Gloucestershire 280 for 6 (Dent 85, Hammond 52, Parkinson 3-45) vs Durham
The legspinner removed Hammond, Grant Roelofson and James Bracey and Matthew Potts added the scalp of Dent to reduce Gloucestershire to 280 for 6 before rain brought a premature end to day one.
Gloucestershire won the toss and elected to bat under the sun at Seat Unique Riverside. Potts and Ben Raine were on their mettle with the Kookaburra ball from the off against the visitors’ opening partnership of Dent and Ben Charlesworth, beating the bat on several occasions without reward in the first half hour. Potts’ persistence earned him the breakthrough with the wicket of Charlesworth, who clipped a tame drive straight to Parkinson at mid-on.
The morning session belonged to Gloucestershire as Dent showed his class at the crease to fend off dangerous spells from Durham’s potent attack, featuring new signing Migael Pretorius. Dent and Ollie Price put on 66 and looked primed to take the visitors into lunch one down, but a lapse in Price’s concentration handed Pretorius his first Durham wicket.
Dent had to wait until after the interval to score the single required to bring up his second fifty of the season, and his knock continued to provide a valuable foundation for the Gloucestershire innings. Whereas Dent was reserved in his approach, Hammond took the attack to the Durham bowlers after lunch. The right-hander launched back-to-back sixes into the leg-side boundary against Parkinson as he raced to fifty from 43 balls.
But, Parkinson would halt his charge for 52 as Scott Borthwick claimed a brilliant catch over his head at cover, which changed the momentum of the session. Dent had frustrated Potts in the morning session and their duel continued into the afternoon before the England seamer produced a beauty to find his outside edge for an impressive 85.
Roelofsen and Bracey pressed Gloucestershire to their first batting point, although both were then bowled by Parkinson to open up the tail for the home side. Zafar Gohar and Josh Shaw were left to rebuild the innings before rain ended the day with the visitors 20 runs shy of a second batting bonus point.