By Ayyaz Malik
A brilliant Michael Klinger hundred and Yorkshire’s squad selection were the key factors for Gloucestershire beating Yorkshire by eight wickets to book their place in the Royal London One Day Cup final. Gloucester won the toss and decided to put Yorkshire in to bat first, this looked like a bad decision as Adam Lyth got the home side off to a flying start.
Lyth who struggled for runs in this years Ashes scored a quite brilliant 96 off just 88 balls. Sadly though the Yorkshire opener’s innings was ended by a careless shot as James Fuller who was expensive for Gloucester got the all important break through for the visitors, which potentially changed the course of this game.
Adam Lyth’s innings sadly for Yorkshire wasn’t able to be matched by the other batsmen despite starts for Gary Balance, Tim Bresnan and Jonny Bairstow who was given a life by Liam Norwell who inexplicably celebrated too early when taking a caught and bowled catch . At one stage the Tykes were looking to put a total of 300 plus on the board – but a dramatic collapse meant that they finished on 263-9.
As bad as Yorkshire’s batting was credit does deserve to go to the Gloucester bowlers Benny Howell and Jack Taylor who were economical with their bowling. After being 159-3 at one stage a dramatic collapse ensued there after as Yorkshire ended on 263-9.
The home side who might have took for granted that they were going to score 300 on this pitch, just might have allowed complacency to creep in. Yorkshire who have the County Championship title all but wrapped up as they only need five points from three games, rather surprisingly didn’t include Ryan Sidebottom or Jack Brooks in their bowling attack as they looked to defend a total that looked to be about 30-40 runs short. That’s how it proved.
Gloucestershire who since the glory days of the late nineties and early naughties haven’t enjoyed finals day on the domestic one day circuit for some time now.
Despite being the underdogs Gloucestershire do posses the batting talents of Hamish Marshall and of course Michael Klinger. Yorkshire who were missing England international bowlers Liam Plunket and Adil Rashid were in need of other members of their attack to stand up and put in a match winning performance, sadly for Yorkshire that didn’t happen.
The hosts did make an important break through early on as Chris Dent was bowled by Matt Fisher in the 10th over. Things got even better when former England under 19 captain Will Rhodes had Gareth Roderick caught by Jack Leaning for 18. At that point the visitors were 90-2 from 18.5 overs.
Although it might not have been that much of a precarious position there was a potential chance for the home side to really get back into this game. Any hopes of a Yorkshire fightback were dashed in the end by the quite brilliant partnership of Klinger and Marshall.
With a score that could have been more, Gloucestershire needed to make sure that they didn’t make the same mistake as Yorkshire and go too hard by playing unnecessary shots and they did that quite brilliantly. Both Klinger and Marshall were brilliant in keeping the score board ticking and going for the boundaries when needed with out taking unnecessary risks .
What potentially could have been a difficult target to chase down was made to look easy by the experienced duo. Yorkshire were looking void of ideas and when a chance did come there way to break the partnership, the chance was dropped by skipper Alex Lees – but the game was well over by then.
Such was the authority that Gloucestershire had in this run chase was that they won this game with three overs to spare. Fittingly it was Gloucester captain Michael Klinger who scored the winning runs for his side with a massive six off Matt Fisher.
Captain Klinger and Hamish Marshall both finished unbeaten to give their side an eight wicket. Gloucester will play the winners of the game between Surrey and Nottinghamshire who play on Monday in thr final of the Royal London one day cup.