Gloucestershire 191 for 8 (Charlesworth 51, Hannon-Dalby 4-24, Rhodes 3-18) v Warwickshire
Oliver Hannon-Dalby led a tireless Warwickshire bowling performance in strength-sapping conditions on the opening day of the Bob Willis Trophy match with Gloucestershire at Bristol.
The tall seamer toiled away with precision in relentless heat to claim 4 for 24 from 20 overs as the home side were restricted to 191 for 8 after being asked to bat first, Ben Charlesworth top-scoring with 51.
Hannon-Dalby received excellent support from skipper Will Rhodes and the rest of the Warwickshire attack on a slow pitch that ensured hard work for batsmen and bowlers alike.
Run-scoring was never easy and 19-year-old Charlesworth deserved plenty of credit for his 124-ball innings that featured six fours. He lost opening partner Chris Dent with the total on nine, as the Gloucestershire captain got a thin edge through to wicketkeeper Michael Burgess off Hannon-Dalby, having made only two.
Hannon-Dalby went on to complete a probing six-over opening spell from the Ashley Down Road End, which cost him only six runs and included four maidens.
Tim Bresnan was equally accurate at the Pavilion End. But Charlesworth and Graeme van Buuren batted sensibly and gradually increased the tempo in a stand of 67, ended when van Buuren, on 33, edged former Gloucestershire team-mate Craig Miles to Ian Bell at third slip. It was 83 for 2 at lunch, with left-hander Charlesworth unbeaten on 39. He and George Hankins took the total to 102 before Rhodes introduced himself at the Pavilion End as the sixth bowler used.
In his first over he had Charlesworth well caught low down by Sam Hain in the slips to end a hugely promising knock from the England Under-19 player, including some swashbuckling back-foot shots through the off side.
Rhodes’ breakthrough sparked a collapse as Hannon-Dalby quickly followed up with lbw verdicts against Hankins and Ryan Higgins.
Suddenly the hosts were in serious trouble at 103 for 5. Gareth Roderick and Jack Taylor were forced into watchful defence to stop the rot, the normally aggressive Taylor taking 32 balls to get off the mark. The pair took the score to 127 for 5 at tea, but the afternoon session had produced only 44 runs from 28 overs.
Taylor, on 14, became Rhodes’ second victim when lbw pushing forward with the score on 155, and the Warwickshire skipper struck again five runs later when Roderick was brilliantly stumped down the leg side by Burgess, having contributed a solid 39 off 108 balls.
Hannon-Dalby claimed his fourth wicket when George Scott, making his Gloucestershire debut following his move from Middlesex last autumn, fell leg-before having confidently moved to 17.
Bresnan, who conceded 39 from 15 overs, and Miles, who went for 41 from 19 helped contain the Gloucestershire batsmen, while Henry Brookes recovered from a relatively expensive first spell to bowl his 17 overs for 52.
It was an impressive effort from the Warwickshire seam bowling unit under cloudless skies, justifying Rhodes’ decision to field first. Tom Smith was unbeaten on 15 at stumps, having battled away for 59 balls. He and Josh Shaw will resume in the morning with nine runs needed for a batting point.
“After six or eight overs when we saw how slow the pitch was there were one or two groans about my decision to field” Rhodes admitted. “But in the end it was a very good day for us. The way the bowlers kept running in was really impressive in that heat.
“We were slightly off in the first session, but in the next two we put their batsmen under a lot of pressure. There was a bit of magic from Michael Burgess with the stumping. I can’t say I planned it, but he has been working hard on his glovework and was very good all day.”