James Franklin hundred sets up Gloucestershire win
Gloucestershire 230 for 5 beat Derbyshire by 51 runs
James Franklin's first one-day century inspired Gloucestershire Gladiators to a 51-run win over Derbyshire Falcons in the opening Clydesdale Bank 40 fixture at Bristol.
The New Zealand all-rounder responded to his new position as opener by hitting 133 off 121 balls, with 10 fours and three sixes, as his side ran up 230 for 5 after losing the toss. Alex Gidman (35) and Chris Taylor (32) offered good support.
Steve Kirby (3 for 44) then took two early wickets to reduce Derbyshire to 31 for 2 and, despite 37 from Chris Rogers and 41 from John Sadler, the visitors were restricted to 179 all out. It was an important win for Gloucestershire, beaten at home in their first two County Championship games of the season. Batting frailty in those matches led to the experiment of promoting Franklin up the order and he responded with a superbly-paced innings.
Overcoming the early loss of Jonathan Batty and Hamish Marshall, the elegant left-hander added 89 in 17 overs with Gidman and 70 in 10 overs with Taylor. Franklin owed his hundred to Taylor's quick thinking. On 95 he would have been run out had his partner not sacrificed himself by crossing before bowler Tom Lungley's throw hit the stumps.
Soon afterwards the Kiwi reached three figures off 104 balls. Surprisingly for an international player of his pedigree, it was the first time he had done so in any one-day competition at home or in England. Franklin's three sixes were all hit straight down the ground.
Tim Groenewald was the pick of the Derbyshire attack conceding 37 runs from his eight overs. After Kirby's double strike, Rogers and Greg Smith put on 47 in 11 overs for the Falcons third wicket before Smith (28) was caught at the second attempt by wicketkeeper Batty off Gidman.
There was still hope for Derbyshire at 103 for 3. But then Garry Park, on 13, carelessly swung off-spinner Taylor's first ball of the game down the throat of Steve Snell at deep mid-wicket. The key wicket of Rogers followed when he had a swing at Franklin and skied a steepling catch to Batty. At 107 for 5, the Falcons were suddenly staring down the barrel.
Sadler ensured their total would reach respectability by being last man out, having hit his 41 off 34 balls, but it was always in a losing cause. He became Kirby's third victim, while Anthony Ireland and Taylor claimed two each.