs - but they are playing catch-up in a game they now cannot afford to lose.

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A Hampshire victory would see them and Somerset progress to Division 1 in September; any other result would see Hampshire miss out.

The hosts resumed on 214-6 with a second batting point in their sights, but it proved a disastrous opening.

Jack Taylor, resuming on 34, fell to the 11th ball of the day as a sharp lifter from Kyle Abbott caught him on the glove and popped up for midwicket to run in and take a good catch.

Two balls later, the other overnight batsman, Ollie Price, went to hook Colin de Grandhomme and gloved behind, Hampshire clearly having done their homework on the 20-year-old.

Matt Taylor propped forward and was lbw next ball and Gloucestershire had lost three wickets without adding a run.

Australian Dan Worrall pulled Mason Crane to midwicket and Gloucestershire were left with only one point.

With a spring in their step, Hampshire’s openers gave their side a perfect start.

Weatherley drove Worrall through cover and Matt Taylor through mid-on before a thick-edge to third man raised fifty in 101 balls.

Holland had the home attack pulling their hair out with his tendency to play to leg. He flicked three boundaries through the on-side and punished a wide ball from Taylor in his 129-ball fifty.

Gloucestershire were seeing their dreams of Division 1 cricket disappearing quickly but struck on the stroke of tea as Glenn Phillips found some turn and Holland’s inside edge. Phillips then held Weatherley and Tom Alsop (15) at slip.

Tom Prest (18) and de Grandhomme, for a five-ball duck following his 174 not out against Surrey on debut, both pushed at balls and were held by Ollie Price in the cordon - the first an outstanding one-handed take.

But Nick Gubbins (31 not out) and Lewis McManus (14 not out) - with an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 38 - took Hampshire to the close in command.