Marchant de Lange produced his best figures for Glamorgan of 5-62, as the visitors enjoyed the best of day one against Gloucestershire in Bristol.
The South African helped reduce Gloucestershire to 86-5 however stubborn resistance from Ryan Higgins and Kieran Noema-Barnett, who made 43 and 46 respectively, mean that the hosts remain in contention after the opening day’s play.
Under cloudy skies, Glamorgan put Gloucestershire into bat and when Benny Howell sent the opening ball of the day to the boundary, Michael Hogan would have perhaps been worried that he’d made the wrong decision.
He was vindicated though when Lukas Carey sent Chris Dent’s off stump flying out of the ground with the score on just 15. A couple of overs later Carey had his second, trapping Howell lbw.
Gareth Roderick was providing the Gloucestershire faithful with something to shout about though with a couple of delicious fours through mid-wicket. However when he was caught at slip by Selman to give captain Hogan his first wicket, his side were in trouble at 53-3.
Jack Taylor and James Bracey went about rebuilding their side’s innings, playing sensible cricket against an attack which was bowling with pace and precision.
Unfortunately for Taylor he was bowled by the brilliant de Lange ten minutes before lunch to swing the momentum back in Glamorgan’s favour.
De Lange struck again first ball after the interval. Bracey, who had played well for his 34, wafted at a ball outside off stump and was duly caught by Selman. It was a poor shot from the youngster who had batted excellent up against some ferocious Glamorgan bowling.
At 86-5, the Welsh county were well on top but Gloucestershire’s new signing Higgins set about the recovery process playing a couple of lovely cut shots and a scrumptious drive down the ground to get himself going. However he lost his partner van Buuren lbw for 10 to Hogan and once again Gloucestershire were in trouble at 124-6.
Higgins did find some support from Noema-Barnett and the two’s partnership was the most fruitful of the day, adding 44. New Zealander Noema-Barnett began attackingly, racing to 12 from just nine balls, but settled down to play the mature innings required under the circumstances.
Just as the two were getting comfortable, Higgins tried to pull de Lange but only succeeded in sending it straight down the throat of Shaun Marsh seven short of his half-century.
At tea Glamorgan would have been satisfied with their hosts at 172-7, but they were frustrated for much of the evening session by Noema-Barnett and Australian Dan Worrall in a partnership worth 43, which at least helped Gloucestershire register a batting point.
The new ball eventually caused a breakthrough with Noema-Barnett lbw to Carey. Worrall with a few attacking shots took Gloucestershire to 234-8 but they would only two more runs as de Lange returned to wrap up their innings with two wickets in the 86th over.
First he had Matt Taylor caught at slip, before inducing an edge from Norwell which was taken by wicket-keeper Cooke. Worrall was left not out with a career best score of 36 and Gloucestershire all out for 236.
The Welsh County had a tricky eight-over spell to negotiate at the close but Nick Selman and Jack Murphy guided them to safety with the score at 26-0.
De Lange, the star of the day was pleased with his efforts: “Yes it’s a great start to the season, I’m not taking it for granted.
“It’s still going to be a long season and I just want to improve session by session and game by game.
“From a personal point of view I just try to keep it as simple as possible, hit the top of off. I want to be more consistent with the ball and do what I can to help the team.
“We would have taken 236 all out, it is the first game of the season and as a bowling group we just wanted to achieve our aim of ten wickets in the first innings and then work from there.”