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June 11, 2014
Gloucestershire 112 and 274 for 5 (Klinger 120) trail Surrey 626 for 6 dec. by 240 runs
Michael Klinger led a much improved batting performance from Gloucestershire on day three at Bristol but his die still face a daunting task to salvage a draw with Surrey.
Klinger made 120, his second century in as many Championship matches, and Ian Cockbain was closing on 50 but, still 240 behind, the hosts will have to bat the whole final day to avoid defeat.
After falling to 17 for 4 within 10 overs of winning the toss on day one, it was vital Gloucestershire made a better start this time around. An opening stand of 60 between Dan Housego and Klinger was just the ticket, the former setting the wheels in motion with a boundary off Matt Dunn's third ball and Klinger following suit in the young seamer's next over.
Twenty runs came from the first five overs and the half-century came up with Klinger taking Dunn for three boundaries in succession and four in an over.
The expensive Dunn exacted a measure of revenge on the batsmen when he had Housego, on 27, caught by Zafar Ansari and Surrey grabbed a second wicket before lunch, Alex Gidman making 10 before falling lbw to Gareth Batty.
Klinger was one run short of his half-century at the interval, with his team on 98 for 2, and a single after the interval off Batty took him to 50 from 88 balls. He found a willing partner in Hamish Marshall in a stand of 42 before the New Zealander was also trapped in front by Batty for 27.
As Cockbain established himself at the crease, Klinger continued to make solid progress and he moved into the nineties by hitting Batty for six. He added his 13th four, off Jade Dernbach, to move to a 183-ball century shortly before tea.
He added another six off Batty but, having hit Jason Roy for two successive fours, he was dismissed by the part-timer as Hashim Amla took the catch at slip. Klinger batted for almost four and a half hours and faced 229 balls.
Geraint Jones also occupied the crease well, lasting more than an hour for 13 from 47 balls before falling lbw to Dernbach, and it was left to nightwatchman Tom Smith to bat out the session alongside Cockbain, who will resume needing two runs to complete a fine half-century.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
His rapid improvement with the ball has been integral to England coming from behind to lead the series - but that is just one area where Moeen Ali continues to impress
His decisions in the England series have seemed to confirm that he does not care too much for the Test game. Maybe he should be concentrating on the World Cup