The 34-year-old paceman took 5-33, his finest T20 figures, for Lancashire Lightning in Sunday's 12-run Vitality Blast victory over Worcestershire Rapids.
Gleeson had taken a wicket in Friday's Roses tie with Yorkshire, his first appearance this season in the senior side.
Back problems restricted Gleeson to two Blast appearances last year, having made only one appearance throughout 2020, and he warmed up for this Red Rose summer with four games for hometown club Blackpool CC in the Northern Premier League.
Having been granted an initial contract for T20 only season, Gleeson has wasted no time in proving his worth with a matchwinning display against Worcestershire.
The match was in the balance as the Rapids chased 183-7 but then Gleeson struck twice in four balls in the crucial 18th over, including the wicket of top scorer Colin Munro (53) lbw, to tip the balance Lancashire's way.
Gleeson said: “I loved every minute, being back out there. It was great to be back and contributing. It’s what every bowler loves to do.
“To get a five-for in T20 is a difficult feat, so I’m very happy. My pace was good in some of second XI games I’ve played recently, so it was more a matter of whether my body could get through it to start with.
“Our medical team have been great. They’ve looked after me this winter and hopefully it’s the start of a comeback.
I’m aiming to just enjoy it and you can see the emotion pouring out when I take wickets. I’m enjoying every second.
“I think it was an important time to come on (over 18) and take those wickets. It swung in our favour and all the practice that you do is for those situations.
“To have two games this week and get that responsibility ... I’ve loved it.
One of those vital victims, Worcestershire's Munro, said: “We were right in it until the end there, and then Richard Gleeson bowled a really good 18th over and shut the game out.”
Gleeson and Lightning are looking forward to Blast game three away to Nottinghamshire Outlaws at Trent Bridge tonight.
The return match against the Outlaws will be at Blackpool on Sunday June 19.
Lightning then face Durham at Stanley Park in the same competition four days later.