John Bracewell: Now youngsters must add consistency for Gloucestershire
JOHN Bracewell will challenge Gloucestershire's young seamers to add consistency and resilience to their undoubted talent next season.
After watching Liam Norwell take 5-51 to help wrap up a 207-run win over Northamptonshire at the County Ground yesterday, the club's director of cricket made it clear there was still plenty of work to do on a hugely promising young bowling attack.
James Fuller, two years older than Norwell, but still only 22, had taken five first-innings wickets to set up a victory watched by the injured Ian Saxelby, himself just 23, and awaiting surgery on a knee condition, which ended his season prematurely.
With 21-year-old left-armer David Payne already a proven wicket-taker and 19-year-old Graeme McCarter knocking on the door of the first team, the future of Gloucestershire seam bowling appears to be in safe hands.
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But Bracewell sounded a note of warning, saying: "Consistency is the key. Once again Fuller and Norwell have shown their ability to bowl with a good intensity and it's the repetition of that on a regular basis they now need to move to.
"Our young bowlers also have to develop that day-in, day out ability to get up tired and focus over the course of a long season. In a word, it is resilience and that is something you need to teach your muscles and mind.
"Liam hits the deck hard and shows some genuine ability to bowl into the wind, which I like in a seam bowler.
"He needs a rest at the end of the season to cure some niggling problems, but he will probably go off to a club in Adelaide after Christmas to get some cricket in during our winter. We are looking to send most of our young players abroad because it will be a building site here with all the ground development work going on."
Northants were set an unlikely target of 432 after bowling out Gloucestershire for 311 in the morning session from an overnight 286-6. Will Gidman failed to add to his 52 as Andrew Hall finished with 5-50.
Opener Stephen Peters fell lbw to the fourth ball of Northants' second innings, leg before to Gidman without a run on the board, and it was 51-2 when Niall O'Brien edged Norwell to wicketkeeper Jon Batty. Just before lunch, Kyle Coetzer was bowled by Norwell and, although David Sales batted effortlessly for his 55, he, too, had his stumps disturbed by the strapping pace bowler.
A stubborn partnership of 78 between Hall and Rob Newton (44) ended when the latter pulled a short ball from Norwell straight to Ian Cockbain at midwicket.
James Middlebrook and David Murphy then went cheaply to Benny Howell and Norwell respectively and by tea the result was all but decided with Northants 184-7.
Hall fell for 56 straight after the break without a run added, bowled by Howell, who finished with 2-37, having made a handy contribution with his medium pace to a Gloucestershire attack lacking a specialist spinner.
Jack Brooks was taken in the slips off Fuller for 22 after a defiant stand of 39 with David Willey and the game ended when Luke Evans was caught by the diving Cockbain at gully off Anthony Ireland.
Norwell took six wickets in an innings on debut against Derbyshire at the start of last season, but was then plagued by back trouble. He recently claimed 6-52 in a CB40 match against Leicestershire at Grace Road and if he winters well could prove a very exciting prospect for next summer.
Ed Cowan will be available for the match against Leicestershire at Grace Road, starting on Tuesday, before flying home to Australia.