Today was a day like few others this summer, what you might call a snowdrops in the Kalahari day.
It was, in short, one that we dominated from start to finish and that was rich with encouragement. Tom Taylor deserves all the plaudits for a five-wicket haul so early in his first-class career, one that has earned him a number of positive comments around the web. Tony Palladino completed a long and accurate spell, while Mark Footitt, though more expensive than of late, came back to finish the innings off as he so often does.
Taylor appears a real find and his form, together with that of Greg Cork and Ben Cotton on their early senior appearances, suggests Graeme Welch is absolutely correct to give them opportunity. After a fallow period, it would appear that the seam bowling conveyor belt is fully operational once more.
Then it was the batsmen's turn. Billy Godleman got one that kept low, but Ben Slater reinforced the positive impression he has made and was looking good for a first senior century when he was caught behind. Thereafter, Wayne Madsen and Shiv Chanderpaul steered us to the calm of 216-2 by the close, unbeaten on 79 and 50 respectively.
140 runs behind with eight wickets in hand, we might even be on for that rarity of a first innings lead, assuming the wicket doesn't misbehave in the early session tomorrow. Regular contributor Martin Moseling makes the point below yesterday's piece that the wicket is normally good for four days batting, although players from both sides have been quick to point out that it wasn't was easy as it might have appeared.
Indeed, Will Gidman suggested there were signs of turn, so we'll not presumably want to be chasing a large last innings total, even if this Gloucestershire attack is some way removed from the days of Mortimore, Allen, Wells and Goddard.
Good times then, my friends and it is a pleasure to write about today with a smile on my face.
In the words of Bruce Springsteen, it's been a long time comin'...