A half century by Michael Klinger wasn’t sufficient to prevent a 25 run defeat to Glamorgan in the South Group of the NatWest T20 Blast at the Brightside Ground.
Watched by a crowd of more than 4,000, Glamorgan made 176-5 after Klinger won the toss and decided to field, with both Jacques Rudolph and David Miller passing fifty.
In reply Gloucestershire’s run rate was comparable with Glamorgan at half way, but once Klinger was out for 52 with seven overs left, the middle order found timing the ball difficult against the Glamorgan attack and the chase finished well short at 151-7.
Listen to head coach Richard Dawson’s post match thoughts here :
Gloucestershire made one change to the side which played at Kent last Tuesday, with Kieran Noema-Barnett replacing Chris Liddle, and Michael Klinger put Glamorgan in when he won the toss, perhaps influenced by a pitch which was very bare at both ends and which suggested taking pace off the ball would make timing shots a real skill.
The initial powerplay was certainly eventful, with Thisara Perera – playing at Bristol for the first time – involved in both wickets. He caught Aneurin Donald at short fine leg off David Payne for eight, and then caught and bowled the dangerous Ingram for 18 after the same player had earlier been missed by Jack Taylor off brother Matt. Glamorgan were 45-2 and it was still hard to tell what a good score might be.
Where Glamorgan then gained was in two left handers, in different ways, building a stand of 85 in 9.4 overs. Skipper Jacques Rudolph was prepared to play second fiddle to fellow South African David Miller, whose reputation for clean hitting was enhanced by a 32 ball half century with four fours and three sixes. His departure, well caught by Noema-Barnett off Payne, ended a partnership where Glamorgan had boosted their run rate with three individually profitable overs that had brought 49 runs.
Perera, whose first two overs had cost only six runs, returned to remove Rudolph (51) with three overs left, but Cooke, Wagg and Meschede collected another four boundaries as Glamorgan posted a challenging 176-5 in their 20 overs.
Cameron Bancroft had been the only Gloucestershire batsmen to register a half century in the competition to date, and it felt like someone would need to change that if Gloucestershire were to have a chance of extending their unbeaten sequence in the competition.
The start was quiet, until skipper Michael Klinger played the first shot in anger when he pulled Hogan for six over mid wicket in the third over. Hogan bowled Mustard for two shortly afterwards, but for a while Klinger and Cockbain balanced some neat singles with more aggressive strokes, Cockbain driving Wagg for a straight six towards the apartments.
Ahead on a direct comparison at the end of the powerplay, Colin Ingram then proceeded to make up for a cheap dismissal in the Glamorgan innings with four telling overs of leg spin, conceding only 18 runs and accounting for George Hankins without scoring just four deliveries after Cockbain (25) had mistimed a pull off van der Gugten to ‘keeper Cooke.
A lot then appeared to depend on Klinger, who in the past has proved a master on steering such chases with the middle order. He added 44 with Benny Howell, striking a straight six off Meschede and another two off van der Gugten, the last one bringing up his own half century from 33 deliveries. When he played on for 52, the asking rate was rising and it needed a special innings to claw it back.
Howell made 27 but his timing was awry such that he failed to find the boundary at any point, and although Jack Taylor and Kieran Noema-Banrett did both clear the rope, their acts of defiance came with Glamorgan having a comfortable buffer to see out the closing overs and climb to the top of the South Group table.
Gloucestershire are back in action on Friday evening when Hampshire are the visitors at the Brightside Ground (6.30pm).