Bracey’s century shows his intent

James Bracey can look forward to a bright future with Gloucestershire after marking only his fourth Specsavers County Championship appearance with a big hundred against Glamorgan at Cardiff.

The 20-year-old wicketkeeper-bats- man, a product of Winterbourne Cricket Club, hit 156 in the first innings of the drawn game, batting for six hours and 15 minutes and facing 272 balls.

There were 19 fours and two sixes in Bracey’s breakthrough knock, which contributed to a second-wicket stand of 240 with fellow centurion Benny Howell.

Gloucestershire were 53 for one when the youngster walked to the wicket. By the time he fell to former Somerset all-rounder Craig Meschede the scoreboard read 390 for seven.

A delighted Bracey said: “It was great to get my first hundred for Gloucestershire. It was tough to start with, but it was one of those pitches that when you got in it became easier.

“Benny Howell was a big help to me as my innings progressed. It was good to be out there with someone of his experience.”
A message on Bracey’s Twitter page later read: “Another amazing week with @Glos cricket. Thanks to everyone for all the support! Go again next week and look to finish with a win!”

Bristol-born Bracey’s first Championship experience came at the end of last season when he played against Sussex at Bristol, making two and 12.

This summer he had already registered 63 against Leicestershire at Grace Road before scores of 12 and 13 in the home game against Kent.

Having come through the ranks at Winterbourne, a club he lived next door to, he played for Bristol Cricket Club, having been a member of Gloucestershire’s age-group teams since under-11.

After leaving school, Bracey attended Stroud and South Gloucestershire College and was part of their cricket programme run by Gloucestershire Cricket Board head of performance Tim Hancock, the county’s former batsman.

Having done well for Gloucestershire under-17s, Bracey was awarded a place in the club’s Academy, along with pace bowler Ollie Currill, in August 2015.

He made his First Class debut for Loughborough University against Australian Universities the following May.

Bracey kept wicket against Glamorgan, claiming a first-innings catch to dismiss Andrew Salter, and is also looking to develop that side of his game.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.