ANDREW Tye paid tribute to fellow Aussie Michael Klinger after the Gloucestershire captain had led from the front in a 30-run Vitality Blast South Group win over Glamorgan at Cheltenham.
Klinger contributed 77 not out, with seven fours and three sixes to his side’s total of 197 for six after losing the toss on Friday afternoon.
Tye then took three for 17 as Glamorgan subsided to 167 for nine in reply, leaving Gloucestershire top of the group, with four wins from six games.
Tye said: “That was a great captain’s innings by Michael. He was getting frustrated because he couldn’t get on strike, but he stayed patient and was there at the end when it really mattered.
“This is a great scoring ground and we had a really good wicket. Thanks to Michael, we were able to set them a challenging total.
“We knew Glamorgan would come out hard and they played some really good shots. But we hung in there and kept building pressure.
“This is an important win because it keeps us up there in the group and steaming on towards the quarter-finals.”
Put into bat, Gloucestershire made a quick start, Miles Hammond smashing 34 in an innings that comprised 15 balls and included three sixes and three fours.
Dropped on the deep mid-wicket boundary on 16, Hammond continued to wreak havoc until losing his off stump to a Tim van der Gugten in-swinger with the score on 43 in the fifth over.
Klinger and Ian Cockbain dealt almost exclusively in boundaries to advance the score to 91 for one in the tenth over.
But Gloucestershire’s progress was interrupted by Andrew Salter’s off-spin, Cockbain reaching for a wide delivery and perishing to a smart stumping by Chris Cooke, having made 26 from 19 balls.
Rory Smith made further inroads, inducing Kieran Noema-Barnett to feather a catch behind and Benny Howell to chip meekly to mid-off.
Responsibility for repairing the damage fell to Klinger, who moved to fifty from 38 balls, building momentum with Ryan Higgins.
Looking to repeat the spectacular half -century he made for Middlesex in Blast action at the Festival a year ago, Higgins rushed to 30 from 22 balls in a partnership of 53.
When he was run out by Colin Ingram’s throw from extra cover in the 18th over, Jack Taylor picked up the cudgels, smiting Michael Hogan over extra cover and long-on for consecutive sixes.
Klinger then launched a fearsome assault on fellow Australian Hogan in a final over that yielded 20 runs. The early impetus given to Glamorgan’s reply by Aneurin Donald, whose 26 came at two runs per ball, was interrupted when David Payne took a brilliant return catch.
Ingram and Khawaja redressed the balance, proving particularly severe on Payne and Noema-Barnett as the power-play yielded 72.
It required Tom Smith’s slow left arm to break a partnership that realised 55 runs in five overs, Khawaja top-edging to short fine leg for 33. Joe Burns was held by Smith at deep backward square off the bowling of Howell, while Higgins claimed the key wicket of Ingram, caught and bowled for 38 with the score on 108-4 in the 12th over.
Bowling with great intelligence from the Chapel End, Tye then accounted for Carlson, Cooke and Salter in quick succession to effectively stifle Welsh ambition.