Stumps Day 1: Glamorgan 308-6 (Bragg 129, Donald 45, Palladino 3-62)
With dark skies closing in and rain in the air, Glamorgan finished the first day of their Specsavers County Championship match looking quite comfortable. Cold though it was, Will Bragg will be feeling the warmth of his teammates tonight after he reached three figures and, despite some solid bowling, the visitors look like posting a formidable first innings figure.
The Glamorgan captain, Jacques Rudolph, made the decision to put his side in to bat and then justified it with some solid, selective batting that took he and James Kettleborough to 58 for the first wicket. It was Tony Palladino who made the breakthrough for the hosts, when Kettleborough misjudged the ball and was bowled for 22 in the 21st over.
Rudolph continued his cautious approach alongside Bragg, but the latter put his foot on the gas. His partnership with the visiting captain reached just 14 before Rudolph became Palladino’s second victim, on the third ball after tea, but the partnership with Chris Cooke went into three figures before it, too, was broken by Palladino.
Cooke and Bragg were not given an easy time, being made to toil for their runs by some quality Derbyshire seam and spin, and having to deal with a rain interruption, but they were helped along immensely when Durston was unable to hold onto a ball edged by Cooke in the 37th over.
Cooke was finally removed in the first over after tea, Palladino’s third wicket for the day, but the visitors had moved from 89-2 at the missed chance to 185-3 at the wicket.
Derbyshire seemingly threw everything they had at Bragg, with even former skipper Wayne Madsen having a go, but the 29 year old frustrated his hosts time and again, and reached a career best 129 before Durston had him lbw in the evening session.
Despite the look of the scorecard, it was a solid effort from the Derbyshire bowling attack, who were consistently tight in the afternoon and evening sessions despite little assistant from the pitch. A tumble of wickets late in the day from Andy Carter, who took two in two balls, and Wes Durston may have made things look a little more even but Glamorgan are set to finish the first innings with a good total and will justifiably feel they have a nose in front.
At the close of play, Will Bragg said: “I was a bit disappointed with the circumstances that I got out near the end and i think the game is in the balance at the moment. We need another hundred runs to be a bit more than competitive.
“I’m happy overall, it could have been better and the ball that got me should not have got me out when I’m on 129. Maybe it was a lapse in concentration and I was disappointed at the end.”