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Marshall century leads Glos home

A 54-ball century by Hamish Marshall put Gloucestershire's Twenty20 Cup campaign back on track with a 61-run victory over Worcestershire at Kidderminster.

Recovering quickly from their under-par performance against group leaders Warwickshire on Friday, the Gladiators retained second place by successfully defending a total of 198 for seven.

Worcestershire got off to a flying start at 12 runs an over but crumbled for 137 after losing their big three to well judged catches by Ian Fisher.

Vikram Solanki (18) and Graeme Hick (31) fell at deep cover and mid-wicket respectively, then Fisher ran in to hold a skier from Phil Jaques, who made 17 after a brief trip to Australia for family reasons.

Gloucestershire applied pressure with their shrewd field settings and their catching was near enough faultless as Fisher completed a productive match with three wickets.

Marshall and fellow New Zealander Craig Spearman launched Gloucestershire's innings with 48 inside the first four overs but it was only Marshall who maintained the tempo in moving to his first 50 from 28 balls.

Now committed to the county on a new contract, the 28-year-old batsman had struck one six at that stage and he went on to clear the rope five more times - as well as hitting eight fours - in posting his century in the 16th over.

The rest of the team managed only nine boundaries between them.

Marshall took four fours off Doug Bollinger's first five deliveries and when the Australian was immediately withdrawn from the attack, Roger Sillence's first over cost 23, including 10 extras.

The more accurate Kabir Ali accounted for Spearman from a mistimed heave to cover and Marshall continued to lose partners at regular intervals.

Alex Gidman edged a slower ball from Bollinger and Gareth Batty secured some control with two for 28. Chris Taylor was leg before, reverse sweeping, and Mark Hardinges failed to clear long on.

Marshall finally went for exactly 100 out of 163, giving a simple catch to mid-wicket off left arm spinner Ray Price, and the admirable Kabir finished with three for 26 after cleaning up David Brown and Steve Adshead, the second highest scorer with 22 from 13 balls.

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