Leicestershire v Gloucestershire, Grace Road, 4th day June 5, 2014

Klinger blast steals victory

Press Association

Gloucestershire 260 (Jones 93, Taylor 5-55) and 255 for 1 (Klinger 129*, Howell 78*) beat Leicestershire 269 (O'Brien 88, W Gidman 5-46) and 241 for 5 dec (Robson 96) by nine wickets

Michael Klinger hit a stunning undefeated 129, overcoming a lean run of form, as Gloucestershire claimed a dramatic nine-wicket win over Leicestershire.

After all play was lost due to rain on day three at Grace Road, home captain Ramnaresh Sarwan made a sporting declaration on Thursday, setting Gloucestershire a target of 251 in 39 overs.

And Klinger's 124-ball effort, coupled with a belligerent unbeaten 78 off 59 balls from Benny Howell, saw the visitors home with 10 balls remaining and left Leicestershire still searching for a first win of the season.

Leicestershire started the day 12 without loss, a lead of 21, but soon lost their first wicket as Geraint Jones took a catch behind off the bowling of Liam Norwell to remove Greg Smith for 10.

Ned Eckersley then fell for 34 as Jones took another catch behind the stumps, this time off Will Gidman who claimed his 31st wicket of the season. Sarwan could only add 24 before Howell dismissed him, Jones taking his third catch of the innings.

Opener Angus Robson was proving the lynchpin of the Leicestershire innings and looked on target for a maiden first-class century before Tom Smith trapped him lbw for 96.

That was still two runs better than his previous best on the same day that brother Sam was selected in the England squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka.

Josh Cobb then brought up his 50 off 77 balls but when Rob Taylor went next ball to hand Smith his second wicket, the innings was declared on 241 for 5.

Gloucestershire got off to a flying start with two Klinger fours in a 10-run first over and they maintained a good pace with the skipper bringing up his 50 off just 54 balls.

Alex Gidman was scoring at a similar rate but not seeing as much of the strike and Klinger clobbered the first six of the innings to bring up the Gloucestershire 100 in the 18th over.

Gidman then fell for 37 after skying Taylor into the hands of Smith but the arrival of Howell at the crease did not halt momentum with the 150 coming up in the 26th over.

Howell's 50 came off just 41 balls and Klinger went to three figures in the following over, bringing up his century in 109 deliveries. The visitors then moved through the gears as they raced towards victory and Howell confirmed the win with a six off Jagir Naik.

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  • Soy on June 6, 2014, 10:59 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer - you are mistaken if you think averaging 31 isn't among your best mate.

    Think of the Ashes. Enough said.

  • Mark on June 6, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    @siltbreeze Gloucs had Tavare' and Dent injured and unlikely to bat.

  • Martin on June 6, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    Very odd declaration from Sarwan - it was highly unlikely that Leic would bowl out Glouc in 39 overs with their bowling attack, but 251 at just above 6 an over was always achievable. I'm all for positive declarations, but that's just handing the advantage to the opposition.

  • Mark on June 6, 2014, 8:47 GMT

    @SoyQuearns Given that before this innings he was averaging 19.4 in 11 innings in Division 2 and still averages only 31 with this knock, I think not. He is a good County pro. He's an excellent skipper. But he's not one of the best half dozen openers in the country.

  • Soy on June 6, 2014, 4:35 GMT

    England would kill for a Klinger and he can't even make our side.

    Onya mate, show them how it is done.

  • Mark on June 5, 2014, 19:24 GMT

    I must admit, despite the fast start, I had my doubts that Gloucs could do this as the RRR climbed. With 88 needed from the last 11 overs it looked as if the effort would fall just short.

    Kudos to Leicestershire. It was not a easy target. Gloucestershire were two top-order batsmen short and it required some serious hitting to get there, which could easily have led to a collapse.

    Last season, Michael Klinger tried a series of increasingly desperate declarations to keep the promotion challenge afloat. This season he is being aggressive again. And, after a pretty dreadful season so far with the bat for him, it was the captain who set up the win.

    Probably Hampshire and Worcestershire have promotion wrapped-up but it would be nice to push them all the way to the line.

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