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REPORT & HIGHLIGHTS: Magoffin takes four on even opening day at Hove


Michael Klinger stood his ground in every sense at Hove today, scoring 106 not out to lead a gutsy Gloucestershire recovery to 332 for 7 on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two match against Sussex.

A partnership of 133 in 31 overs between Klinger and Phil Mustard, who made a punchy 71 off 99 balls, revived Gloucestershire from the depths of 34 for 4, and Australian batsman Klinger, Gloucestershire’s 36-year-old captain, then kept going in nuggety style to reach the 30th first-class hundred of his career.

Craig Miles came in at No 9 to score an unbeaten 56, from 88 balls and with seven fours. At stumps, Klinger had faced 244 balls, hitting 11 fours.

Sussex, however, thought they had removed Klinger for 29 when he looked to have been caught by Christian Davis at point. Shortly before lunch, he square cut Steve Magoffin and saw the fielder dive forward to claim a low left-handed catch. All Sussex’s players appealed, too, but Klinger chose to stay put – clearly feeling the ball had not carried – and, after a lengthy discussion, umpires Billy Taylor and Graham Lloyd ruled not out.

Gloucestershire were 91 for 4 at the time, with Klinger and Mustard in the middle of their rebuilding work, and after lunch the fifth wicket pair further flourished before Mustard drove over a ball from left-arm spinner Danny Briggs and was bowled. The left-hander had hit twelve fours in a fine knock of controlled aggression.

Magoffin had earlier earned himself figures of 3 for 11 in an eight-over new ball spell of surgical precision, and the veteran seamer was well-supported by Jofra Archer, the exciting 21-year-old former West Indies Under-19 fast bowler playing in just his third first-class game, who then nipped out Hamish Marshall.

The 36-year-old Magoffin struck first at the start of his third over, with Will Tavare bowled for 2 aiming to mid-wicket, and then he had both Graeme van Buuren (4) and Chris Dent (11) caught behind by Ben Brown with movement off the seam.

Gloucestershire might have been 19 for 4 if Marshall had been caught by Briggs in the gully, off Magoffin, fencing at the first ball he faced, but Archer’s pace and bounce was soon too much for the former New Zealand Test batsman as, on 6, he fended to first slip where Jordan took a sharp chest-high catch.

Mustard and Klinger, though, counter-attacked and took advantage of the latter’s good fortune in the ‘catch that wasn’t’ incident. Jack Taylor, who scored 29 in a further partnership of 62 for the sixth wicket with Klinger, also played his part by hanging on gamely against Sussex’s seamers on a pitch offering good bounce and carry.

Gloucestershire wobbled slightly again at 233 for 7, after Taylor flashed the deserving Magoffin to first slip and Benny Howell edged David Wiese to keeper Brown to go for a duck, but Miles joined Klinger to take on the second new ball in spirited fashion and help his skipper to add an unbroken 99 in 24 overs and set the seal on a superb revival.

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