Saturday, May 28th, 2016

Norwell In Contention For Gloucs Return At New Road

Liam Norwell looks set to return to Gloucestershire’s team for the Specsavers County Championship match against Worcestershire at New Road, starting on Sunday.

The 24-year-old seamer, who claimed 68 first class wickets last season, has missed the last three games with what the club would describe only as “a medical condition”.

But he returned to action with a bang in a second XI T20 game against Kent at Polo Farm Sports Club, Canterbury, this week, taking five for 14 from four overs.

That was great news for Gloucestershire head coach Richard Dawson, who saw his bowling attack struggle on the final day of the Championship match with Northants, at Bristol, allowing the visitors to escape with an unlikely draw.

Dawson said: “Liam is also involved in the three-day Second XI championship match against Kent, which followed the T20 game, so he will have had plenty of cricket ahead of the Worcestershire game.

“Anyone who performs well in our second team will be considered for the first team and that certainly applies to Liam.

“To be honest, I am not exactly sure what was wrong with him. All I know is that he has been given the go-ahead to start playing again.”

More good news for Dawson was that Will Tavare returned to action in the Second XI Championship match with Kent, making 66 in the first innings.

The batsman has yet to make a first team appearance this summer after suffering a knee injury in a pre-season game against Oxford University,

Benny Howell made an unbeaten century against Kent IIs, so he is another player offering Dawson options for the Worcestershire match.

But selection will not be straightforward as the head coach was happy with most of what he saw against Northants.

“We didn’t execute our bowling skills as well as we have been doing on the last day, although it certainly wasn’t down to lack of effort,” he said.

“David Payne bowled well throughout the game and was very unlucky not to take wickets in the first innings

“For three days we controlled the match, which is a huge positive, as was Michael Klinger coming back and getting a century straight away.

“Worcestershire will be a tough game for us. They are always pushing for promotion when in the Second Division and will fancy their chances again this year.

“Coming off a good win against Leicestershire, they will be high on confidence, having given us a good game at Bristol not long ago.

“I haven’t been to their ground for a while so I am not sure what the pitch will be like, but if we perform as we did for three days against Northants we will be okay.”