Westley steers Essex home after Klinger ton
Essex 319 (ten Doeschate 73, Foster 63) and 117 for 5 (Westley 65*) beat Gloucestershire 116 (Napier 4-27) and 316 (Klinger 103) by five wickets
Alastair Cook suffered the indignity of a first ball duck as Essex completed a five-wicket win over Gloucestershire inside three days at Bristol. The England captain edged a catch to second slip off James Fuller at the start of the second over of his side's bid to score 114 for victory. They plunged to 26 for 4 before reaching the target off 29 overs, Tom Westley making 65 not out.
Michael Klinger's fifth century in nine appearances for Gloucestershire this season was not enough to save his side. Having hit three T20 tons, the 34-year-old Australian completed his second first class hundred since returning to the club, scoring 103 in a second innings total of 316.
Benny Howell contributed 48 and Graham Napier claimed three victims for match figures of 7 for 80. Essex took 23 points, while Gloucestershire had to settle for three from a fourth defeat in as many Championship home games this season.
The hosts began the day on 126 for 3 following-on, needing a further 77 to make their opponents bat again, and made the worst possible start when Ian Cockbain was bowled for 25, shouldering arms to the first delivery of the morning from James Porter. Geraint Jones then helped Klinger add 69 in 16 overs, the latter reaching his ton of 185 balls, with 13 fours, before edging a lifter from Ryan ten Doeschate to wicketkeeper James Foster.
While skipper Jones was there Gloucestershire still had hope, but on the brink of lunch he unaccountably had a swing at left-arm spinner Aron Nijjar and miscued a catch to mid-on, having made 37. Jack Taylor quickly fell lbw to Napier and at the interval Gloucestershire were 227 for 7, with a lead of only 24.
The afternoon session saw Foster take a fourth catch of the innings to send back Fuller as Napier claimed his seventh victim of the match with the total on 231. Craig Miles then helped Howell delay the inevitable as the pair added 71 in positive fashion before Miles was caught at cover off Jesse Ryder with the second new ball for 37. Howell sacrificed a half-century to try and protect last man Liam Norwell, but on 48 lofted a catch to deep extra-cover off 22-year-old Porter, who finished with 3 for 66 and match figures of 6 for 96.
Cook was hoping for more time in the middle ahead of the Ashes Series. But, having made 48 off 71 balls in the first innings, he was back in the pavilion before he knew it to the seventh delivery of the Essex second innings. Nick Browne, Ravi Bopara and ten Doeschate all fell cheaply to send a flutter of nerves through the visiting dressing room. But Westley stood firm with a 75-ball half-century to see his team home.
"We played some terrific cricket throughout the three days and deserved to win," Essex head coach Paul Grayson said. "Our bowlers got the ball in the right places in the first innings and put Gloucestershire on the back foot. There was no hesitation in enforcing the follow-on, but I was relieved to see the back of Michael Klinger because he is a terrific player. Tom Westley's character shone through to see us home."
Gloucestershire head coach Richard Dawson added: "We didn't bowl well in the first session of the match and then to be bowled out ourselves in 39 overs simply wasn't good enough. After that we should have got more than 316 in our second innings, but some of our batsmen made poor decisions, which cost wickets. The margin of defeat may make it look as though we competed, but realistically we have to do a lot better."