Buck stars as Northants take Blast victory over Glamorgan

Buck stars as Northants take Blast victory over Glamorgan

Nathan Buck Northants
Pic courtesy of Ben Halleybone on Youtube, with thanks

Northamptonshire won their fourth match in a row in the Vitality Blast, edging out Glamorgan by 4 wickets with 4 balls remaining at Edgbaston. 

As in their victory over the Birmingham Bears on Tuesday, the Steelbacks win was set up by an excellent bowling and fielding display.

Much like the match from earlier in the afternoon, it did not take long for the boundaries to be cleared. Dan Douthwaite struck two big sixes in Brandon Glover’s opening over, but Glover had the last laugh when the Glamorgan opener was caught by Paul Stirling for 23.

Ireland international Andrew Balbirnie came in and immediately looked in good touch to take Glamorgan to 58-1 after the six overs of powerplay, but the brakes were then applied by the Steelbacks’ collection of slow bowlers.

Nick Selman struggled his way to 35 from 32 balls before being caught out on the boundary from a Nathan Buck slower ball in the 12th over at 95-2.

There were no fireworks from Glamorgan captain Chris Cooke, who was out to Stirling for 5, but Balbirnie went through to his half century in 33 balls. 

In attempting to push the scoring along, Balbirnie was then bowled by Buck for 58 in the 16th over. Glamorgan continued to struggle and Callum Taylor was unable to replicate his form from the Bob Willis Trophy meeting between these two, falling for 2 to a fine running catch by Saif Zaib.

Zaib then went one better with an outrageous one handed effort on the boundary that saw Graham Wagg dismissed for 1. Buck took that wicket and Owen Morgan’s for 13 to finish with impressive figures of 4-29 in his four overs. 

Andrew Salter and Marchant de Lange took the score past the 150 mark, but Glamorgan’s total of 160-7 was below par compared to the first game.

The first over of the run chase saw Paul Stirling launch two enormous sixes over the off side, and the 17 runs taken from it rather set the tone. 

The opening partnership between Stirling and Richard Levi was worth 50 in 25 balls before both were dismissed in the 5th over to de Lange. Levi made 28 from 16 & Stirling 22 from 11. 

After a period of consolidation between Josh Cobb and Ricardo Vasconcelos followed before the former departed LBW for 14. 

Northants were still in control of the run chase reaching 87-3 at the halfway stage needing 74 to win.

Taylor’s off spin kept Glamorgan in the contest with two quick wickets, firstly Vasconcelos bowled for 25 and then Zaib caught and bowled for 8 to leave the Steelbacks needing 34 from the last 4 overs. 

Gareth Berg came to the middle and stroked two boundaries to ease Northants’ nerves, but when he played on for 11 the “home” side still needed 20 to win. 

Graeme White struck the first and last ball of the 19th over for 4, which meant that 5 runs would be required from the final over.

Wakely thumped the first ball of the final over for 4 before scampering a single to end 36 not out from 29 balls as the Steelbacks won a televised match for the first time since the 2016 Final.

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