A century by Michael Klinger – his seventh in 20 over cricket – wasn’t sufficient for Gloucestershire to return to winning ways in the Nat West T20 Blast against Hampshire at the Brightside Ground.
Klinger dominated the Gloucestershire innings after losing the toss, and completed his hundred in the final over with an upper cut over extra cover for six. His 101 not out with seven fours and six sixes took only 58 balls and enabled Gloucestershire to set Hampshire 175 to win.
However, with rain threatening the visitors fired a series of boundaries in the powerplay and as the weather worsened even the loss of three wickets was insufficient to drag back their par score under DLS. At 121-3 when the players went off, Hampshire were winners by 24 runs.
Here is what Michael Klinger had to say after the match :
— Gloucestershire CCC (@Gloscricket) 28 July 2017
Gloucestershire named the same side which had been beaten by Glamorgan on Tuesday, and when Michael Klinger lost the toss, Hampshire captain James Vince had no hesitation in fielding first.
Hampshire played their two front line spinners, Liam Dawson and Mason Crane, and they were to be their most economical bowlers as Klinger gradually went through the gears in a trademark white ball innings after almost being caught by Carberry at point in the second over.
His timing was soon smooth, clipping Topley for a boundary in the third over and then straight driving Berg, who opened from the Ashley Down Road end. He’d dominated the card in the powerplay, which contained a maiden bowled by Liam Dawson, and two further boundaries off Abbott compensated for the dismissal of Phil Mustard (2) after he was caught at mid wicket.
Ian Cockbain’s run of steady scores was ended when he clipped Dawson to Vince at mid wicket, although from the boundary some of the spectators seemed to share Cockbain’s view that it may not have carried. It was one of three decisions which another day may have turned out differently, the other one in the Gloucestershire innings seeing Kieran Noema-Barnett caught at third man having struggled to reach a delivery from Abbott which bounced well over head height.
The innings though was really about Klinger, who with limited support from Howell and Perera put together a single handed onslaught against the Hampshire attack. His shot placement was of a different class, scooping Dawson to the fine leg boundary while standing outside off stump and striking Wood for a straight six towards the apartments after reaching his half century from 37 balls.
Howell’s share of a fourth wicket stand of 54 made in 6.1 overs was 25, but his departure and that of Jack Taylor left Klinger and Perera together with five overs remaining. Together they were to add 69 runs, 31 of them coming in the Chris Wood’s penultimate over during which Klinger struck three sixes and Perera one. Klinger’s sixth six took him to three figures and with Perera making 26 not out – his first real contribution with the bat – Gloucestershire’s score (174-5) gave the bowlers something to work with.
With rain possible during their run chase Hampshire couldn’t loiter during the powerplay and their captain James Vince certainly matched Klinger’s intent from earlier in the evening after he was caught off a no ball, called for height, against Matt Taylor.
At the time – in the third over – he had only 13, but a six into the car park at mid wicket off Payne and two boundaries punched through the off side in Perera’s first over had Hampshire ahead on DLS before Rossouw twice lofted Howell over the rope in an over that cost 18 runs.
The pair had put on 85 when Vince (42) edged the last ball of the eighth over from Perera to Mustard, but with rain in the air and Hampshire’s target down to 90 from a further 11 overs Gloucestershire needed quick wickets to redress the DLS balance.
Matt Taylor did return to remove Carberry (20) and Bailey within three balls, but the impact on the scoreboard was minimal as Rossouw, who had been content to rotate the strike while Vince was peppering the boundary early on, steered the innings to 121-3 in the 12th over with an unbeaten 45. At that point, with the rain having fallen for more than 2 overs and showing no signs of easing, umpires Billy Taylor and Nigel Cowley took the players off and Hampshire pocketed the points.