Dent and Klinger set up first Royal London Cup win
Royal London One-Day Cup -
14 June 2016
Gloucestershire beat Hampshire by 10 runs
Venue: The Brightside Ground, Bristol
Gloucestershire’s Royal London Cup campaign finally got off the launch pad with a narrow 10 run victory on a docile wicket against Hampshire at the Brightside Ground.
Openers Chris Dent and Michael Klinger both made hundreds, Klinger carrying his bat for 166 not out, a career best score in a List A game. The pair put on 242 for the first wicket, and aided by a brisk 29 from Ian Cockbain, Gloucestershire finally reached 352-3 in their 50 overs, with only Shahid Afridi offering extended control amongst the Hampshire attack.
The total looked challenging but a third wicket stand of 78 between Sean Ervine and Will Smith pushed Hampshire into contention and steady contributions down the order – including an unbeaten 70 by Gareth Andrew – saw them get close to their target at 342-8 when their overs ran out.
Listen to Michael Klinger’s post match thoughts here :
Gloucestershire selected the same side that was beaten by Middlesex in their previous Royal London Cup match, with Jack Taylor again left out in order to accommodate an extra bowler.
Hampshire skipper Sean Ervine decided to field after the winning the toss, and watching Ryan Stevenson and Tino Best share the new ball it was soon evident that there was very little pace or movement in the Brightside Ground pitch.
Dent was quickly into his stride, batting almost as if the innings was to last 20 overs rather than 50. He scored 28 of the first 31 runs with five boundaries as the left hander monopolised the strike early on. Klinger scored only 16 in the first ten overs, but with no breakthrough – or even a sniff of one – Ervine turned to his slower bowlers as soon as the fielding restrictions were relaxed.
It was Klinger who attacked Dawson’s orthodox slow left arm spin first, using his feet to loft him over long off for six, but Dent was unsurprisingly quicker to his fifty, made from only 46 balls with eight fours.
With a steady stream of singles the century opening stand came up in the 19th over, Dent dominating on the scoreboard and on the field, with some excellent timing and placement, especially on the off side.
Klinger continued to be severe on anything loose, pulling Dawson to mid wicket for six and reaching his own half century from 65 balls, and more than half the allotted 50 overs had elapsed before Hampshire came close to breaking the partnership.
Tino Best was recalled to the attack and almost yorked Klinger, the ball squirting towards long leg. He and Dent completed a single, but Dent sent his captain back as he looked for a second run and a run out was only narrowly avoided.
Klinger struck Gareth Andrew for another straight six towards the apartments to break the previous best opening stand for Gloucestershire against Hampshire, and with some watchful respect to Afridi, Dent worked his way quietly towards a second Royal London Cup hundred of the season, collecting only three further boundaries as he reached three figures from 95 deliveries with 11 fours.
By this stage Dent was looking to score off almost every ball, and the opening stand had passed 200 when he twice cleared the rope, once straight and once deep into the temporary stands at mid wicket. He’d made 141 when he played a ball from Stevenson into his stumps only for the bails to remain in place, but one run later he tried to clear mid off but only found the safe hands of Afridi, Dawson claiming the first of his two wickets.
With 242 runs on the board and 12 overs remaining, Ian Cockbain had the freedom to attack and he soon sent Tino Best over the boundary at mid wicket. Klinger’s well paced century was completed from 115 balls with eight fours and three sixes, and the Australian – along with Cockbain – proceeded to pummel the Hampshire attack in the closing overs.
They added 86 before Cockbain was stumped in Liam Dawson’s final over for 29, and Klinger profited from two dropped catches to race from 100-150 in only 31 deliveries, striking three further sixes and three more boundaries. His innings off 166 not out left Hampshire needing more than seven runs an over.
Left handers Jimmy Adams and Tom Alsop set off against Liam Norwell and Matt Taylor aware that they couldn’t start too slowly. Adams played one fine straight drive off Taylor in an opening stand of 41 but the tone for some excellent Gloucestershire catching was set when he cut Norwell to backward point in the 9th over and Cockbain made no mistake.
Norwell and Taylor shared the first 11 overs before Benny Howell – with his variation of pace – and Craig Miles entered the attack. Alsop had played fluently and the left hander had already driven Miles for a straight six when he pulled Howell to the long leg side boundary to complete his fifty from 39 balls.
Whether his concentration then lapsed only he will know, but the next delivery was clipped gently to Klinger at cover, and Hampshire were 88-2 from 15 overs.
Hampshire skipper Sean Ervine then joined Will Smith in what for the most part was a low risk partnership. With the field set back, they worked the ball into the gaps and were prepared to run hard to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Ervine did strike sixes off successive balls from Benny Howell, but otherwise it was a methodical stand which kept Hampshire in the game, and they’d added 75 to take the visitors to 163-2 at the midway point in their reply.
Two fine catches then tipped the game towards Gloucestershire and ultimately put Hampshire too far behind the clock to recover. First Will Smith, who had made 38 without a boundary, fell to a juggling, tumbling catch at mid off by Tom Smith, and then Ervine, who reached his fifty from only 32 balls, misjudged a pull shot and Norwell dived forward at backward square leg to give Noema-Barnett a second important wicket.
When Shahid Afridi played on to Craig Miles having made only five, Hampshire had lost three wickets for 14 runs and 173 were still needed, but their lower order were in no mood to give up the chase.
Wicket keeper Lewis McManus added 40 with Liam Dawson before top edging Howell to Hamish Marshall on the mid wicket boundary for 28, and the durable Dawson had become the third Hampshire batsman to reach fifty when he hoisted the returning Liam Norwell to the long Mound Stand boundary for six with seven overs left. Norwell yorked him with his next ball for 57, and Hampshire’s spirited chase looked likely to fall just short.
It did, but not before former Worcestershire and Somerset all rounder Gareth Andrew single handedly carried the attack until the last over. His unbeaten 70 came from only 41 balls with five sixes, including one off the final ball of the day from Liam Norwell.
It meant the damage to Hampshire’s run rate in defeat was minimal, but importantly Gloucestershire recorded their first win in the South group to keep their chances of a quarter final place alive with four matches to play.
Hampshire won the toss and elected to bowl.
Michael Klinger | Christopher Dent | Gareth Roderick | Hamish Marshall | Ian Cockbain | Benny Howell | Kieran Noema-Barnett | Tom Smith | Craig Miles | Liam Norwell | Matthew Taylor |
James Adams | Thomas Alsop | William Smith | Sean Ervine | Liam Dawson | Shahid Afridi | Lewis McManus | Gareth Andrew | Ryan Stevenson | Mason Crane | Tino Best |