When they bowled Glamorgan out for just 220, it looked as though Warwickshire were very much on top. But then the Glamorgan bowlers fought back, removing both Will Rhodes and Dom Sibley as the Bears struggled to reach 22-2 off 17 overs.
England Lions leg-spinner Josh Poysden starred for the Bears, taking a career-best 5-29 in his first game of the season. Without turning the ball massively, he showed excellent control of line and length and flighted the ball well.
On a gloomy, overcast day that gradually brightened, Glamorgan won the toss and elected to bat. Their two leading bowlers, Marchant de Lange and Michael Hogan, were both ruled out through injury. Chris Cooke took over the captaincy and Glamorgan were able to field as many as seven Welsh born players, all in their early or mid-twenties plus an honorary Welshman in Glasgow born Ruaidri Smith. Well done to them!
Warwickshire were without the injured Olly Stone and Ryan Sidebottom as well as Chris Woakes.
Nick Selman and Jack Murray took advantage of a loose opening spell from Chris Wright to make a lively start, 38 coming off the first ten overs. It took young Henry Brookes to get the breakthrough, trapping Murphy lbw playing across a full length ball.
When Wright came back for a better second spell, Connor Brown edged him to Tim Ambrose. This brought in Usmaan Khawaja for his first Glamorgan innings, replacing Shaun Marsh as the overseas player.
Nick Selman had worked hard for his 30 when he prodded forward to Jeetan Patel, edged and the ball lobbed up for Sam Hain to take a good catch running back from short leg.
Khawaja and Owen Morgan battled through to lunch at 65-3 but early in the afternoon, the Australian was trapped lbw by Keith Barker to leave Glamorgan struggling on 69-4. It should have been 69-5 as Dom Sibley put down a slip catch to spare Chris Cooke.
The acting captain took advantage of the let-off, reverse sweeping Jeetan Patel for four and generally batting fluently. He and Morgan had added 57 in 15 overs when Patel brought on Josh Poysden for his first over of the season. With his first ball, he trapped Cooke lbw for 34.
For just about the first time this season at Edgbaston, there was turn in the pitch. One good length delivery from Patel produced a puff of dust and (probably) a gleam in Patel’s eye. In fact, he didn’t bowl at his best, straying too often in line and length.
David Lloyd hit Patel for consecutive boundaries and then Sam Hain dived but couldn’t hold on to a difficult short leg chance. Patel and all the close fielders thought they had Morgan when he swept, the ball lobbed up and was caught. Guest Indian umpire Yeshwant Barde indicated that the ball hit the batsman’s forearm.
Glamorgan went to tea on 171-5. But after the interval, it was nearly all Poysden. He had Morgan lbw and then Andrew Salter hit him to Jeetan Patel at short mid-wicket. We were told that this was the 25,000th catch for Warwickshire in all competitive cricket. Purists might object that this includes catches made under the banner of the Birmingham Bears but never mind.
Lloyd was caught by Ambrose off Patel for 39 though he definitely didn’t like Mr Barde’s decision.
Glamorgan did manage a rare batting point before Poysden closed the innings by getting Smith with his third lbw and the fifth of the innings and then bowling Lukas Carey first ball.
220 looked an inadequate total, but then came Glamorgan’s spirited evening fightback.
Will Rhodes played an inderminate shot to Lukas Carey’s first ball of the innings and edged into his stumps and then Dom Sibley had his off stmp removed by Timm van der Gugten. Thereafter, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott battled through to the close. But it took the Bears 17 overs to crawl to 22-2, such was the sustained pressure exerted by the Glamorgan bowlers.
At the end of the day, Glamorgan could claim that they held the upper hand, especially as Warwickshire will have to bat last on a turning pitch.