Gloucestershire v Australia A: Tourists secure narrow victory
Last Updated: 23/06/13 2:22pm
Ryan Harris: Two two key wickets in successive balls
A brave chase from Gloucestershire fell just short as Australia A completed a 24-run victory in their three-day tour match at Bristol.
The hosts began the final day on 162-3 and looked well placed to score the remaining 159 needed to win, but two wickets in as many balls from Ryan Harris helped the tourists record a narrow win.
Gloucestershire were eventually bowled out for 296 in their second innings as they almost snatched victory despite a first-innings deficit of 209.
Experienced seamer Harris sent back fellow countryman Dan Christian for 46 and pinned Benny Howell lbw for a golden duck to make it 169-5 shortly after the start.
From then on the tourists looked the more likely winners in overcast conditions and, despite an encouraging sixth-wicket stand between Gareth Roderick (33) and Will Gidman (19), the county ultimately ran out of wickets.
Harris's two quick strikes were major setbacks as Christian had blasted six fours and three sixes in his 62-ball knock and Howell had top-scored in Gloucestershire's first innings.
Roderick and Gidman revived home hopes by playing positively in their partnership of 42 before Gidman was bowled by a full ball from Bird with the total on 211.
Without addition, Roderick fell to a spectacular catch by Fawad Ahmed at mid-on, one-handed above his head, to give left-arm spinner Ashton Agar a wicket in his first over.
James Fuller (38) held up the tourists with some aggressive stroke-play and Liam Norwell (16) and Tom Smith (17 not out) added 36 for the final wicket, but the damage had already been done.
Harris returned 3-56 and Jackson Bird 3-53, while Chadd Sayers finished with 3-68 for match figures of 8-92.