IT wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was quite painful at times.
But Glamorgan’s new overseas signing Nathan McCullum just guided his county over the line as they chased down 119 against Warwickshire in Cardiff with five balls to spare in an exciting conclusion.
McCullum produced a blistering late unbeaten cameo of 18 from five balls on the slow Swalec Stadium pitch which was slated by the Sky Sports commentators.
The slow Cardiff surface with big boundaries is suited to the Glamorgan attack of three spinners and designed to utilise home advantage, a tactic Hampshire have been using successfully in recent years.
But the television pundits joined forces last night to condemn the wicket believing more conducive surfaces will lead to larger scores and more entertaining contests.
But Glamorgan will not care after following up their opening 58-run victory against Worcestershire.
The Welsh county were rocked by the loss of influential all-rounder Jim Allenby who was suffering through illness and replaced by Nick James.
With Simon Jones ruled out for the next four weeks with a shoulder problem, Alex Jones came in for Will Owen against a Warwickshire side missing injured captain Jim Troughton.
The visitors struggled to 118 all out with Rikki Clarke top-scoring with 42 and Graham Wagg the pick of the Glamorgan attack with three for 24 to add to his record breaking five-wicket haul against Worcestershire.
Wagg took a good effort to dismiss Will Porterfield at mid-on, while James dismissed Laurie Evans for nought as Warwickshire slipped to 17 for two.
Stand-in skipper Varun Chop spooned an Alex Jones delivery, while McCullum also struck in his first over to dismiss England’s Chris Woakes with Mark Wallace taking a sharp stumping as Warwickshire limped to 34 for four after the six powerplay overs.
But Darren Maddy and Rikki Clarke consolidated on the slow pitch with a fifth-wicket stand of 60.
Clarke struck the first six of the match to bring up the 50 partnership but the stand ended when Maddy holed out to Hogan from Wagg at deep square-leg.
After being struck for two fours by Clarke, Wagg gained his revenge when the ball spooned up to Wallace.
A brilliant Cosker direct hit ensured the Warwickshire dismiss Steffan Piolet, while Wagg takes his third wicket to dismiss Jeetan Patel.
Hogan bowled 18-year-old wicket-keeper Peter McKay first ball for nought in the final over before Ateeg Javid was run out by Chris Cooke off the final ball of the innings.
But Mark Wallace was dismissed first ball in the opening over when he chipped a delivery straight to Clarke.
Murray Goodwin, promoted to open in Allenby’s absence, holed out to deep square-leg to give Woakes his first victim as Glamorgan slipped to 11 for two before Cooke and captain North consolidated with a third-wicket stand of 42.
Cooke was bowled off a Patel leg-side wide for 29, while Ben Wright was dismissed for a painstaking eight from 16 balls attempting an ungainly reverse sweep.
James consecutive boundaries from Piolet were the first fours for 52 balls before he was run out for 18 in the 18th over.
North scored 37 from 47 balls with only one boundary before being dismissed at a crucial time at the start of the 19th over when he was bowled by Patel.
This brought McCullum to the crease and he won his initial duel with rival New Zealand spinner PATEL by reverse sweeping his first ball for four.
This was just the appetiser as he struck Patel for a huge six over deep mid-wicket for Glamorgan’s first maximum in the 19th over.
This left Glamorgan only needing four from the final over and McCullum finishing the victory with a straight six with five deliveries to spare.
Glamorgan: M Goodwin, M Wallace, C Cooke, M North (capt), N James, B Wright, N McCullum, G Wagg, D Cosker, M Hogan, A Jones.
Warwickshire: V Chopra (capt), W Porterfield, L Evans, R Clarke, D Maddy, A Javid, S Piolet, J Patel, P McKay, C Wright.
And don’t miss our live T20 and Ashes QA with Robert Croft from 1pm tomorrow