Glamorgan continued their outstanding run of form in white-ball cricket by comprehensively defeating Middlesex by nine wickets in their NatWest T20 match in front of a sell-out crowd of 4,000 at Old Deer Park in Richmond with Mark Wallace posting an unbeaten 69, and with Gloucestershire losing, this win takes Glamorgan back to the top of the group table.
This is a pivotal phase in the Twenty20 competition with Glamorgan, in the space of four days playing leaders Gloucestershire as well as the two teams immediately below them in the table. Last night’s stirring 46-run victory against the Sussex Sharks at Cardiff has moved Glamorgan to within two points of leaders Gloucestershire who play Kent at Bristol on Friday evening and have played two more matches than the Welsh county.
Glamorgan took to the field with the same team from last night with Graham Wagg and Shaun Tait sharing the new ball. Paul Stirling began with a scorching cover drive against Wagg but Tait struck twice in his opening over. With his first delivery he bowled Dawid Malan, and after Stirling had clubbed a ball from Tait over the head of mid-on, he edged an expansive drive into Mark Wallace’s gloves.
13/2 saw Eoin Morgan and George Bailey join forces with the former pulling Michael Hogan for four before greeting Timm van der Gugten by cutting his first ball through point for another boundary as Middlesex ended the powerplays on 33/2. Craig Meschede then entered the attack and removed Bailey with his second delivery as the umpire upheld an appeal for l.b.w.
John Simpson began with a cover-driven four but he then edged van der Gugten to Colin Ingram at first slip 39/4 then became 39/5 as the same combination accounted for James Franklin. Eoin Morgan ended his sequence of singles by driving van der Gugten to long-off for four before reverse-lapping Dean Cosker for four.
Ryan Higgins then helped Morgan to stabilise things with a flurry of singles, with the first six not coming until the 15th over when Morgan swatted Wagg to the mid-wicket boards. Higgins then did the same to Cosker followed by a slog-sweep for four. Morgan then completed his fifty with a six over extra-cover against the spinner. He added another four in Wagg’s next over, before swatting a ball to the mid-wicket boundary where Aneurin Donald took a good running catch.
Higgins responded with a deft flick to fine-leg for four as Tait returned before swatting and cover driving Wagg for a pair of fours in the penultimate over, followed by a massive pull for six to complete his fifty from 37 balls. Hogan then had Toby Roland-Jones caught at long-off before bowling Rayner. Higgins struck the last ball over point for four as Middlesex ended on 144/8.
David Lloyd and Mark Wallace began Glamorgan’s response as Roland-Jones and James Fuller shared the new ball. After a series of one’s and two’s Wallace opened his shoulders and pulled Fuller for six before off-driving Roland-Jones for four. Wallace also speared a high full toss from Fuller over point for four , before smearing the free hit to the boards at backward point.
Whilst Lloyd accumulated in singles, Wallace added further boundaries to his tally as he clipped Roland-Jones to square-leg before doing the same to Fuller as Glamorgan raced past the 50-mark in the sixth over. Lloyd then swept Higgins for four before straight –driving and pulling the leg-spin of Nathan Sowter for six and four as Glamorgan reached 90/0 at the half-way stage.
Wallace duly completed his fifty from 35 balls before bringing up the 100-stand as he twice cover-drove Rayner for four- – the first along the ground and the second in the air as Glamorgan continued their canter towards an emphatic victory. After a series of one’s and two’s Lloyd departed for 49 as Lloyd miscued a drive against Sowter into backward point’s hands having added 125 with Wallace.
Ingram then came in and biffed Rayner for three successive sixes to see Glamorgan home with 21 balls to spare. These back-to-back victories have taken Glamorgan level with Gloucestershire on 15 points, besides seeing the team of 2016 equal the Club’s record for the most victories in a season in the competition, as well as setting up a mouth-watering clash on Sunday at The SSE SWALEC between the top two teams in the group.