Anyone entering Wales on the M4 would know ‘Glamorgan is back’ -courtesy of the digital screen- but nothing quite says it like the first win of the season . Off-spinner Salter lead the charge with the ball returning 4-20 to kickstart Glamorgan’s Vitality Blast Central Group campaign with a win against Gloucestershire at Bristol.
Pace off the ball was clearly the order of the day, as Glamorgan’s spinners enjoyed resounding success to derail Gloucestershire’s chase of 151 – sharing 7 wickets among them to see their side home by 15 runs.
Earlier in the day, the visitors were put into bat after Gloucestershire won the toss. Pacers Matt Taylor and Ryan Higgins did well to keep Glamorgan to 40 in the powerplay, sending back Dan Douthwaite and Irish export Andrew Balbirnie inside five overs.
Introducing spin -a bowling variety scarcely employed in the Bob Willis Trophy by the hosts- in tandem right after the powerplay, Tom Smith and Graeme van Buuren bowled 7 unchanged overs to pin the Glamorgan middle order. Boundaries were particularly hard to come by but Billy Root and Chris Cooke swept conventionally, employing the odd reverse sweep at times, to steady the innings.
When Root reverse swept van Buuren to David Payne at short third-man, panic set in as Merchant de Lange- sent in early to counter the spin- perished early followed by Kiran Carlson to leave Glamorgan tattering at 88/5 in the thirteenth over. However, skipper Cooke continued to work the pacers with handy support from Callum Taylor in a crucial 43-run partnership to take his side close to a respectable total of 150.
Taylor, who scored a century earlier this week on his first-class debut, perished early in search of quick runs but Cooke ensured his side finished strongly with a 34-ball half century. However, it was Wagg who personified AB de Villiers’ wide-ball full-toss slap to the long-on boundary that breached the 150-run mark before being bowled off the final ball to close out the innings.
In reply, Gloucestershire never quite got going- until they absolutely had to. Spinners Salter and Prem Sisodiya strangled the hosts to 24 for three at the end of the powerplay, only five runs better than their lowest powerplay score.
Salter, playing his first game of the season, wasted no time to seize his opportunity by bowling Dent with a full delivery. Hammond, who endured a painful stay at the crease, departed shortly at the hands of Sisodiya. The former England U-19 spinner bowled unchanged maintaining a steady line with frequent changes in pace to walk away with figures of 4-1-12-1 in just his third T20.
Salter continued to run rampant sending back Bracey, returning from the England Test bubble, for 17 before skipper Jack Taylor was pouched admirably by Cooke behind the sticks off de Lange to leave Gloucestershire reeling at 65/6.
George Scott (33) and van Buuren put up a brief 27-run partnership in a bid to turn things around but Timm van der Gugten struck twice to dent the chase further. Van Buuren, who brought up his fourth T20 fifty, provided lusty blows in a desperate attempt to stay in the hunt but eventually fell short to see his side bundled out for 135.