Russell fails to spark in FLT20 debut
BRISTOL, ENGLAND - Michael Klinger smashed a brilliant 61-ball century to lead Gloucestershire to a 48-run Friends Life t20 victory over Worcestershire at Bristol.
The skipper cracked five sixes and nine fours in contributing 108 to the home side's total of 184 for 5 after winning the toss, with the next highest score Alex Gidman's 18. In reply Worcestershire could muster only 136 all out, Alexei Kervezee making 39 and Ben Cox 37 going in at No. 8. James Fuller, David Payne and Benny Howell all bowled tightly for Gloucestershire.
Both teams went into the game on the back of defeats in their opening match but after a steady start opener Klinger paced his innings perfectly, accelerating to move from a half-century to his first Twenty20 ton in just 27 deliveries. His five sixes included three in the 17th over, sent down by Daryl Mitchell, which cost the Worcestershire captain 25 runs. The first was over extra cover and the next two straight into the flats being constructed at the Ashley Down Road End.
Gidman provided the best support in a fifth-wicket stand of 65 from five overs but was felled by a beamer from Chris Russell, which hit him in the chest, in the 19th over and did not field later in the game. It was Russell's second such delivery in the over so he was ordered out of the attack and it was completed by Gareth Andrew, who bowled Gidman with the first ball after the batsman received treatment.
Worcestershire's reply got off to a bad start when Moeen Ali drove a catch to cover off Fuller's fourth ball of the innings and it was 4 for 2 when Thilan Samaraweera skied to slip off Dan Christian. At the end of the six overs of the Powerplay the visitors were becalmed on 35 for 2. The next over saw Mitchell caught at short fine-leg off Payne to make it 39 for three.
Andre Russell launched left-arm spinner Tom Smith for two big sixes but perished leg before in the same over and at the halfway stage Worcestershire were 60 for 4, needing a further 125 off 10 overs. They never looked remotely capable of that and wickets continued to fall around Kervezee as Gloucestershire outplayed their opponents in all departments. Cox at least hit a couple of sixes in a defiant and impressive 24-ball effort.