Gloucestershire 120 for 1 (Klinger 56*, Cockbain 53*) beat Glamorgan 119 for 6 (van Buuren 3-19) by nine wickets
First met second in this top of the South Group clash in the Natwest T20 Blast in Cardiff, and it was Gloucestershire who secured victory against Glamorgan to become leaders. Going into this game the teams were level on points with only net run-rate separating them.
Wickets for Graeme van Buuren and tight bowling from Benny Howell and Tom Smith restricted Glamorgan to 119 for 6. It was never enough runs to defend and an unbeaten stand of 97 between Michael Klinger and Ian Cockbain took Gloucestershire home. Both men reached fifty as they secured victory with 23 balls to spare.
A slow pitch with low bounce confronted the teams at Cardiff and it was surprising that Glamorgan chose to bat first on a pitch that was used for the match against Sussex on Thursday night. Right from the start of the home side's innings the Gloucestershire bowlers were on top. A steady batting Powerplay took Glamorgan to 40 without loss but the introduction of spin bowling helped the visitors take control.
Van Buuren took two wickets with his slow left-arm bowling in this first over, and they were the scalps of Glamorgan's two in-form T20 batsmen. First David Lloyd looped the ball off a leading edge to Michael Klinger at mid-off and two balls later Colin Ingram was pinned lbw by a quicker delivery.
From there the Glamorgan batsmen struggled to find any timing against some canny Gloucestershire bowling. It became clear very early on that pace off the ball was the way to go, and the Gloucestershire attack was perfectly suited to doing just that. Howell conceded just 13 runs from his four overs of medium pace and van Buuren finished with 3 for 19.
It looked as if Glamorgan would fail to reach 100, but 32 from Graham Wagg, which included the only two sixes of the innings, helped them set a target of 120. Wagg scored 18 runs off the 20th over, bowled by Andrew Tye, to give his team a chance, albeit a slim one.
A Glamorgan attack that featured the pace of Shaun Tait and Timm van der Gugten was far less equipped to cause real issues on this tired Cardiff pitch, and the extra pace allowed the Gloucestershire batsmen to time the ball with much greater ease than the opposition.
The early wicket of Hamish Marshall, well caught down the leg side by Mark Wallace off van der Gugten, gave Glamorgan some hope but from there Gloucestershire cruised to victory. With a lack of slower bowling options available to him Rudolph brought himself on to bowl his part-time legspin for the first time in the T20 Blast this season in attempt to try something different. By then the run rate was down to four an over and there was no need for Gloucestershire to take any risks.
This defeat is a setback for Glamorgan but they still have four matches left in this competition and are well placed to secure a quarter-final spot. For Gloucestershire one more win from their remaining two matches and they are mathematically certain of qualification for the knockout stages.