Sid’s Cup heroics showed he can be major player for us:
Another outstanding bowling performance helped us to third win a row in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
It was a big toss to win against Leicestershire, with wet weather about and the ball doing a bit in the morning to help us get early wickets.
But we still had to take advantage of the conditions and we seem to be on a bit of a roll in the competition, which is great after an inconsistent run in the Championship.
David Payne got himself four wickets and deservedly so after keeping pressure on the Leicestershire batsman throughout the day.
Known as ‘Sid’ in the changing room, he has always had the ability to swing the ball and can be a real handful with his left-armers when bowling at a consistent pace.
It has been a frustrating season for him due to a heel injury, but Sid is never a bloke to mope about and I know he is enjoying his run in the side.
Having different white balls at each end seems to suit his game, and if he can continue the form he is showing he is going to be a major player for us.
We ended up being set 131 to win from 25 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method, which sounds straightforward but was actually quite tricky to pace as an opening batsman.
We had a bit of a wobble after a decent start, but Michael Klinger and Will Gidman saw us home in the end and we finished the day at the top of Group A.
I’m sure a few fans are getting excited now, and it’s been nice to give them something to cheer about after a disappointing Cheltenham Festival.
But I can assure them that, as players, we will not be getting ahead of ourselves and thinking about a possible quarter-finals place.
We still need to up our game with the bat if we want to stay ahead of quality teams like Worcestershire, Yorkshire and this afternoon’s opponents Essex.
Chelmsford is always a tough place to go and they have some classy one-day specialists like Ryan ten Doeschate and my fellow Kiwi Jesse Ryder.
Ravi Bopara is on England Lions duty, but if we head down there expecting to have it all our own way we will come unstuck.
A Lord’s final would be a fantastic way to end the season and it is about time Gloucestershire were there again.
But it’s absolutely crucial that we put that to the back of our minds and focus on the next game.
Wonderful gesture from the club:
The club have announced that I have been awarded a benefit year for 2015, which is a wonderful gesture.
It is hard to believe I have been with Gloucestershire for eight years, and anyone who knows me will tell you how much affection I have for the club.
I love living in this part of the world and I have made some lifelong friends during my time at the club.
The people of the county have been so welcoming to me and my family and I can only say a big thank you.
I am not someone who looks too far into the future – particularly in the middle of a season – but next year should be a very special one.
Shame to see Tiger Woods struggling:
Regular readers of this column will know how much I admire Tiger Woods as a sportsman.
So it is a shame to see him struggling so badly with a back injury, depriving him of the chance to play to his full potential and golf fans of watching one of the all-time greats.
He is still a champion player and I would never count him out of winning more Majors in the future.
But we could be waiting a long time, so it is important for the sport that Rory McIlroy is showing all the signs of being the next dominant force.
The way he drives the ball is incredible and he will take some stopping in the PGA Championship at Valhalla.
I’m also pleased to see a character like Sergio Garcia finding form again, which means golf without Tiger is still well worth watching.