The Jessop Tavern View wrote a couple of weeks back that Gloucestershire were in danger of becoming a very good side. We were basing this on some handy Championship form, plus 3 good T20 performances (2 away wins and an unlucky home D/L loss) in our first three games.
This was of course before our Royal London One Day Cup defence got underway with three losses in a row. We didn't play well in any of these matches and, in particular, we didn't bat well enough to set or chase challenging targets.
This poor batting again proved to be an issue in last Friday's match against Glamorgan at Bristol. We batted first and managed to turn a poor start (30-3 after losing Klinger, O'Mish and Dent early) into a reasonable 168 for 8, with Gourmet-Burger and Cockbain top scoring with 37 apiece.
The total appeared under par given the short boundaries at the Brightside and this proved to be the case as Colin Ingram took full advantage in striking a match-winning 64. The South African launched several blows over the short leg side boundary off Norwell and Gourmet-Burger, plus consecutive maximums off Dent (one a a switch hit) when he was forced to complete Andrew Tye's over, following two full toss no-balls which led to his removal from the Glos attack.
Aneurin Donald provided able support with an unbeaten 48 as Glamorgan cruised to victory with 7 balls remaining. Losing both of our opening two home games has certainly put pressure on the boys to deliver the against Essex the following Thursday.
Gloucestershire 154 for 2 (Klinger 78, Marshall 42) beat Essex 153 for 8 (Westley 45) by eight wickets
Gloucestershire had never previously won a T20 game at Chelmsford, but the presence of the Sky cameras last night was a good omen as the boys seem to enjoy the spotlight and the chance to showcase their skills to a wider audience than those who are prepared to scour YouTube for the videos we try to post below.
Last night was no exception as an excellent all-round performance from the boys saw us secure a third away T20 win of the campaign. Michael Klinger again looked in magnificent nick with the bat in making 78 from 49 balls in an opening stand of 126 with O'Mish, Maxy took a particular liking to Essex's band of right arm seamers, striking 4 sixes including two glorious straight drives off Masters and youngster Matt Quinn which had Atherton and Butcher purring in the sky commentary box.
Klinger stands noticeably still at the crease and his wide range of shot allows him to score easily off the majority of bowlers in all formats. He plays very straight and his striking in the arc between cover and wide mid-on is impressively clean. Andrew Tye joined commentary for a stint and expressed amazement that he had yet to play international cricket given his form over a prolonged period of time. The great man has now scored 308 T20 runs versus Essex for once dismissed.
O'Mish provided able support despite much less strike- 42 from 35 was all that was needed given the dominance of the man at the other end. Despite both falling in the space of an over, there wasn't much left to do and Cockbain and Dent steered us to a comprehensive victory.
The Glos bowling and fielding effort was also notable for its excellent use of slower balls and cutters- something the Essex bowlers clearly failed to pick up on as they mainly bowled line and length. Chris Dent swooped from mid off to run out the dangerous Ryan ten Doeschate and Matt Taylor, Benny Howell and Gourmet-Burger all bowled tidily. Andrew Tye was more expensive, but he looked a handful, especially the lovely slower ball which cleaned up the big-hitting Ashar Zaidi at a crucial time.
This was a clinical performance and stand us in good stead for the cider derby down at Bristol later. Let's hope the late finish and later return to Bristol hasn't taken too much out of the boys as we prepare to meet a Gayle-force tonight.