South Group: Glamorgan 143-5 ( Donald 55, Ingram 43; Dawson 2-15) beat Hampshire 141 (Wheater 39; Hogan 4-28, Steyn 3-22) by five wickets
Dale Steyn’s debut didn’t go exactly to plan on Wednesday, but if he could have dreamed for the perfect redemption, tonight’s match must have been pretty close.
The South African was scrabbling for runs at the end of Glamorgan’s innings versus Essex Eagles on Wednesday, but here he was sat comfortably in the dug-out as the Welsh county brought home an excellent win by five wickets.
Steyn played his part though. His superb spell of death bowling stunted Hampshire’s dangerous duo of Darren Sammy and Shahid Afridi at the end, despite a fairly ordinary opening spell.
Three wickets for Steyn and four for the experienced Michael Hogan, plus another canny, clever, cunning spell of spin bowling from 38-year-old Dean Cosker (4-0-24-2), allowed Glamorgan to restrict Hampshire to 141.
With a rowdy Cardiff crowd roaring on the Welsh county, and the ball tending to skid onto the bat a bit more comfortably under the lights, it was barely enough to make it close.
Two Glamorgan stutters – at the start when they were 9-2 and later when the in-form duo of Aneurin Donald and Colin Ingram were dismissed in quick succession – couldn’t halt the Welsh charge.
Again it was 19-year-old Donald who earned the praise of his peers after the match. Following a mature 51 off 38 balls in a losing cause against Essex on Wednesday, Donald went one better tonight.
His ferocious 55 came in 32 balls and included 8 fours and 2 sixes and he was expertly accompanied by Ingram.
The South African batsman showed all of his quality in thundering two sixes into the River Taff, to the delight of the 6,000 or so Welsh men, women and children inside The SSE SWALEC.
That was after a wobble which might have derailed Glamorgan on another night. Out-of-sorts skipper Jacques Rudolph was smartly snaffled by James Vince at short extra cover off Gareth Andrew’s medium pace for a single.
And when opening partner David Lloyd joined his captain in the shed, pinned LBW by Gareth Berg, Glamorgan were starting to think that 141 might not be such a piffling total after all.
But they secured the win and credit should go to batsmen and bowlers alike.
Hogan stemmed the flow of runs seeping from Vince’s bat at the start of the game. The England man was looking untroubled before he was cleaned up by Hogan for 27 off 22 balls. Michael Carberry never clicked into gear and was well caught by an agile Cosker off the same bowler.
Adam Wheater, batting at number four, gave the Hampshire innings a fair degree of impetus with a funky 39 but he lacked support as Sean Ervine, Jimmy Adams and Liam Dawson came and went without so much as a whimper.
Then came the Steyn show the Glamorgan faithful had been craving. ‘Boom boom’ Afridi knocked one or two lusty blows in his cameo that yielded 32 runs, but Hogan accounted for the Pakistani with a slower ball which was well caught by Ingram at long off.
Steyn then snuffed out the Hampshire tail, getting rid of Berg, Andrew and the beleaguered Tino Best to ensure the Hampshire innings couldn’t finish with any degree of a flourish.
The 6,000 went home happy and they now have a couple of new heroes to hail after this inspiring display from Steyn and the promise and prowess of Donald.