It's a hard eleven to pick - Klinger
11 August 2018
Gloucestershire captain Michael Klinger says individual performances from different players has made selection difficult throughout the Vitality T20 Blast.
Three games now remain in the South Group, the first of them against Surrey at the Brightside Ground on Sunday (2.30pm) after the Brown Caps were beaten by Somerset on Friday evening.
24 hours earlier Gloucestershire had kept up the pressure on their local rivals by beating Middlesex with Ian Cockbain's innings of 123 providing the fireworks, and Klinger was impressed.
"It was an unbelievable game" he said. "Ian Cockbain was obviously man of the match but others chipped in with the bat and then we outbowled Middlesex and executed really well. Sometimes it can be hard to defend at Bristol but with Kieran (Noema-Barnett) taking 3-18 on top of his 31 runs with the bat you cannot ask any more of an all rounder."
"We've had to change the side because of injuries and guys being unavailable here and there, and we left out Matt Taylor and Graeme van Buuren although they played well at Kent. Kieran Noema-Barnett wasn't in the side at the start of the tournament either, so it's a hard team to pick when you have 14 or 15 good T20 players."
The squad of 14 for Sunday's game includes Jacob Lintott, a 25 year old wrist spinner who made one appearance in the competition for Hampshire last season and has been playing club cricket at Clevedon.
Klinger (c), Hammond, Cockbain, Howell, Noema-Barnett, Higgins, J.Taylor, Roderick, Tye, M.Taylor, Payne, Smith, Dent, Lintott.
Despite their defeat at Taunton, Surrey remain very much in contention for the knockout stages. Aaron Finch's return to Australia for family reasons deprives them of a considerable talent at the top of the order, but Klinger says Surrey have the resources to cope.
"They have quick bowlers, spinners and guys who bowl with good variation, and they brought in Rory Burns for Finch at Taunton, and he's been in good form" added Klinger. "I've not seen Will Jacks, who got a fifty on Friday but the lads have spoken about him after his century in the Royal London Cup. They are a quality outfit who have all bases covered."
Gloucestershire remain in charge of their own affairs in terms of qualifying for a home quarter final, although their position could have been even stronger had the game against Essex at Chelmsford on Friday not been washed out.
"There wasn't a lot we could have done" Klinger concluded. "The outfield was pretty muddy and the umpires said they had looked at it two hours earlier and they hadn't seen any improvement. It has been so dry that without much in the way of grass cover the rain just turned it to mud after a few downpours. At least we gained one point which keeps us going into the remaining games."
You can follow the match via the live scorecard available on the website, or via Twitter @Gloscricket.
Ball by ball commentary is also available on the BBC Sport website.