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Klinger century crushes sub-par Somerset

Gloucestershire 168 for 3 (Klinger 101, Overton 3-33) beat Somerset 167 for 7 (Jayawardene 41, Taylor 3-16) by seven wickets
Scorecard

Michael Klinger led from the front as Gloucestershire completed a NatWest T20 Blast double over arch-rivals Somerset with a seven-wicket victory at Taunton.

The skipper scored a brilliant 101 as his side made light of a victory target of 168, winning with four balls to spare to go top of the South Group. Ian Cockbain contributed 41 to a second-wicket stand of 107.

The hosts posted a disappointing 167 for 7 on the high-scoring ground, Mahela Jayawardene making a scratchy 41 and Peter Trego 32. Matt Taylor returned a career-best 3 for 16 and Tom Smith 2 for 28.

That was never likely to be sufficient if Klinger got going and the ultra-consistent Australian duly obliged with a superb 71-ball innings, featuring 10 fours and four sixes. Jamie Overton was the pick of the home attack with 3 for 33.

Somerset struggled to gain any momentum after being invited to bat. Jim Allenby fell early to a miscued pull off Taylor and at the end of the six-over powerplay the scoreboard read 40 for 2.

Johann Myburgh produced the odd sweet shot in his 25 before falling to Howell, who was typically miserly in claiming 1 for 23 from his four overs of wily medium pace.

Trego looked in good touch hitting five boundaries, but after he launched a catch to long-off to give left-arm spinner Smith his first wicket there was no one to clear the ropes in mid-innings.

Jayawardene struggled for any semblance of the form that made him among the most elegant batsmen to have played the game and was dropped at extra cover off Smith on 26.

By the time he was sixth man out, to the accurate Taylor, in the 18th over Somerset had just 141 runs on the board and were resigned to a below-par score.

Jamie Overton's successive sixes off Andrew Tye boosted the total, but with the sun shining, it didn't look enough, even when he followed up with a perfect yorker to bowl Hamish Marshall in the fifth over with the score on 40.

That was as good as it got for the home side, who had to wait until the last ball of the 17th over for their next wicket as Klinger and Cockbain produced an array of powerful strokes.

When Cockbain was caught at long-on by Craig Overton off brother Jamie, having hit three fours and a six in his 39-ball innings, Gloucestershire required only 21.

Klinger reached his hundred off 67 balls, having looked in total command. Although he fell in the penultimate over, the job was done against what on the night was a very moderate Somerset side.