Michael Klinger returns to see Gloucestershire into Lord`s final
Michael Klinger`s journey round the globe proved worthwhile as the Australian`s unbeaten century for Gloucestershire against Yorkshire at Headingley on Sunday saw his side into the final of English county cricket`s 50-over competition at Lord`s.
London: Michael Klinger`s journey round the globe proved worthwhile as the Australian`s unbeaten century for Gloucestershire against Yorkshire at Headingley on Sunday saw his side into the final of English county cricket`s 50-over competition at Lord`s.
The 35-year-old had finished his stint with west country side Gloucestershire for the season, although he held out the possibility of coming back if they made it all the way to the final.
In the end, Perth-based Klinger decided not to leave reaching the final to anyone else and returned to lead Gloucestershire to Lord`s with a superb 137 not out in an eight-wicket win at Yorkshire`s headquarters ground.
Together with New Zealand`s Hamish Marshall (78 not out) he put on an unbroken third-wicket stand of 170 in 28 overs as Gloucestershire, set 264 for victory, finished on 267 for two.
Gloucestershire captain Klinger faced 145 balls with nine fours and four sixes.
One consolation for Yorkshire -- coached by former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie -- is that they too have a landmark fixture at Lord`s in prospect, as their match away to Middlesex next week should see them retain the first-class County Championship title.
Klinger, uncapped in any international format by Australia, has now scored hundreds in three of his last five 50-over innings, while he also made 87 in the quarter-final win over Hampshire.
"I would have felt pretty guilty if I hadn`t come back," Klinger told the ESPN Cricinfo website.
"It was a no-brainer. Thanks to the club for flying me back for five days and allowing me to see my wife and kids.
He added: "I have put myself through a Western Australia fitness camp to make sure my coach, Justin Langer, doesn`t get too upset with me when I get back home.
"I think it`s our (Gloucestershire`s) time."
Yorkshire looked set for a score in excess of 300 during a century first-wicket stand between England Test opener Adam Lyth (96) and captain Alex Lees.
But they then started to lose wickets, with Jonny Bairstow, who later on Sunday was called-up into England`s squad for the three remaining matches of the one-day series with Australia, out for 34.
Yorkshire`s total of 263 for nine was soon made to look inadequate, with their attack missing the England one-day pair of Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid.
Gloucestershire will play the winners of Monday`s match between Surrey and Nottinghamshire at The Oval in the final.