Klinger, Jones defiance sees Gloucestershire fight back
Lancashire 275 and 14 for 0 lead Gloucestershire 277 (Klinger 102, Jones 88, Bailey 4-52, Jarvis 4-67) by 12 runs
A century from Michael Klinger helped Gloucestershire to an unlikely first innings lead over Lancashire on day two at Bristol. Having crumbled to 72 for 5 before lunch, Klinger and Geraint Jones joined forces to add 167 for the sixth wicket, in 42.1 overs.
Klinger, who scored 93 in his first Championship innings of the summer at Derby last week, and whose two unbeaten T20 innings' have yielded 195 runs, played with genuine defiance on a wicket that gave the Lancashire's seamers plenty of early morning encouragement.
Resuming on 15 for 2, Klinger, the 34-year-old Australian, showed true defiance after Gloucestershire were plunged into early trouble. Nightwatchman Craig Miles, wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick and Ian Cockbain all departed before lunch, with Kyle Jarvis, Glen Chapple and Tom Bailey taking a wicket apiece.
That left the in-form Klinger and former-Kent wicketkeeper Jones to provide an even keel for the host county. The pair did exactly that, adding 139 in the afternoon session as Lancashire failed to take a wicket between lunch and tea.
Klinger, who reached 50 off 115 balls, eventually departed to a spectacular one-handed catch by South African Alviro Petersen, at mid-on, off the bowling of Steven Croft for 102. He struck 15 fours and one six after passing three figures for the first time in the Championship since June of last year.
Jones, who took just 66 deliveries to reach his half century, departed shortly after, at 246 for 7, bowled by the impressive Bailey for 88. His innings included 12 boundaries and lasted 12 minutes short of three hours.
On a wicket that provided the Lancashire seamers with ample encouragement, the pair batted with patience and application. Both were particularly harsh on anything full and wide, but neither took any chances as Gloucestershire recovered their poise to edge in front of Lancashire's first innings total of 275.
For the visitors, the final session was far more successful. They took the last five Gloucestershire wickets for 38 runs with Bailey returning figures of 4 for 52 and Jarvis 4 for 67. By the close, they were back in front courtesy of openers Karl Brown and Paul Horton who survived without too many problems against a Gloucestershire attack who will fancy their chances of making inroads on day three. Brown, one of two first innings half centurions, managed three singles off 38 balls, whilst Horton, who made only 4, first time around, was unbeaten on 6.
"It's been a pretty good day so far," Lancashire coach Ashley Giles said. "I thought today we got the better of two sessions, but they played very well in the middle. I thought Geraint Jones and Michael Klinger batted really well and we were probably lucky, in some respects, to be only two runs behind on first innings.
"But we did fight back well in the last session, to take five wickets and to finish unscathed gives us a good base for tomorrow. We were right on top and we were thinking can we bowl them out before the follow-on. But the wicket, when it got older, became easier and didn't seem to have too many Gremlins. It's important we get a good start in the morning whilst the ball is still new and then we can hopefully pile some runs on."
Gloucestershire captain Geraint Jones added: "Being brutally honest, we had the chance to be in a powerful position, but losing Michael when we did and then facing the new ball, meant that didn't happen. But that's the way cricket is and it was a fantastic fightback from where we were in the morning.
"Michael has been in unbelievable form since he arrived and it was just up to me to stick with him. Thankfully, I got away to a bit of a flyer early on and that kind of got me into the rhythm. So, I am pleased where we got to from there and it certainly sets up tomorrow. We need to bowl well on a wicket that is getting easier. But we do have wicket taking balls in the group."