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Klinger knock helps Gloucestershire to victory

Michael Klinger scored a fluent 92 as Gloucestershire secured a six-wicket win in LV County Championship Division Two against Worcestershire at Cheltenham.

The skipper hit 14 fours and two sixes in his 131-ball innings as his side reached a target of 194 by mid-afternoon on the final day.

An opening stand of 95 between Klinger and Chris Dent laid the victory platform for Gloucestershire, who have now moved above Worcestershire and up to fourth in the table.

Earlier, Joe Leach had taken his overnight 103 onto 114 as Worcestershire went from 296 for eight to 337 all out.

Left-arm spinner Tom Smith, on loan to Gloucestershire from Middlesex, dismissed Leach and Graeme Cessford to finish with a career-best 4-91.

Leach and Cessford took the score onto 321 and extended their ninth-wicket stand to 39 before Leach was dismissed for the first time in the match.

The 22-year-old came down the pitch to Smith and skied a drive to cover, where Miles Hammond took a well-judged catch. Leach's career-best innings came from 170 balls and included 14 fours.

Alan Richardson announced himself with three consecutive fours off Craig Miles, struck to the cover, long-on and long-leg boundaries.

But Worcestershire's innings ended in the next over when Cessford edged a drive at Smith into the hands of Klinger at slip.

Klinger and Dent got the Gloucestershire innings off to a brisk start, with the 50 coming up in the 12th over, and by lunch they had advanced the total to 77.

Klinger progressed to a 79-ball half-century, which included eight fours and a pulled six off Gareth Andrew.

Moeen Ali claimed two wickets in quick succession when Dent was leg before and Gareth Roderick was bowled but Gloucestershire's victory was never in serious doubt.

Klinger looked in prime form against the county for whom he played six championship matches last summer.

The 32-year-old Australian struck Shaaiq Choudhry for a straight six and then hit Richardson, so often Gloucestershire's nemesis with the ball, for three successive fours, one cut behind square and the other two on-driven.

Alex Gidman contributed a rapid 25 to a third-wicket stand of 41 with Klinger before he was lbw to Cessford.

Hamish Marshall joined his skipper in the middle and Gloucestershire were within seven runs of victory when Klinger was bowled by Cessford in the act of driving. He had already done enough to help his side secure the win.

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