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Record-breaking day at Cheltenham Cricket Festival as Gloucestershire and Glamorgan tie county championship clash

All Areas > Sport > Cricket

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Thursday, 4th July 2024, 11:00

Wicketkeeper Jack Bracey made an unbeaten double century and took 10 catches against Glamorgan Wicketkeeper Jack Bracey made an unbeaten double century and took 10 catches against Glamorgan

Mark Alleyne said ahead of this year’s Cheltenham Festival that “it’s such a special place to play cricket” and after the quite remarkable finish to yesterday’s four-day game, there can’t be a cricket fan in Gloucestershire – or Glamorgan – who would disagree with him.

Chasing a highly improbable 593 for victory, Glamorgan needed one run to win from the final ball with their final-wicket pair at the crease.

What happened next will remain forever in the memory of those fans lucky enough to be at Cheltenham College, as wicketkeeper Jack Bracey took a stunning catch to dismiss no 11 Jamie McIlroy off the bowling of seamer Ajeet Singh Dale.

It meant the County Championship Division Two game ended in a tie – just the 69th in the history of first class cricket – and proved, if it ever needed proving, that red-ball cricket still has so much to offer.

It was a game that had everything – first innings collapses, last-wicket heroics, 600-plus and 590-plus totals in the second innings, a double century, four centuries, two five-wicket hauls and some wonderful fielding.

Gloucestershire head coach Alleyne also said “there’s always something happening” at the Cheltenham Festival and again he was not wrong!

This match really did exceed all expectations, however.

Glamorgan’s total was the highest first-class fourth innings score in England and it was just one run short of the highest ever first-class run chase.

West Zone’s 541-7 in India’s domestic league – made in 2010 – is the highest, while the biggest chase in the County Championship remains the 502-6 that Middlesex made to beat Nottinghamshire way back in 1925.

Meanwhile, Bracey, who made an unbeaten 204 in Gloucestershire’s second innings, became the first wicketkeeper to taken 10 catches and score a double hundred in first class cricket.

The tie leaves Gloucestershire sixth in the eight-strong division, but they remain just 20 points off the second promotion place currently occupied by Middlesex.

Glamorgan, who like Gloucestershire picked up 11 points from the tied game, are in fifth spot, five points ahead of Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire have five Championship games remaining but their next four-day game is not until Thursday 22nd August when they host Leicestershire at Bristol.  

Their next game at Cheltenham is the T20 Blast clash with Kent tomorrow (2.30pm). Gloucestershire are fifth in the nine-strong South Group, just a point behind third-placed Somerset and fourth-placed Essex. The top four qualify for the quarter-finals.

County Championship Division Two result: Gloucestershire 179 (van der Gugten 5-59) and 610-5 dec (Bracey 204 not, Bancroft 184,  Hammond 121); Glamorgan 197 (Webster 5-17) and 592 (Northeast 187, Labuschagne 119). Gloucestershire (11pts) tied with Glamorgan (11pts).

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