Gloucestershire secured a first trip to a Lords final since 2004, courtesy of yet another knock of the highest quality from skipper Michael 'surely the next Aussie test player off the rank' Klinger.
When Glos fans think of our greatest overseas one day performers over the years, some great names spring to mind; Zaheer Abbas (whose 5 consecutive scores over 50 Klinger equalled on Sunday), Mike Procter, Craig Spearman, Ian Harvey and Dan Christian. (OK, the last one was a joke).
Michael Klinger might just be the best of the lot. The Aussie hit a magnificent 137* to lead Glos' comfortable chase of Yorkshire's ultimately below par 263-9. Klinger put on an unbeaten 177 with O'Mish, who also looked in good touch throughout and ended unbeaten on 78 as victory was achieved with over 3 overs remaining. He struck 4 sixes, included the game-winning blow over mid off which secured a famous victory.
Yorkshire's innings was built around Adam Lyth's flashy, but technically loose 96- as an aside we can't see him having much long-term success at test level if he continues to flash away outside off stump regardless of bowler, line or match situation. Benny Howell helped Glos' bowlers recover from an awful start, taking 3-37 from 10 overs of wily seam bowling which helped choke Yorkshire of runs and momentum in the crucial middle overs. Despite recovering from a nightmare start, which saw 60 taken off the opening 10 overs, to bowl well overall, the boys fielded poorly throughout, including a comic dropped caught and bowled from Liam Norwell which temporarily reprieved Jonny Bairstow. Luckily Norwell recovered to trap Bairstow LBW in his next over to save his blushes. The fact that Bairstow's 34 was the next highest score of the innings shows how Yorkshire lost their way after a great start and a target of under 300 was always going to be chasable on a good, if slightly two-paced surface at Headingley.
Klinger's scores in this season's Royal London Cup are hugely impressive, 531 runs in 7 innings at 132.75, including 3 centuries in his last 5 innings. When you add this to his stellar Natwest Blast t20 form (another 3 hundreds and 654 runs at 81.75) and the strong Australian domestic season which preceded it, you have some consistently impressive form. An argument can surely be made that Maxy is currently enjoying one of the finest runs of form of all time over the last 18 months of white ball cricket.
You would hope that he will get a chance to represent his country against Bangladesh later this year. His performances for his adopted county here in England have certainly warranted it. In to the final at Lords on September 19th. The Jessop Tavern View will be there cheering the boys on and hope to see some of our readers there, too.
Long and shorter video highlights below: