Glamorgan dismissed Worcestershire for 163 shortly before tea on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match with Michael Hogan taking 4/44 after the Welsh county had wisely opted to bowl first in sultry conditions at New Road. By the close, Glamorgan were 118/5 with Will Bragg unbeaten on 75.
Close of Play Report
There were 38 overs remaining in the day’s quota when Glamorgan began their first innings after tea, with Nick Selman and Jacques Rudolph commencing proceedings. But Selman was bowled by the second ball, delivered by Jack Leach at the New Road End, before Will Bragg edged the all-rounder for four through the slips. Rudolph then pulled Ed Barnard for a rasping four.
Bragg added another pair of firmly-struck fours as he straight-drove Leach before clipping the seamer to square-leg. The southpaw then struck three successive balls from Barnard for four, with the first being drilled through mid-off before unfurling his trademark punch off the back foot square of the wicket to the next two deliveries. A further boundary came in the over as he swatted a no-ball to the vacant ropes at mid-wicket.
Rudolph also unfurled a high-class cover drive against Morris before Bragg did the same to the bowler as Glamorgan reached the 50-mark after a dozen overs. Jack Shantry then entered the attack at the New Road End, but it was Morris who made the next incision with Glamorgan on 54 as Rudolph drove the seamer into Daryl Mitchell’s hands at mid-off.
With David Lloyd as his new partner, Bragg thumped Shantry off the back foot through extra cover before swatting Morris to fine-leg en route to a belligerent fifty from 54 balls. But with the total on 75, Lloyd edged Shantry to second slip as Worcestershire secured their first bowling point.
Aneurin Donald joined Bragg with the young tyro playing watchfully before cutting Leach for four when he returned at the Diglis End. But next over he departed with the score on 88 as he attempted to pull a short delivery from Leach but under-edged the ball onto his off-stump and dislodged a bail.
Having been joined by Craig Meschede, Bragg continued to accumulate in serene fashion, hooking Leach and clipping him to square-leg for a pair of crisply-struck fours as Glamorgan reached 100 in the 32nd over. Bragg celebrated with a deft steer through point for another well-placed boundary but next over he lost another partner as Barnard returned and saw Meschede drive him in the air to mid-on whereShantry held a head-high catch.
His departure on 105 saw Owen Morgan join Bragg and the new batsman responded by twice pulling Barnard for four, with the pair seeing Glamorgan through to the close of an eventful day’s play when fifteen wickets had fallen.
Having reduced Worcestershire to 70/5 at the interval, Glamorgan were looking to make further inroads during the afternoon session with the morning’s cloud cover having dissipated. Graham Wagg returned to the attack at the Diglis End and duly found the edge of Ben Cox’s bat but the ball skewed away past third slip and ran away for four, but next over Cox was less lucky as he edged Wagg again to second slip where Aneurin Donald completed the knee-high catch diving to his left.
Joe Leach began with a brace of booming drives through point, extra cover and mid-off against Carey, who was also flicked through mid-wicket by Ross Whiteley. Michael Hogan duly replaced the teenager at the New Road End and was swatted through point by the burly Leach who later in the over on-drove the Australian for another four.
Leach continued the counter-attack by drilling both Wagg and Hogan through extra-cover for a pair of firmly-struck fours. Whiteley also clubbed Wagg through extra-cover as the seventh wicket pair enjoyed a combative fifty stand before the parsimonious Craig Meschede returned at the Diglis End. He continued beat the bat on several occasions and was rewarded for his accuracy by the wicket of Whiteley who miscued a drive and spooned the ball to Jacques Rudolph who completed a running catch at mid-on.
140/7 became 144/8 as Ed Barnard edged Hogan into Wallace’s gloves. Without further addition, Hogan struck again as Leach, on 43, drove uppishly to mid-on where Meschede took a tumbling catch. Charlie Morris brought up the 150 in lucky fashion as he edged Meschede through the slips before surviving a run-out as he scampered another single with Jack Shantry, but the innings ended on 163 as the latter edged an expansive drive against Carey into Wallace’s gloves.
There can be no greater contrast to the razzamatazz and pyrotechnics of a NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final to the tranquil and picturesque surroundings of New Road, with the only musical accompaniment to events this morning out in the middle being the peels of the Cathedral bells. The Welsh county made three changes to their line-up from their defeat against Northamptonshire at Swansea with Graham Wagg, Craig Meschede and Michael Hogan replacing Ruaidhri Smith, Andrew Salter and Timm van der Gugten, with the latter appearing for Holland against Nepal in the ICC World Cricket League Championship contest at Amstelveen.
Back on English soil, it was Graham Wagg and Lukas Carey who shared the new ball, with Brett D’Oliveira, who amassed a career-best double-hundred at Cardiff earlier this season, clipping Wagg’s third delivery to fine-leg for the day’s first boundary. But he departed in Carey’s second over as the teenager bowled the opener as he shouldered arms to a delivery which appeared to move back in.
Later in the over the product of Pontarddulais CC also had a loud appeal for l.b.w. turned down against Tom Fell. The batsman responded by on-driving Carey to the ropes before guiding the teenager to third man. Wagg also beat the outside edge of Daryl Mitchell’s bat on several occasions and the left-armer was rewarded for his accuracy in his fifth over as the home captain feathered a catch into Mark Wall;ace’s gloves.
22/2 saw Joe Clarke join Fell who continued to deal in boundaries as he cover drove and square-cut Carey. Hogan then replaced Carey at the New Road End and struck with his fifth delivery as Fell got a leading edge and spooned the ball to cover where Wagg dived live a salmon to complete a one-handed catch with the decision to bowl first being vindicated by the acquisition of a first bowling point after just fifty minutes play.
The sun then came out, but the wickets kept tumbling as 30/3 immediately became 30/4 as Wallace pouched a fine one-handed catch diving to his right in front of the slip cordon as Hogan found the edge of Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s bat. Craig Meschede duly replaced Wagg at the Diglis End and in his second over, the all-rounder dismissed Joe Clarke who became another victim for Wallace as Worcestershire’s nosedive continued to 37/5.
The bizarre sequence of play continued as Ross Whiteley came in and nonchalantly lofted Hogan – who had figures of 2/4 at the time – for six over fine-leg before Ben Cox squirted a ball from Hogan through the gully as the home side limped to the 50-mark. A more convincing square-cut by Cox against Hogan saw another boundary being added to Worcestershire’s total before Carey returned at the New Road End shortly before lunch. He was leg-glanced to the ropes by Whiteley before being off-drivien for four in the final over of the session.