Michael Klinger isn’t even a month in to his fourth stint with Gloucestershire and already he has his third century, after striking an unbeaten 166 in a one-day match at Bristol.
Hampshire, with a bowling attack featuring Shahid Afridi playing in his 500th List A match and former West Indies fast-bowler Tino Best, had no answers for the imperious Klinger, who hit 20 boundaries in his 150-ball knock.
The 35-year-old took 115 balls to reach triple-figures before exploding in the death overs to take 66 from his final 35 deliveries, including fours off the final three balls of the innings, as Gloucestershire set the visitors 353 for victory.
Earlier, he played second-fiddle to opening partner Chris Dent in a 242-run opening partnership, Gloucestershire’s second-highest in one-day history, before Dent departed for 142 off 116 balls in the 37th over.
“I was probably struggling a little bit (at the beginning of his innings), my timing wasn’t spot on,” Klinger told gloscricket.co.uk.
“But I was able to make sure I caught up a little at the back end.
“It helped, to be honest, the way ‘Denty’ was playing. If it was the other way around, I would have had to be the one to be a bit more aggressive through the middle overs.
“He was hitting the ball so well, so I suppose I was playing a supporting role until he got out and then I tried to take over the scoring.”
Klinger brought up his ton soon after Dent’s dismissal, notching his fifth one-day century for Gloucestershire and his 15th in List A cricket. It was also his highest limited-overs score, eclipsing the 140 he made for South Australia in 2013.
The Australian veteran’s one-day record for the county is something to behold; in 31 50-over matches for Gloucesteshire, Klinger has 1705 runs at the incredible average of 85.25. He’s also made four T20 hundreds and averages 48 in the shortest format for the club.
It was a day full of quickfire centuries, with Brendon McCullum blasting an 85-ball 115 for Middlesex. The former New Zealand captain shared in a 176-run opening stand with recent England limited-overs squad call-up Dawid Malan against Glamorgan.
Brendon McCullum showing all the shots today... 😮https://t.co/dsVm2bWfAs— One-Day Cup (@OneDayCup) June 14, 2016
McCullum belted five sixes in his first century for the club before ex-Western Australia paceman Michael Hogan (2-60) snared Malan for 70, and then McCullum shortly after to spark a mini-collapse.
Thanks to some lower-order fireworks from Toby Roland-Jones (30 off 26) and Ollie Rayner (21 off 14), who took 46 off the final 26 balls of the innings, Middlesex recovered to post 294, to which Glamorgan fell 28 runs short.
But the quickest ton of the day belonged to Yorkshire opener Adam Lyth.
The 28-year-old, who was dropped by England after playing all five Ashes Tests last year, crunched a 60-ball century to help Yorkshire chase down Northamptonshire’s 310.
Ben Duckett had earlier notched his maiden one-day hundred against an attack featuring Adil Rashid, Tim Bresnan and David Willey, finishing with 121 from 113 balls to set Yorkshire an imposing total.
But the young Northants’ batsman’s efforts were in vain as Lyth, eventually dismissed for 125 off 78 balls, and Gary Ballance (80 off 88) set the chase up before David Willey hit the winnings runs to register Yorkshire’s first win in either white ball format for the season.
— One-Day Cup (@OneDayCup) June 14, 2016
Meanwhile, a host of England Test stars are set to return to their counties for domestic matches this week before the international limited-overs series against Sri Lanka begins next week.
Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow will line up for Yorkshire against Nottinghamshire, who will welcome back opener Alex Hales, in a Twenty20 on Friday night (Saturday morning AEST).
Test players Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire/Birmingham Bears), Steven Finn (Middlesex) and James Vince (Hampshire) will also feature but experienced trio Alistair Cook, Stuart Broad and James Anderson are set for an extended break until early-July.