The Australian and Marshall shared an unbroken record third wicket stand of 170 in 28 overs to see Gloucestershire through to their first Lord’s final in 11 years and they denied Yorkshire the chance of winning two major trophies in the same season for the first time in their history.
Having signed a new two-year contract from next season, Klinger went back home after scoring 87 in their quarter final win over Hampshire but returned for this match and now expects to stay here ahead of the final on September 19 against either Surrey or Nottinghamshire.
Klinger and Marshall effectively and methodically turned the game on its head after Yorkshire, put in to bat on a day of uninterrupted sunshine, had got off to a blistering start with a century opening stand between the dynamic Adam Lyth, who plundered 96, and captain Alex Lees.
But Yorkshire’s final total of 263 for nine proved to be wholly inadequate as the Gloucestershire pair ran up their side’s highest ever partnership against the White Rose for any wicket in one-day cricket and they won the match with 3.1 overs remaining.
Klinger’s 137 came off 145 balls with nine fours and four sixes while Marshall’s 78 contained eight boundaries and was made off 75 deliveries.
Gloucestershire were given the ideal start by Chris Dent and Klinger before Dent was bowled for 28 by Matthew Fisher and when Gareth Roderick drove Will Rhodes to Jack Leaning they were 90 for two.
But from then on the game slipped out of Yorkshire’s grasp as Klinger and Marshall mastered the seven-man attack, their century stand coming up in 18 overs before Klinger moved to his century from 117 balls with nine fours and a six.
Yorkshire’s misery deepened in the closing moments when Marshall was dropped by Lees as he tried to drive over the top.
It was almost entirely though the efforts of Lyth that Yorkshire got off to a cracking start with 50 runs off the first ten overs, Lyth contributing 45 of them to Lees’ six.
He stated his intentions in the first over from James Fuller, angling his second ball to the third man boundary before the paceman sent down three wides in the space of four deliveries. When he was on 13, Lyth cut Fuller fiercely and the ball brushed Benny Howell’s outstretched hand at point but it could hardly be classed as a chance.
Lyth dashed to his half century off 41 balls with eight boundaries and he continued to dominate but Lees had an escape on 12 at 93 without loss when he swept at Howell and Liam Norwell could not make a sharp left-handed chance stick round the corner.
The stand entered three figures as Lees off-drove Howell for his one and only boundary and two balls later he hit a low return catch to end an opening stand of 103 of which he contributed 21.
From that point on, things never quite went according to plan for Yorkshire who saw the chance of a 300-plus score gradually slip away from them.
Leaning fell lbw playing across the line at Howell and there was generous applause for Jonny Bairstow when he joined the fray at 127 for two.
Lyth, suddenly launched Jack Taylor high over mid-wicket for six, but just when a century beckoned he top-edged a hook at Fuller and was caught close to the ground at long leg by David Payne, his 96 coming off 88 balls with ten fours and a six.
But the dismissal which really hurt Yorkshire and left them on 198 for four in the 36th over was that of Bairstow who in Norwell’s previous over had patted back a low catch to the bowler who appeared to drop the ball while about to throw it into the air. It took quite a while before the third umpire, David Millns, decided the catch had not been completed when the ball slipped from Norwell’s grasp.
Neither Yorkshire nor Bairstow benefited because in Norwell’s next over Bairstow was lbw without adding to his 34 and wickets were then lost to some tame shots, Will Rhodes driving Taylor high and straight to Fuller and Ballance returning a gentle catch to Howell.
Bresnan was the best of the rest with four boundaries in his 27 but Gloucestershire had pulled things back, Howell leading the way with three for 37 from his ten overs.
It is 50 years since Yorkshire won their first one-day trophy – the Gillette Cup – and they have built up a depressing record in the semi-finals of major knockout competitions since then. In all they have played in 22 semi-finals and only won six of them. Gloucestershire have won the last four semi-finals between the sides, plus the Benson & Hedges Super Cup Final in 1999.
Michael Klinger said: “I have travelled a long way for a day’s work but it has been a great day for the club and the players. I think the bowlers really won it for us. Yorkshire got off to a flier but to contain them to 263 was a great effort and it meant we had to take less risks than if we were chasing a bigger score.
“In helping to get us over the line in a semi-final I must rate this as one of my best innings. To play at Lord’s in a final has to be up there and it has been a pretty special day. I am so happy for the guys. Hamish Marshall was brilliant. We just kept talking to each other throughout and we took calculated risks when the percentages were in our favour. Now I hope that a couple of the youngsters can do something at Lord’s in a couple of weeks’ time.
“Getting to the final is a great reward for Geraint Jones in what will be his final match. I could not be happier for him and he will lead us out on to the field at Lord’s. He has earned the right to do that.”