Van Buuren and Bracey hit tons to get Glos out of trouble

Vitality County Championship Division Two, Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol (day three)

Derbyshire 526: Lamb 207, Guest 95, Donald 67, Dal 62; Webster 6-100

Gloucestershire 399-4: Van Buuren 156*, Bracey 137*; Chappell 2-39

Derbyshire (6 pts) lead Gloucestershire (4 pts) by 127 runs

Match scorecard

Gloucestershire’s James Bracey and Graeme van Buuren blasted their side out of trouble with swashbuckling centuries before rain intervened on the third day of the County Championship Division Two match against Derbyshire at Bristol.

The fifth-wicket pair launched a savage attack on the second new ball, producing a boundary blitz and adding 156 runs to their team’s overnight first-innings total to reach 399-4 before the heavens opened, with Bracey unbeaten on 137 and Van Buuren having raced to 156 not out.

No play was possible after lunch. Gloucestershire are still 127 short of Derbyshire’s first-innings total of 526, but on the most benign of batting surfaces, with two players in top form, they can feel optimistic of avoiding defeat on the final day.

Bracey was on 87 and Van Buuren 61 when play began and the former moved comfortably to his second hundred of the season, reaching the milestone with his 15th four, a cut off Luis Reece.

Gloucestershire had just claimed a second batting bonus point when Van Buuren elected to cut loose, moving from 88 to his 15th first-class century with a hat-trick of fours off spinner Alex Thomson.

Derbyshire took the second new ball but Daryn Dupavillon and Sam Conners strayed in line and length as the first five overs with the harder ball went for 65 runs.

Bracey and Van Buuren attacked at every opportunity, the latter pulling Conners over midwicket for six and clearing the ropes again off the same bowler with a sweetly-timed flick over fine leg.

Play had already been interrupted by a short shower when heavier rain arrived and lunch was taken.

The partnership was worth 268 in 48.3 overs when the weather set in, with play abandoned for the day at 16:15 BST.

Report supplied by the ECB Reporters' Network