Cardiff profit from the sun

LV County Championship Division 2
Glamorgan v Surrey

Glamorgan 363-8 (1st innings)

Resuming on their overnight score of 19-0, Glamorgan went on to enjoy a very profitable day’s batting in the sun, moving their score on to 363-8 at close of play.

The first session was dominated by an entertaining opening stand between Mark Cosgrove and Gareth Rees. Fresh from an unbroken 198 run opening partnership to win their previous Championship game by 10 wickets, the 2 left-handers are proving themselves the best opening pair since Steve James and Hugh Morris in the 1990s. Mark Cosgrove was out not long before lunch when it had started to look as though he may have been able to achieve the rare feat of scoring 100 runs before lunch.

However, after a brutal attacking innings Cosgrove was bowled trying to drive a straight ball from Meaker, for an excellent 82, Glamorgan’s first wicket falling at 135. During his stay at the crease few spectators bothered to take a peek at the exciting rival spectacle of a women’s hockey game being played on the adjacent astroturf at the National Sports Centre. However, with the departure of captain Jamie Dalrymple, 2 quick wickets had fallen just before the interval, both to Meaker, leaving Glamorgan at 153-2.

Rees and Wright resumed after lunch, adding 51 decent runs before the latter was well caught at slip off Dernbach for 23. This bowler also had Maynard out caught behind, his second wicket in a hostile spell which tested the ability of Surrey keeper Steve Davies to the limit. Indeed one fast bouncer flew far over Davies’s head for 4 byes, and he had to make several sharp saves of which the great Gordon Banks himself may have been proud.

Swansea product Gareth Rees is still a relatively young man of 25, but has now established himself as a in the side as a dependable opening batsman. He has an ugly stance at the crease, open chested and legs wide apart, and with bat held high he looks something like a hobbit playing American baseball. However, he has a solid defence and shows good judgement in leaving the ball, and played some attractive shots in his innings. However, he did not pass his opening partner’s score until 3.20, after another full 2 hours play since Cosgrove’s dismissal. It should be added that this is not because Rees was slow, but rather that Cosgrove scores his runs at an extraordinary rate. But as soon as he had passed Cosgrove’s score, and looking like his century was inevitable, Rees was caught behind off Tremlett’s bowling for a very impressive 86, leaving Glamorgan 242-5.

When Allenby was out almost immediately, just before tea with the total 247-6, it seemed to have dented Glamorgan’s hope of a really big total above 400. The loss of 4 top six wickets for only 40 runs suggests that the home side’s batting line-up is not entirely convincing, and makes it difficult to agree with the club’s current brainwave of loaning Michael Powell out to another county. Powell may have suffered a temporary loss of form, but he remains a class performer, who has another couple of good summers remaining, and while Ben Wright may have started to produce more runs recently, Tom Maynard remains unconvincing at first class level.

However, spectators were to be entertained after the tea interval when keeper Mark Wallace and young bowling allrounder James Harris, fresh from his midweek England Lions call-up, together put on a partnership of 107 in quick time, as the Surrey pace bowlers began to tire. Harris was unfortunate not to achieve his half century, being another to fall caught behind to Dernbach for an encouraging 49. And as is so often the case with these large partnerships, when one player falls the other soon follows. Wallace fell in identical fashion, giving Dernbach his 4th wicket for 76 runs, having constructed another impressive innings of 58.

As Wallace had fallen in the final over of the day play then closed, leaving Cosker 4 not out at the crease, and Glamorgan in a strong position in the match. However, with one day already lost to rain (and a forecast of more rain on Tuesday), and on a good batting track, a draw now looks the most likely result. But this performance will continue to encourage those who think they are seeing a competitive improvement in this season’s Glamorgan side, and that the misery of the past few seasons may soon be at an end.

Peter Davies
Swalec Stadium Cardiff


Leave a Reply