Michael Klinger eased the painful memory of his last game at Derby by rescuing Gloucestershire on a rain-shortened opening day of the LV County Championship Division Two game against Derbyshire.
The 34-year-old Australian had his left arm broken by a ball from Mark Footitt in a one-day match at the 3aaa County Ground in August but he marked his first championship appearance of the season with an unbeaten 93 to steer Gloucestershire to 251 for 6 at the close.
Tom Taylor took 3 for 64 and Tony Palladino celebrated his 300th first-class wicket to reduce Gloucestershire to 159 for 6 but Jack Taylor made an unbeaten 58 in an unbroken stand of 92 with Klinger.
Mark Footitt quickly justified Derbyshire’s decision to put Gloucestershire in after play finally began just before 2pm by claiming his 200th championship wicket when he deceived Chris Dent who was lbw offering no shot.
Will Tavare fell to a stunning one handed catch low down by Billy Godleman at square leg to give Taylor his first wicket but the young seamer could easily have had more as he repeatedly beat the bat in his first spell from the Racecourse End.
Derbyshire should have removed Klinger when he top-edged a pull on 21 but Palladino lost the ball in the sun as he ran in from long leg and the home side were made to pay for that as the Australian played with increasing confidence on his first championship appearance of the season.
He drove leg-spinner Matt Critchley back over his head for six to take Gloucestershire past 100 and drove him for another four but the rest of the top order fell away either side of tea.
Gareth Roderick miscued a pull at Palladino to deep square leg in the last over before the interval and Hamish Marshall was caught on the crease by Taylor in the second over of the final session.
Taylor was rewarded for maintaining a full length when he trapped Geraint Jones in front as Gloucestershire lost three wickets for only eight runs in 42 balls to slump to 119 for 5.
The fact that Klinger faced 19 balls after tea for the six runs he needed to get to 50 was an indication of how well Derbyshire bowled and Palladino reached his milestone by holding a return catch when Benny Howell checked a drive.
Derbyshire were well on top at that stage but Taylor counter-attacked impressively, driving and pulling Taylor for three fours in four balls, and taking 12 from a Footitt over.
Taylor reached 50 from 72 balls before stumps and then said: “I’d say it’s a pretty even position. We’re quite happy where we’re at, but there’s still a bit in the pitch and we’ve got to get through the first half-an-hour in the morning and score as many runs as possible.”
Palladino had mixed feelings with his performance and said: “I’m happy to reach a little milestone, but wasn’t really happy with the way I bowled today. “I’ll have a lot better days, I was quite pumped up and was running in too fast.
“I’m normally quite a calm bowler and that was one of the worst first spells I’ve bowled for Derbyshire.”