Thursday, 4 June 2015

Klinger off the plane and into the stratosphere

Gloucestershire 199 for 4 (Klinger 126*) beat Essex 165 (Westley 67*, Smith 5-39) by 34 runs

Sometimes players make professional cricket look rather easy. Fly in from Australia on Thursday, barely sleep between then and Sunday's game, then open the batting and hit a T20 career-best 126* including 8 sixes! Admittedly Klinger was dropped 3 times (including off consecutive deliveries) and Essex missed a straightforward run-out chance, but this was still a seriously impressive effort from the returning skipper.

His 68 ball knock came after being put in after losing the toss. Klinger and O'Mish opened up and the Irishman was typically the aggressor until he holed out for 29. Is there some kind of theme here with him getting out after making a good start...?

Ian Cockbain joined Klinger, who seems to have already had his best T20 form for the season. He made only 24 before departing to Reece Topley. This partnership did see Klinger dropped twice of consecutive Topley deliveries, before Topley had him dropped for a third time in the over after Cockbain's dismissal. Good to see the village cricketing spirit alive and well in the Essex fielding effort.

These let offs clearly inspired Klinger, who then opened up for the remainder of the innings and reserved some ferocious tap for Graham Napier in particular (6 sixes from his final two overs!) He finished on a career-best 126 not out in a total of 199-4.

The Essex innings never really got going after the early loss of the dangerous Jesse Ryder and Mark Pettini in Payne's first over. Westley and Bopara put on 62, before Ravi departed just as the partnership was looking promising. (Again, is there some kind of theme here?).

The ever-dangerous Ryan Ten Doeschate came in and struck 54 and James Fuller was removed from the attack for taking too much punishment two deliveries over waist height in an over. However, there was still a way to go and the door was firmly shut by Tom Smith's hat-trick in the next over. Essex were eventually finished off for 165 for a 34 run win.

Two wins from three to start our T20 campaign is a great improvement from recent years. The addition of Klinger obviously strengthens the batting and it's surely only a matter of time before Peter Hanscomb finds his T20 feet and starts butchering some county trundlers. Encouraging times down at Nevil Road.

Video interview with Maxi Klinger:

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