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Cricket: Taylor denies Warwicks win; CRICKET: Bears second in division two after Gloucestershire draw.

CHRIS TAYLOR came to Gloucestershire's rescue for the second time as the match with Warwickshire ended in a predictable draw.

A centurion in the first innings, Taylor hit 77 after his side had been reduced to 109 for five, a lead of just 119, by Naqqash Tahir (two wickets for 30 runs) and Neil Carter (three for 42).

Taylor's 103-ball innings, including 12 fours, helped Gloucestershire to 228 for eight when they declared to end proceedings.

The final day began with the visitors 399 for eight in reply to 420 and a draw looking the only likely outcome.

Tahir quickly fell to Mark Hardinges for 37 and James Anyon to Anthony Ireland for two, leaving Tony Frost unbeaten on a career-best 144 as only 11 runs were added to the overnight score.

Gloucestershire breezed to 41 in their second innings before four wickets fell for 12 runs in the space of 28 balls to breathe some life into the drabbest of contests.

Craig Spearman lofted Tahir to Mike Powell at mid-off and Will Porterfield was caught behind chasing a wide delivery in the same over to make it 41 for two.

Then Carter pinned Hamish Marshall lbw on the back foot for a single and Alex Gidman bagged a pair, hit on the toe by a full-length in swinger from the left-arm seamer.

Marcus North and Taylor steadied things, but, on 34, North played a loose drive at Carter and was caught by Ant Both a at backward point.

A key moment was when Steve Snell, on nought, edged Carter between wicketkeeper and first slip. The total was 111 and another breakthrough then would have put the home side in deep trouble.

Instead, Taylor reached his half-century off 76 balls, with eight fours, while Snell contributed a valuable 33 before being caught at slip attempting to leave a ball from Anyon that flicked a glove.

There was still hope for Warwickshire when Hardinges fell cheaply and Taylor was caught one-handed by the back-pedalling Ian Westwood off Botha.

At that stage the hosts were 200 for eight, a lead of 210, and with more than 30 overs remaining in the match.

But Gloucestershire skipper Jon Lewis batted, despite the shoulder injury which had prevented him bowling on the final two days, and Matthew Gitsham helped him add 28 for the ninth wicket as the overs left dwindled.

Lewis hopes to be fit for the Friends Provident Trophy quarter-final against Yorkshire at Bristol on Wednesday.


STRIKE BOWLER... Neil Carter took three Gloucestershire wickets in their second innings
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jun 3, 2008
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