Glamorgan and Derbyshire lock horns on Sunday for the start of their LVCC Division 2 encounter in Cardiff. The visitors arrive in the Welsh capital in the wake a superb victory over Gloucestershire in their last outing.
A brutal innings of 227 in just 176 balls from Martin Guptill set Derbyshire on their way for their first victory of the season. The job was finished impressively by a six-wicket haul from Mark Footitt, to complete a hugely satisfying team performance.
For a team serious about winning promotion this season, a trip like this one to Cardiff are surely must win games. With half-centuries already this season for Shiv Thakor and Harvey Hossein, the Club’s policy of investing in youth appears to be paying dividends with on-field results.
Glamorgan are not fancied to be among the top teams in Division Two this year, and two early season draws have confirmed they lack the killer edge. However, there have been some pleasing performances along the way that suggest the Welsh side are capable of hurting Derbyshire here. Centuries from Jacques Rudolph, Will Bragg and Craig Meschede have assured that Glamorgan have not been short of runs thus far, however the bowling has looked toothless at times; the returning Michael Hogan should help to redress their bowling woes.
As mentioned, the returning Michael Hogan will be vital to Glamorgan’s success in this match. His wickets over the past two seasons have been invaluable, and at time he appears to hold the attack together on his own. Whilst it remains to be seen how he will start after a spell out through injury, it’s almost impossible to conceive Glamorgan gaining a victory without Hogan playing some part in it.
With Martin Guptill ruled out through injury, Derbyshire’s most important player is Mark Footitt. Capable of bowling in excess of 90mph, in Division 2, he has been more than a handful for many batting line-ups. He has started the season in fine form and already has 12 wickets to his name. Another impressive performance this week, and his name may start to be mentioned among England circles before the end of the early block of Championship games.
Aside from Hogan’s return, the other news is that off-spinner Andrew Salter has been included in the 12-man squad. Whether he makes the final XI will dependent on both the conditions and how Glamorgan feel about dropping the veteran Dean Cosker.
Glamorgan: Jacques Rudolph (captain), Will Bragg, Andy Carter, Dean Cosker, Michael Hogan, Colin Ingram, James Kettleborough, David Lloyd, Craig Meschede, Andrew Salter, Graham Wagg, Mark Wallace (wicketkeeper)
Scott Elstone and David Wainwright have been added to the squad that defeated Gloucestershire, with Martin Guptill and Wes Durston both missing out due to injury. Chesney Hughes looks set to replace Billy Godleman at the top of the order, after the latter was suspended this week.
Derbyshire: Wayne Madsen (captain), Ben Cotton, Scott Elstone, Mark Footitt, Harvey Hosein (wicketkeeper) Alex Hughes, Chesney Hughes, Tony Palladino, Ben Slater, Tom Taylor, Shiv Thakor, David Wainwright
Weather and Conditions
Conditions look overcast in Cardiff for all four days, hopefully there should be enough dry spells in between to avoid affecting the game too much.
Date: 3rd – 6th May 2015
Time: 11:00 am
Ground: SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff
Odds (via SkyBet): Glamorgan Evens, Derbyshire 5/6