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LV= County Championship: Lancashire closing in on Division Two title at Gloucestershire

Will Gidman: Closing in on 50 County Championship wickets

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Lancashire inched closer to claiming the LV= County Championship Division Two title outright after declaring on 310-8 on day three of their rain-interrupted clash with Gloucestershire at Bristol.

Gloucestershire all-rounder Will Gidman finished with 5-61 before Oliver Newby's boundary off the final ball of the 110th over saw the Red Rose county clinch a third batting point.

But, after just eight overs of play, bad light and rain intervened, forcing the players off until a 4.30pm restart.

A further 25 overs remained to be bowled in the day, which saw Gloucestershire reach 90-3.

Gidman is now on 49 first class wickets for the season. The all-rounder claimed ten in the previous Championship game with Leicestershire and is finishing the season in top form.

Experience

He dismissed Tom Smith (88) with the fifth ball of the day, uprooting a stump. The batsman had faced 219 deliveries and hit 13 fours in helping his side recover from 105-4 on the previous day.

Lancashire were 293-8 at the end of the 107th over, needing a further seven runs off 18 balls to achieve a third batting point.

That came down to four off the 110th over, bowled by Matt Taylor. Newby and Kyle Hogg both took singles before Newby, having surprisingly played no shot to the fifth delivery, pulled the sixth to the mid-wicket boundary.

Bad light interrupted play at just after 11am and then persistent rain set in. Umpires Peter Willey and Mark Benson inspected at 3.45pm and gave the go-ahead for a resumption 45 minutes later, at which point Lancashire declared.

Gloucestershire's reply got off to a bad start as skipper Michael Klinger, having scored 13 off the first seven balls of the innings, was caught at second slip off the eighth, Glen Chapple being the successful bowler.

Gareth Roderick had made 12 when being well caught low down by Luis Reece at gully off Hogg to make it 44 for two in the 13th over.

The next over saw Chris Dent fall lbw to Newby for 19 but the experience of Alex Gidman (21 not out) and Hamish Marshall (14 not out) saw Gloucestershire through to the close in bright sunshine with an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 42, which meant their side trailed by 220 runs.