SKIPPER Michael Klinger ended his wait for a first century of the season in spectacular style by leading Gloucestershire to a superb nine-wicket victory over Leicestershire in the County Championship yesterday.
The Australian has struggled to replicate last season’s sparkling form having only scored over 50 once previously, but he was presented with the kind of situation he relishes when Leicestershire captain Ramnaresh Sarwan made a risky declaration, setting the visitors 251 to win from 39 overs at Grace Road.
He led the way in typical fashion, scoring 129 not out off 124 balls and sharing an unbroken second wicket partnership of 148 with Benny Howell, who hit an unbeaten 78 from 59 deliveries and smashed a six to win the game with eight balls to spare off Jagir Naik.
Klinger also put on 107 with Alex Gidman (37), who was promoted to the top of the order due to injuries to Chris Dent and Will Tavare as Gloucestershire leaped up to third in the Division Two table.
Leicestershire resumed their second innings on 12-0 after no play was possible on the third day due to rain and Angus Robson hit 96 in their 241-5.
Over the first two days Will Gidman, who continues to be overlooked by England selectors despite his outstanding form, took 5-46 and scored an unbeaten 52, while Geraint Jones smashed 93 off 75 balls as Gloucestershire finished nine runs short of Leicestershire’s 269 in the first innings.
Gloucestershire face a double header in the NatWest T20 Blast this weekend as they play Sussex at Hove on Friday before taking on Glamorgan at Bristol on Sunday (2.30pm).
The busy schedule continues with a home four-day game against Surrey starting on Monday.