Home quarter final looms closer after emphatic win over Essex
Klinger books home quarter final with emphatic win over Essex
NatWest T20 Blast -
17 July 2016
Venue: College Ground, Cheltenham
Gloucestershire moved closer to securing a home quarter final after an emphatic 30 run win over Essex at Cheltenham in the NatWest T20 Blast.
Inspirational skipper Michael Klinger again led the way, making an unbeaten 95 as the home side posted their 212-1 – their highest T20 score of the season – before restricting the Eagles to 182-9 in reply.
The result sees Glos extend their lead at the top the South Group to four points with one match remaining.
To watch a post match interview with Ian Cockbain – who struck 69 not out click below:
Going into the game with six wins in their last seven matches, the hosts lost the toss and were put into bat.
And after a watchful first over they were soon in full flow as Hamish Marshall flicked Paul Walter for four before pulling him to the boundary with the same result to make it 16-0 after two.
The opening pair continued to trade boundaries with Marshall the main aggressor as Glos reached 59-0 after the power play overs – Marshall with 37, Klinger with 20.
Essex skipper Ravi Bopara (1-38) slowed the run rate in his first over – the seventh – before picking up the key wicket of Marshall in the ninth. The New Zealander made 43 off just 28 balls before being caught and bowled miscuing an attempt to turn the ball into the on-side.
At 75-1 the competition’s second highest run scorer Ian Cockbain joined its highest, Michael Klinger.
The pair ran hard and punished the bad ball as they gradually worked their way up through the gears.
The first six of the game – over cover from Cockbain off Ashar Zaidi (0-36) – brought up the Glos 100 in the 13th over.
But they didn’t really put their foot on the accelerator until the 15th. A switch hit scoop for four off Bopara brought Klinger his 50 from 40 balls (eight fours), a stroke he followed up with a paddle sweep for another boundary.
From here on in Gloucestershire took the attack to Essex with brutal efficiency.
Matt Quinn (0-52)went for 17 in the 16th including a slog sweep from Klinger and a flat straight six from Cockbain.
The number three then pulled Bopara for two fours and a three in consecutive balls as Glos raced to 166-1 with three overs left.
Another trademark pull for four – this time off Graham Napier (0-40) – gave Cockbain his half century (28 balls, five fours, two sixes) before a six over midwicket from Klinger brought up the 100 partnership from 57 deliveries.
Klinger continued to mix invention with classic cricket shots in the 19th over as he followed up a crisp cover drive for four with another switch hit and a six over point.
Two sixes – including one over the hospitality tents – and a four – all from Cockbain saw Glos finish on 212-1, Klinger not out on 95 from 57 balls (13 fours, two sixes) and Cockbain 69 not out (35 balls, six fours, four sixes).
In reply Glos made a dream start when a Matt Taylor yorker knocked out Kishen Velani’s off stump in the first over.
The same bowler continued his excellent form in the competition in the third over when he had Tom Westley (4) caught at midwicket by Graeme Van Buuren off a mis-timed pull.
With Nick Browne looking in good touch and the Glos bowlers lacking a little of their usual discipline the visitors recovered to 36-2 in the fifth before Bopara (8) top-edged a Benny Howell full toss to Norwell at short fine leg.
The final power play over brought controversy as Ryan Ten Doeschate was given run out when he appeared well in. The Essex man will almost certainly face disciplinary action after standing his ground, swishing his bat angrily and hitting a 30 metre circle marker on his way back to the pavilion.
Howell picked up his second wicket in the eighth over with the key wicket of Browne – caught by Chris Dent at deep mid-wicket for 27 to make it 58-5.
With their top order back in the pavilion and more than 150 needed in 12 overs Essex never got themselves back in the game.
The youthful Dan Lawrence (35 from 26) and experienced James Foster (27 off 17) put in decent cameos but with no one going on to make a big score it was always going to be in vain.
Taylor (2-25) proved the pick of the bowlers, although Howell’s superior figures of 3-27 saw him become the joint highest wicket taker in this year’s Blast.
AJ Tye (1-42) and Van Buuren (1-33) and a Howell run out contributed to the visitors’ downfall as they finished on 182-9, 31 runs short of their target.
Glos are now assured a home quarter final regardless of the result of the final group match v Middlesex at the Brightside Ground Bristol on July 29.
Essex won the toss and elected to bowl.
Michael Klinger | Hamish Marshall | Ian Cockbain | Christopher Dent | Benny Howell | Gareth Roderick | Graeme van Buuren | Tom Smith | Andrew Tye | Liam Norwell | Matthew Taylor |
Nicholas Browne | Kishen Velani | Thomas Westley | Ravinder Bopara | Ryan ten Doeschate | Daniel Lawrence | Syed Zaidi | James Foster | Graham Napier | Paul Walter | Matthew Quinn |