Callum Taylor struck a remarkable century on his first class debut to keep Glamorgan in their latest Bob Willis Trophy fixture against Northants.
The home side must be left wondering how they allowed a final wicket stand of 124 to completely change the complexion of the match. Glamorgan were 259 all out with Northants ending 80-1 in reply
Under cloudy skies, it was no surprise to see stand in Northants captain Ricardo Vasconcelos win the toss and bowl first. They were nearly rewarded in the second over, as Joe Cooke was dropped at slip from the first ball he had faced on his Glamorgan debut.
Cooke dug in against a probing spell from Jack White, who eventually removed him LBW for 18 after 50 minutes of play. Nick Selman was one of the few Glamorgan batsman who found any fluency, and he formed a partnership with Kiran Carlson before the latter was dismissed by a fine low catch from Simon Kerrigan off Blessing Muzarabani for 8 at 68-2.
Selman made it to lunch on 40 but the afternoon session proved to be one that won’t be forgotten.
Northants dominated the vast majority of it. Selman was the first man out, edging behind to White for 42, before Glamorgan lost the key wickets of Billy Root and Chris Cooke in quick succession. Root was first out caught by Saif Zaib at slip off Brett Hutton for 16, and Glamorgan were left reeling at 93-5 when Cooke was bowled by Hutton for 2.
Dan Douthwaite tried to be positive but fell after a couple of boundaries for 11 to White. That brought Taylor to the middle but he first had to watch as Timm van Der Gugten & Kieran Bull were caught behind to give Vasconcelos four catches behind the stumps. When Marchant de Lange went without scoring, Glamorgan were 135-9 and were heading for another low first innings total.
Taylor was then joined by Michael Hogan and put together a partnership that would change the course of the match. Taylor reached 50 from 64 balls before going through the gears in eye catching fashion that will surely have got Glamorgan fans excited for the T20 Blast which starts next week. He and Hogan peppered the empty seats at Wantage Road and if spectators had been present no one would have been safe.
Their stand was worth 124, a record for the Welsh county against Northants. Taylor’s sixth six took him to a maiden first class century from just 88 balls, he may never make a better one. Hogan’s contribution was 33 from 20 balls. Glamorgan had taken two batting bonus points to make 259 following a remarkable hour of cricket.
Northants’ innings started quietly until Emilio Gay mistimed a pull off de Lange to be caught and bowled for 15.
The Glamorgan seamers bowled a tight line and the evening session proved to be the slowest scoring despite it being the best batting conditions of the day. De Lange and van Der Gugten went past the outside edge on a number of occasions.
Ben Curran and Charlie Thurston batted sensibly and as the Glamorgan bowlers tired in the final half hour of play scoring became easier. They will resume an unbroken stand of 56 on Day 2.