Cosgrove reaches 1,000 but Norwell keeps Gloucs on top

Leicestershire versus Gloucestershire, Specsavers County Championship, Day 3:

SCORECARD | Available through ESPN Cricinfo HERE

INTERVIEW | Mark Cosgrove spoke to BBC Radio Leicester's Richard Rae at stumps, the interview is available HERE

HIGHLIGHTS | The highlights of the third day are available HERE

REPORT | by Harry Josephs

Mark Cosgrove passed 1,000 first-class runs for Leicestershire for the third season in a row but Liam Norwell’s five-wicket haul put Gloucestershire in the box seats on day three at the Fischer County Ground.

Gloucestershire resumed their first innings at 218 for 3 and were bowled out for 368. Ben Raine was the leading wicket-taker with figures of 3 for 92.

That represented a first innings lead of 146 and Leicestershire edged ahead by stumps, closing at 154 for 7 in their second innings with Lewis Hill (8 not out) and Mathew Pillans (0 not out).

Dieter Klein got Leicestershire off to a flying start on day three by removing the middle stump of George Hankins in just the third over of the day.

However, James Bracey scored his maiden Gloucestershire fifty from 100 balls, including five boundaries. The early loss of Hankins meant Bracey and captain Phil Mustard had to rebuild a partnership and they put on 74 runs before Mustard played Pillans on to his wicket for 26.

Bracey was the next wicket to fall in somewhat unfortunate circumstances. His partner Jack Taylor drilled a drive back towards Pillans, who managed to deflect the ball on to the stumps, so Bracey was run out backing up.

Pillans got his second wicket of the session with an excellent in-swinger as all-rounder Kieran Noema-Barnett (3) saw his off stump removed after shouldering arms.

County took their fifth wicket of the session when Raine got a richly deserved second wicket of the innings, removing Josh Shaw lbw for 6. Jack Taylor had played some aggressive strikes and at lunch Gloucestershire had progressed to 348-8.

Leicestershire wrapped up the rest of the Gloucestershire innings in under half an hour after the interval.

Klein struck with the second ball after the interval as Jack Taylor (36) played one on to his stumps. Last pair Norwell and Matt Taylor put on 13 before the latter fended a Raine bouncer straight to Klein at mid-wicket.

Michael Carberry and Harry Dearden opened the batting in Leicestershire's second innings and Carberry pulled left arm seamer Matt Taylor for four with authority.

However, Norwell, who bowled nine overs on the bounce, collected his first of three wickets in his opening burst when Carberry (8) edged a terrific delivery to Cameron Bancroft at first slip.

Colin Ackermann (6) was pinned in front and although Cosgrove dispatched two boundaries through pull shots off Shaw, Leicestershire lost another wicket to the impressive Norwell.

Dearden (17) had played a lovely clip off his legs before driving Shaw down the ground for four, but was caught by Chris Dent at second slip.

Cosgrove and Ned Eckersley guided Leicestershire to tea with the score progressing to 97 for 3. Both played their naturally positive games with 28 of Cosgrove’s 35 runs coming in boundaries.

The captain went on to record his second half-century of the game from 63 balls (9x4). Cosgrove and Eckersley were looking in fine touch, with the latter hitting a glorious cover drive then a brutal cut shot both off Noema-Barnett in one over.

But the partnership came to an end at 79 runs when Eckersley was bowled by Noema-Barnett. Cosgrove kept playing his natural game and scored his 1,000th first-class run of the season in reaching 62.

Cosgrove lost Neil Dexter - bowled by Norwell - without scoring, leaving Leicestershire 135-5 still trailing Gloucestershire by 11 runs. Cosgrove then feathered a Norwell delivery to Gareth Roderick. Norwell bowled superbly in the first innings and again in the second, taking five of the first six wickets to fall.

With the score at 148 for 6, bad light forced the players off and when play resumed, Raine stepped across his wicket and saw the leg stump disturbed by Matt Taylor.

Hill and Pillans were paired together before umpires Jeff Evans and Nigel Cowley again took the players off in gloomy conditions, and this time they were not to return.

Bowling figures for Leicestershire: Klein 20.2-2-89-2, McKay 18-6-39-0, Raine 25.1-4-92-3, Dexter 13-4-53-2, Pillans 14-2-63-2, Dearden 1-0-2-0, Ackermann 2-0-10-0.

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