Chris Cooke claimed a record fourth catches, plus a stumping and a run out, whilst Colin Ingram made an unbeaten 73 from 49 balls on an evening when Man-of-the-Match Dean Cosker claimed his 100th T20 wicket as Glamorgan defeated Surrey by nine wickets at The SSE SWALEC in their top of the table clash in the NatWest T20 Blast as the Welsh county moved closer to clinching a quarter-final berth in the competition.
Tonight’s clash saw Glamorgan, who are top of the South Group meet Surrey, their nearest challengers in second place, and a team they overwhelmed in the opening contest of the 2016 competition by eight wickets at The Kia Oval with Timm van der Gugten claiming 4/14. Despite being dismissed for 93 batting first six weeks ago, Surrey captain Gareth Batty had no hesitation in opting to bat first as Glamorgan took to the field with an unchanged line-up for what could be a pivotal match in deciding who finishes on top of the table.
Gary Wilson and Steve Davies duly opened the bowling with Davies pulling both Dale Steyn and van der Gugten for four in their opening overs. But he departed in the third over attempting to repeat the stroke against Steyn and feathered a catch to Chris Cooke. 19/1 saw Kumar Sangakkara join Wilson who on-drove Steyn for four before becoming Cooke’s second victim as he edged a scythed drive.
28/2 then became 29/3 as Michael Hogan claimed the prized wicket of Kumar Sangakkara who top-edged a pull into Cooke’s gloves. Rory Burns responded by cover-driving Craig Meschede and Hogan for four before scampering a series of singles with Ben Foakes as Dean Cosker entered the attack.
Burns also swept him for four but a fatal hesitation for a second cost Foakes his wicket as a fine throw from long-on by Aneurin Donald saw the visiting keeper run out by his counterpart from Glamorgan as Cooke removed the bails. 54/4 then became 56/5 as Cooke claimed his fourth catch – a Glamorgan record in Twenty20 cricket – as Burns was caught by the wicket-keeper who was standing up to Meschede.
Dwayne Bravo responded by lofting Meschede straight for six but Cosker returned and claimed his 99th victim in Twenty20 cricket as Zafar Ansari chipped a ball back to his fellow spinner with Surrey on 74/6. Bravo drilled the evergreen spinner for four
Before jaywalking down the wicket and becoming his 100th victim in the short format of the game, as Cosker became a member of the small and exclusive list of bowlers who have claimed over 100 wickets in Twenty20 cricket in England and Wales which includes seam bowlers Yasir Arafat, Azhar Mahmood, Alfonso Thomas, Richard Pyrah and Graham Napier plus fellow spinners Danny Briggs, Samit Patel and James Tredwell.
81/7 saw the Curran brothers join forces but after a series of singles Steyn bowled Sam Curran before Tom chipped Graham Wagg into Hogan’s hands at deep extra-cover, before Wagg ended the innings on 110 as Ravi Rampaul miscued to cover where Rudolph completed the catch.
Glamorgan suffered an early blow as David Lloyd was caught behind to the third ball of the innings, delivered by Sam Curran without a run on the board. Colin Ingram responded by depositing Rampaul’s third ball over mid-wicket for a huge six before on-driving Sam Curran for four. Rudolph also found the ropes as he twice swatted Rampaul to mid-wicket before threading a cover drive through the ring of fielders and caused Ansari to leave the field with a damaged digit.
Ingram then on-drove and straight drove Sam Curran for a pair of coruscating fours, before calmly working the ball around for a series of singles as Gareth Batty desperately rotated his bowling in a bid to stop the runs. Ingram then swept Batty for a pair of fours as the dot balls became few and far between as the pair of experienced batsmen milked the ball around.
Ingram also opened his shoulders to pull a long-hop from Tom Curran for a massive six into the Grandstand to complete a 38-ball fifty followed by a pull for six against Ansari as “Bread of Heaven” echoed around the Stadium as the home fans rejoiced in their team’s success.
The second wicket pair duly saw his side to their target in the 16th over as Ingram cut Bravo for four to complete a nine-wicket victory, plus a home and away double over Surrey. The victory, with 25 balls to spare also reinforced Glamorgan’s position on top of the group besides improving their net run rate and bringing closer a place in the quarter-final.