GLOUCESTERSHIRE, comfortable winners over Sussex in Saturday's AXA game as well as in the preceding championship match, had their grins removed at Cheltenham yesterday where they were drubbed by Northants.
Mal Loye, with 92 off only 89 balls, gave Northants, who won the toss, an excellent start in company with Russell Warren, who played second fiddle until falling lbw aiming to leg.
Kevin Curran, playing against his old county, was soon scoring rapidly against bowling which, Mike Smith and Courtney Walsh apart, was distinctly moderate. Loye had hit a six and 10 fours when he clipped one to deep square leg.
Tony Penberthy and Jeremy Snape threw the bat effectively but when Northants lost their last seven wickets for 33 runs in seven overs it seemed Gloucestershire had a chance, for the pitch was excellent.
A quality opening salvo from Franklyn Rose and David Follett made batting look a different proposition. Tim Hancock, caught behind, and Mark Alleyne, playing on, went quickly and Tony Wright and Matt Windows left in rapid succession.
Thus Gloucestershire found themselves 43 for four in the 13th over. Bobby Dawson recovered from early unease to make an 82-ball 75 but, Martyn Ball's late slog apart, his was a lone hand.