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Page last updated at 20:13 GMT, Friday, 1 August 2008 21:13 UK

Solanki knock has Gloucs reeling

County Championship D2, Grace Road (day three, stumps):
Gloucestershire 283 & 128-4 v Worcestershire 672-7 declared

Captain Vikram Solanki made a career-best 270 as Worcestershire closed in on victory over Gloucestershire.

Solanki, who began the third day's play on 179, went on to make the third highest score in 136 years of county cricket at the College Ground.

Worcestershire's total of 672-7 was the highest at the ground.

Gloucestershire's Marcus North (70 not out) and Kadeer Ali (32) shared a stand of 74 as they ended the day on 128-4, still trailing by 261 runs.

Solanki and Stephen Moore extended their record second-wicket stand by 15 runs to 316 before Moore guided a Steve Kirby delivery to Hamish Marshall at mid-wicket for 129.

But former England one-day batsman Solanki continued the onslaught, surpassing his career-best score of 232 against Surrey at New Road last year.

But his 253-ball innings, which featured an incredible 48 boundaries - was eventually ended when Solanki hit Marcus North to Vikram Banerjee at square leg.

Stephen Davies and Gareth Batty ensured there was no relief for Gloucestershire's beleaguered bowlers, plundering 141 in 24 overs for the sixth wicket.

With the prospect of batting through four sessions to save the game, Gloucestershire's riposte began in the worst possible way, losing opener Steve Snell for a duck and former New Zealand batsman Marshall (4).

But North and Kadeer Ali's 74-run stand for the third wicket steadied matters before the latter was caught behind off Simon Jones for 32.

Captain Gidman was dismissed by Matt Mason as Worcestershire looked set for a fifth championship win of the season on Saturday.

see also
Solanki and Moore hammer Gloucs
31 Jul 08 |  Counties
Ali is first past 50-wicket mark
30 Jul 08 |  Counties

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