Leicestershire v Gloucestershire, Grace Road, 4th day May 3, 2013

Klinger leads Gloucs in easy chase

Gloucestershire 280 (Taylor 61, Freckingham 4-69) and 191 for 1 (Klinger 103*, Dent 71) beat Leicestershire 250 (Thakor 75, Howell 5-57) and 217 (W Gidman 4-39) by nine wickets

Australian Michael Klinger hit his first County Championship century to lead Gloucestershire to a nine-wicket victory on the final day at Grace Road.

After surviving a tricky first half-hour, openers Klinger and Chris Dent shared a stand of 129 to ensure there would be no major problems chasing a target of 188.

Dent was out for 71 to the last ball before lunch but Klinger hit the winning runs and reached his century at the same time with his 16th boundary. He was unbeaten on 103 from 172 balls.

It was Gloucestershire's first win of the season and earned them 21 points, while Leicestershire collected five as they slipped to their first defeat of the season following drawn games against Hampshire and Kent.

With Gloucestershire starting the day on 16 for 0, Leicestershire needed to take early wickets if they were to have any chance of snatching an unlikely victory. Pacemen Ollie Freckingham and Robbie Williams bowled well without any luck early on a slow pitch starting to show signs of uneven bounce.

Both batsmen played and missed on several occasions and three times the ball flashed through the slip cordon down to the vacant third-man boundary. But as the shine went off the ball, the sting went out of the bowling, and both Klinger and Dent began to play with far more confidence and assurance.

Dent was the first to reach his 50 off 68 balls with eight fours and Gloucestershire captain, Klinger, brought up the 100 partnership with a well-timed square drive to the boundary off Freckingham.

A neat late cut off Michael Thornely saw Klinger reach his 50 off 100 balls, and Leicestershire's frustrating morning was summed up when Josh Cobb put down an easy slip catch offered by Dent off Jigar Naik's off spin.

Naik gained some revenge by having Dent lbw with the last ball before lunch. But Klinger remained in good touch, straight driving Claude Henderson for a six before square cutting another boundary off Shiv Thakor to reach his landmark century and clinch victory.

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  • Cricinfouser on May 4, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    @Bird_bird_bird - Unbiased observers would probably say that there isn't much difference in the standard of CC D1 and the Shield. The county system is however also strong enough to support another fully professional division. There's no relegation for the Shield either - wouldn't make much sense as the next step down in both cases is to amateur leagues. If the Shield is that great, where are all the international class batsmen and spin bowlers?

  • Mark on May 4, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    @Randy, old chap. Always a pleasure to read you. Only a few days ago the Gloucs fans were commenting that any of their 2nd XI players would score more than Klinger, I suspect that it is still true. He's been fortunate that Phil Dent chose today to play his second significant innings of the season (his first was in a pre-season warm-up), giving him some moral support to help him through into double figures for the first time.

    Good win for Gloucs. Would not have expected it to be so easy. That should kick-start the season. It would be nice to follow this up with another win or two soon. Apart from the Essex match this is the first time that the batting has fired.

  • Hamish on May 3, 2013, 22:06 GMT

    Klinger has been in truly terrible form from the start of the sheffield shield season to before this innings. If he had not had such a mediocre shield season he could've been a slight chance. His average was above 40 not too long ago - but coinciding with the drop of a lot of our batsmen's form (BBL's fault) - his average is now 35.

  • John on May 3, 2013, 22:06 GMT

    @clarke501 don't see the correlation to being strong to having two divisions... It's not like theres relegtion in division 2... Im not sure a division where the batters who average in the 20's open the batting and trundlers opening the bowling average above 30 can be categorized as strong either.bRegardless the shield has always and always will be stronger :)

  • Cricinfouser on May 3, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    @RandyOZ - Rather the reverse, I'd suggest. The county system is strong enough to support two divisions. In case you hadn't noticed, you are commenting on a Division Two match.

  • Randolph on May 3, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    Well done to Klinger, although not completely unexpected given the weakness of the county system.

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