ALEX Gidman led from the front as Gloucestershire became the first team to beat runaway Division Two leaders Worcestershire in the County Championship this season.

The 33-year-old, standing in as captain with Michael Klinger ruled out with a neck injury, confirmed his return to form by hitting 146 in the first innings before his unbeaten 45 from just 43 balls in the second saw Gloucestershire wrap up a seven-wicket win inside three days.

It was also Gloucestershire’s first Championship triumph at New Road since 1986, Chris Dent hitting a run-a-ball 51 as they reached their target of 177 in 35.3 overs.

Gareth Roderick fell just two runs short of a century and shared a 161-run third wicket stand with Gidman in the first innings as Gloucestershire made 378 in reply to Worcestershire’s 194.

Richard Oliver led the fight back for the home side by scoring 179 in their second innings, but they lost their last five wickets for 39 runs to slip to 360 all out as Liam Norwell finished with 4-69 and Gloucestershire wasted no time in getting the runs.