Glo'sters skipper targets top spot

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Alex Gidman insists Gloucestershire can still overhaul Twenty20 Cup rivals Warwickshire and qualify for the quarter-finals as winners of the Midland/West/Wales Division.

Beaten by the Bears in Bristol last Friday, Gloucestershire reasserted their credentials in emphatic fashion, thrashing Worcestershire by 61 runs at Kidderminster to strengthen their position behind the leaders.

Although Warwickshire remain two points clear with three games to play, stand-in captain Gidman believes his rejuvenated team can still come from behind to top the table.

Gloucestershire take on Northants at Campbell Park in Milton Keynes this evening (5.30pm) and complete their fixtures with home games against Somerset and Glamorgan at Nevil Road on Wednesday and Friday respectively.

One more victory will, in all likelihood, put the county through to the last eight. But Gidman is prepared to set his sights higher.

He declared: "We've not given up hope of winning the group. We've only lost the once in five games and we feel confident we can do well in our remaining matches.

"Warwickshire have to play away from home against teams who will be desperate to win to keep alive their hopes of qualifying. They could easily lose one or two.

"If that happens, I will expect us to be in a position to pounce. There are obvious advantages to finishing top of the group, not least because it brings with it a home tie in the quarter-finals.

"Beating Worcestershire means we are right back on track.

"We have a tough away game against Northants next, but we are now in a very strong position as regards reaching the quarter- finals."

Gidman spoke of the need for greater composure in the wake of defeat to Warwickshire. His team responded in magnificent fashion to mete out a second hiding in seven days to Worcestershire.

"If we lacked composure last Friday, we made up for it in this game," said Gidman.

"Worcestershire have some big match-winners in their top order and they made an excellent start to their run chase.

"But we didn't panic and we believed in our game plan and stuck to it throughout. It was that coolness under pressure that saw us through."

Hamish Marshall top-scored with 100, his highest score in the competition, to deservedly carry off the man of the match award.

"Marshy was outstanding," said Gidman. "He doesn't do anything different, but just plays his normal shots.

"He played good cricket shots throughout his innings and gave us the perfect platform."
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