Marshall stars as Gloucs stroll to victory
Gloucestershire 178 for 2 (Marshall 93, Klinger 58) beat Somerset 174 for 6 (Ronchi 49) by eight wickets
Hamish Marshall and Michael Klinger produced an opening stand of 156 as Gloucestershire thrashed arch-rivals Somerset by eight wickets in the NatWest T20 Blast at a packed Taunton.
The hosts posted 174 for 6 having won the toss, recent overseas signing Luke Ronchi top-scoring with 49 off 23 balls, with five sixes, while Johann Myburgh and Tom Cooper both made 38. Craig Miles and Tom Smith were the most economical bowlers.
Despite fading light, Gloucestershire cruised to victory with four deliveries to spare as Marshall plundered 93 off 53 balls, with 10 fours and three sixes, and Klinger 58, taking his run tally in nine South Group matches to 578.
A poor Somerset bowling and fielding performance saw Marshall survive a stumping chance to Ronchi on 30 and Klinger dropped on 48 by Abdur Rehman at third man off Jamie Overton, the only moments of concern for either batsman.
Marshall, in his benefit season, timed the ball particularly sweetly to outscore his captain with a barrage of attacking shots until one of them saw him caught at deep midwicket. Klinger lost little by comparison, scoring his runs off 51 balls, with five fours and a six. By the time he fell lbw to Alfonso Thomas in the 18th over only nine runs were needed and Ian Cockbain and Peter Handscomb finished the job.
At the start of the game, Somerset openers Jim Allenby and Myburgh took the total to 44 in the fifth over before Allenby was bowled by Benny Howell for 22.
Smith then claimed his 21st wicket in the competition as Peter Trego skied to deep cover, while James Hildreth also fell cheaply, leg before attempting to reverse sweep Jack Taylor.
At the halfway stage of their innings Somerset were 73 for 3. Cooper was dropped by Kieran Noema-Barnett at short third man trying to reverse sweep Taylor in the 11th over and it looked like proving a costly error. After Myburgh, who required treatment when hit by a short ball from Miles, had been caught at long-off to give Howell a second wicket, Cooper and Ronchi added 81 in 7.4 overs.
Ronchi hit two sixes in an over from Taylor and repeated the feat off Howell before falling one short of a half-century when caught at point in the 19th over.
The following ball from James Fuller accounted for Cooper, brilliantly caught at full stretch by wicketkeeper Geraint Jones. But the partnership with Ronchi had ensured Somerset of a competitive score, which their bowlers failed miserably to defend.