Michael Klinger’s defiant 68 was not enough to save Gloucestershire from a seven-wicket defeat by Warwickshire in the floodlit Friends Life t20 match at Edgbaston.
And to complete a miserable night the club learned that they will start next season’s competition with a two-point deduction imposed after the wicket prepared for the corresponding game at Cheltenham on July 14 was rated “poor” by an ECB Pitch Panel.
Klinger lacked any meaningful support after Gloucestershire were invited to bat first. The next highest individual score was Ian Cockbain’s 25 as the visitors could muster only 145-7.
The skipper reached his half-century off 40 balls, with 2 fours and 3 sixes, but his team lost Chris Dent and Dan Christian in the opening two overs and never recovered.
Ateeq Javed claimed three wickets and Jeetan Patel two as the Bears maintained a tight grip on the innings.
Then Varun Chopra and former Gloucestershire player Will Porterfield gave the home side a solid start to their reply with an opening stand of 68 in 9.3 overs.
Both were dismissed and left-arm spinner Tom Smith returned the creditable figures of 2-14 from his four overs.
But Rikki Clarke’s 40 helped Warwickshire to their target with 14 balls to spare.
The result ended any mathematical chance Gloucestershire had of reaching the quarter-finals. And the club will have to overcome an extra obstacle to do so next season.
An ECB statement on the deduction of two points at the start of the 2014 T20 competition read: “There were no circumstances relating to the preparation of the pitch that negated any penalty being imposed.”
Gloucestershire Chief Excecutive Tom Richardson said: “We are very disappointed by this decision, but have no course other than to accept it.”
For more details of the match at Edgbaston click on Cricket and then Match Reports.