A seaming pitch and blanket cloud in Cardiff came at the cost of almost every batsman, with the exception of Glamorgan’s Nick Selman, whose composed century belied both his years and the green-tinged wicket.
Selman went about his business with the minimum of fuss, looking assured en route to 101 off 144 balls, with 14 fours – many of them elegant clips through his favoured leg-side.
The Australia-born batsman – who has an English mother – helped his side scrape together a respectable total on the first day of this dead rubber County Championship clash, along with fellow youngster Aneurin Donald, who hit a quick-fire 36.
Glamorgan’s first innings total of 220 seemed paltry after they were invited to bat by Gloucestershire captain Gareth Roderick. But the visitors then lost three wickets in a tricky evening period, as the Welsh county sought a recovery with the ball. Gloucestershire are 158 runs behind with seven wickets in hand.
Selman was the star of the day, looking unflustered even when he lost stand-in opening partner Mark Wallace, who was pinned LBW by David Payne for 5. Wallace was playing in the absence of Glamorgan skipper Jacques Rudolph, the out-of-form South African who has been ruled out of this encounter with a neck injury.
Neither Will Bragg (13) or David Lloyd (4) could offer Selman any company as Glamorgan’s top order faltered for the umpteenth time this season. Bragg was well snaffled by Phil Mustard down the leg-side off Josh Shaw and Lloyd was cleaned up by the impressive left-armer Matt Taylor.
Young tyro Donald then played positively for 36 of 30 balls but fell in frustrating fashion – if you’re a Glamorgan fan. He miscued a pull shot to Payne at mid-on off Craig Miles, with Selman stranded at the other end.
The opening batsman was joined by Graham Wagg with the score on 141/5 and things quick deteriorated for Glamorgan after the Australian’s departure. He reached a century with an attractive boundary through cover, but was bowled by Taylor the next ball.
Despite the agonising manner of his dismissal, Selman was understandably delighted with his second County Championship century of the season. That after a a run of four consecutive ducks earlier in the campaign. The 20-year-old looks tailor-made for grinding out runs at this level.
Wagg then lost Craig Meschede without scoring, Owen Morgan for 2 and it was thanks to a resolute stand of 38 between Wagg (29) and Timm van der Gugten (24) that propelled Glamorgan pass 200, securing a batting bonus point.
Wagg got a leading edge back to Miles to finish the Glamorgan innings on 220 all out, with Miles mopping up the tail to claim figures of 4/44, after the early damage was done by messrs Taylor and Payne.
The light began to fade, but there was still time for van der Gugten to entice the edge of Roderick for a duck in Gloucestershire’s first over. Chris Dent then slapped a pull shot straight to Lloyd at square leg off Meschede and Will Tavare’s 64-ball innings of 18 was concluded by the accurate Hogan, leg-before-wicket.
Gloucestershire finished the day on 62/3 thanks to George Hankins and Hamish Marshall, whose blend of youth and experience expertly saw the visitors to stumps. They will hope to achieve a first innings lead on a (forecasted) sunnier day at The SSE SWALEC tomorrow.