GLAMORGAN’s dreams of T20 quarter-final qualification were dented last night following a six-wicket home defeat against Northamptonshire.
The Welsh county slipped to third in the Midlands/Wales/West section and could need to qualify as one of the top two third-placed sides in the three sections.
Northants have 14 points from nine games with Somerset leap-frogging Glamorgan after thrashing Gloucestershire last night.
Somerset and Glamorgan are both on 10 points but the West Country outfit have a game in hand and a far superior run rate.
However, Glamorgan finish their campaign by entertaining Gloucestershire on Tuesday and a win would still be enough to see them progress to the last eight.
In front of a crowd of 7,000 at the Swalec Stadium, Matthew Mott’s men failed to leave Northants a sufficient total to chase with Australian Cameron White (71 not out from 48 balls) guiding his side to their victory target of 126 with nine balls to spare.
After Northants had won the toss, Muhammad Azharullah finished with excellent figures of four for 16 as he helped restrict Glamorgan to 125 for nine which was at least 20 runs light.
Chris Cooke scored an explosive half-century with Glamorgan well placed at 71 for two after 10 overs.
But the hosts collapsed in the second half of their innings as Azharullah starred and David Willey took three wickets in the final over.
Stephen Crook somehow dropped Mark Wallace in the first over from Matthew Spriegel before Jim Allenby middled an Azharullah ball straight to Liam Daggett at cover.
There was a moment of controversy when what looked like a Cooke six was only given as a four after Azharullah failed to signal the right boundary.
There was no doubt as Cooke launched maximums in successive overs before Azharullah dismissed Wallace (22) who holed out at long-on. The bowler gestured to the Cardiff crowd who had earlier given him stick.
Glamorgan’s momentum halted with captain Marcus North stalling after deciding not to promote the in-form Murray Goodwin, who wants to bat higher than five in the T20 order.
Based on the evidence, Goodwin should have been granted his wish and elevated above the Australian.
North started the season with two wonderful one-day innings, including a brilliant century at Lord’s and also played a couple of watchful Twenty20 innings.
But he has struggled in the county championship and lacked fluidity in the one-day form.
North’s painful innings of seven from 15 balls ended when he skied Crook to Richard Levi.
Cooke brought up his 50 in 37 balls before holing out at deep mid-wicket to give Spriegel his first wicket.
Azharullah took two wickets in his third over as David Murphy celebrated an excellent catch to dismiss Ben Wright before Goodwin was bowled.
Graham Wagg holed out to long-off with the first ball of Willey’s final over before Nathan McCullum’s late cameo of 20 from 15 balls ended when he was snaffled at long-on.
Dean Cosker was dismissed in similar fashion as the Glamorgan innings ended with a whimper.
Glamorgan gave themselves a fighting chance of victory with an early breakthrough in bizarre circumstances.
Kyle Coetzer drove hard at Allenby and, although the bowler could not hold the catch, his parry deflected the ball onto the stumps to run out Levi at the non-striker’s end.
Northamptonshire lost their next wicket seven balls later as Coetzer pulled a Michael Hogan delivery to Wright at deep square leg and at 23-2 the visitors were teetering.
But White shifted the momentum when he launched McCullum’s first ball into the Taff and the visitors powered to victory.
The visitors reached 61 for two after 10 overs before Cosker struck when Alex Wakely skied to Goodwin.
But 15 runs from Allenby’s final over turned the tide before White again took a liking to McCullum with two more sixes.
The New Zealander dismissed Crook before White fittingly scored the winning runs in the 19th over.