Yorkshire are off to a winning start, and Ottis Gibson and Dawid Malan couldn’t be happier.
New head coach Gibson praised his side’s determination and patience having been made to work hard for the 22 points by a home side led by James Bracey’s excellent 177 in their second innings.
A target of 211 in 60 overs was achieved for the loss of four wickets after tea on day four, with Malan’s 65 the top score alongside an unbeaten 56 from Harry Brook.
“It was a good four days. It was tough cricket, especially yesterday when the game was there for us,” said Gibson.
“I thought it was good pitch. It offered a little bit of spin yesterday afternoon and today. I’m very proud of the way the lads stuck at it. Hopefully we can carry on like that.”
Gibson also reflected on his thoughts after winning his first game in charge: “Of course, I’m delighted,” he said.
“But, at the same time, I’m also pleased for the squad. They’ve been through a lot in recent months and so on. To start the season with a win is a great thing for everybody concerned.
“The fans, also, who travelled down from Yorkshire to watch us play. Fantastic.
“I’m very pleased with how things turned out. But it’s the first game of 14. So there’s a long way to go.
“It could have been a tricky chase. We got off to a good start. It was a bit slow, but we knew once we gathered momentum we could kick on with the likes of Harry and Dawid.”
Gibson hailed a team effort, though clearly Brook’s 101 and unbeaten 56 stands out.
“He’s an outstanding player. If he continues to play like that, he won’t play many games for us will he!” he smiled.
“I’ve seen him for a month now. He’s had a bit of a taste of white ball cricket with England. If he continues to churn out runs like this, the way things are with the England set-up at the moment, he’s definitely somebody who could see themselves into that red ball squad.”
Gibson reported some back stiffness for Matthew Fisher, though is hopeful he will be fit for Northampton on Thursday. The winning coach also indicated that there is a chance his side could include a new overseas signing at Wantage Road, while Joe Root’s availability for county action may begin a week later against Kent at Headingley.
Malan came to the crease at 30-2 in the chase and put his side in an unassailable position with some eye-catching strokeplay before Brook and Harry Duke (17 not out) finished things off.
Malan said: “It was nice to get a win and for the boys to concentrate on some cricket. Winning in the way we did is fantastic, especially under new leadership and new direction.
“Gloucestershire made us work really hard this morning and last night, and James Bracey played a really good knock to keep us out there a bit longer.
“Fortunately, our bowlers were able to wrap things up and give us something to chase, and we were able to finish it really well.”
The left-hander went on: “The pitch became a little bit dead, but because the boundaries were quite short and there was a wind on one side, we were able to target their quicker bowlers, which we did quite well.
“The original plan was to just bat and see where we were with 20 overs to go, but I managed to find a bit of momentum and just went with it.
“It was a tough winter, and the way the Ashes went made things hard. So I’m just glad to be back playing cricket and making a contribution to Yorkshire.
“We know that, when we have all our players available, we have a very strong squad on paper. In the meantime, it’s up to us senior professionals to bring the younger ones along.
“We’ve seen that with Harry Brook in this game. He is learning how to play certain situations and is fast becoming a senior player himself.”