Gloucestershire v Kent
Royal London One-Day Cup -
10 May 2017
Gloucestershire beat Kent by 11 runs
Venue: The Brightside Ground, Bristol
A spell of 4-17 in five overs by Chris Liddle backed up a century from Michael Klinger and enabled Gloucestershire to secure a narrow 11 run victory over Kent at the Brightside Ground in the South group of the Royal London Cup.
The visitors were set a target of 276, and appeared to be coasting at 200-2 with 12 overs remaining but Liddle’s dismissal of Daniel Bell-Drummond for 90 set off a wobble in the Kent run chase that never subsided, and two wickets from Benny Howell in the final over sealed what looked for some time to be an unlikely win.
Gloucestershire brought George Hankins into the side for Graeme van Buuren, and after batting first in all their previous games, Kent captain Sam Northeast decided to field and see how the pitch used for the ODI between England and Ireland would play. The answer was that until the closing stages of both innings, neither attack looked likely to disrupt a steady flow of runs.
Michael Klinger was, as so often before, the glue of the Gloucestershire total of 275-8 in their 50 overs. He clearly set out to bat through the innings, and was only dismissed in the 48th over having made 134 out of a total at that stage of 260-4 with his trademark efficiency. He also passed 7,000 runs in List A cricket worldwide, and struck four sixes including the biggest hit of the day to mid wicket off Matt Coles in a chaotic finale to the Gloucestershire innings.
Klinger had useful support at the top of the order from Phil Mustard (26) and Chris Dent (43) as the Gloucestershire batsmen rotated the strike to good effect. When Dent was bowled by Hartley 19 overs still remained, and Ian Cockbain maintained the momentum with his usual brisk running between the wickets.
His departure for 35 came with five overs left, and although Gloucestershire rattled up another 46 runs, they also lost 6 wickets as both James Harris and Matt Coles took two wickets in two balls. The total of 275-8 had been steadily built but the chaotic finale suggested it might be short of what was needed, and Kent’s initial progress put them firmly in control.
Joe Denly and the in-form Daniel Bell Drummond – who had two centuries already in the competition – started at nearly six runs an over in the opening powerplay, the wiry Bell-Drummond striking half a dozen early boundaries. On as first change, Liddle initially checked the run rate and then removed Denly for 17, Tom Smith taking a juggling catch at mid on.
Liddle’s first spell was tidy, but it was the second which turned the game. Skipper Michael Klinger has shuffled his bowlers in the middle overs with limited threat of a breakthrough as Kent moved, apparently untroubled, towards their target. Sean Dickson had added 89 with Bell-Drummond and just completed his fifty when caught by Hankins at deep mid wicket off Smith, and captain Sam Northeast and Bell-Drummond looked well set until Klinger held a sharp low chance at short cover in the 37th over.
It was Liddle’s sixth over and the first on his return to the attack, and what followed was his most significant contribution in Gloucestershire’s colours. Having removed Bell-Drummond for 90, Stevens (4), Northeast (44) and Blake (8) all fell to the former Sussex left armer who tore all the momentum and balance out of the Kent reply. From a position of comfort, the visitors finished short of their target with Jack Taylor and Benny Howell mopping up three late wickets to keep Gloucestershire in contention in the South group ahead of the local derby with Somerset on Friday.
After the match Chris Liddle said:
“I was looking at the scoreboard when Michael threw me the ball and it ended up being my day. He set the match up with his hundred and although it was a competitive score we did think we were a bit short but it made for a good game of cricket.”
“The wicket was a good one to bat on when you were in. When we got Bell-Drummond out it was harder for the new batsmen to pick up the run rate, and the lads will always fight for a win and Benny deserved his two wickets at the end.”
“People will know things didn’t work out for me last year but now I’m enjoying playing my cricket and we’ll keep going for that third spot in the group. A few things haven’t gone our way in previous matches but we’ve bounced and it’ll be a good game now at home to Somerset on Friday.”
Kent won the toss and elected to bowl.
Michael Klinger | Phil Mustard | Christopher Dent | Ian Cockbain | George Hankins | Jack Taylor | Benny Howell | Tom Smith | Liam Norwell | Christopher Liddle | Matthew Taylor |
Daniel Bell-Drummond | Joseph Denly | Sam Northeast | Sean Dickson | Darren Stevens | Alexander Blake | Adam Rouse | Matthew Coles | James Tredwell | James Harris | Charles Hartley |