What at tea looked to be a profitable day for Leicestershire changed dramatically in the final session, as six wickets fell.
When David Lloyd, the Glamorgan skipper, won the toss and asked Leicestershire to bat first, he would have hoped the live grass on the pitch would be of assistance. Conditions overhead were fine with some cloud cover.
Both sides made two changes. For Glamorgan, James Weighell replaced the injured Timm van Der Gugten and Andy Gorvin, a seam bowling all rounder, came in for his Championship debut. The Leicestershire captain, Colin Ackerman, was ruled out with a hand injury, so in came Rishi Patel along with Scott Steel, both having scored runs for the second XI earlier in the week.
Michael Hogan and Michael Neser bowled tight opening spells, but there was little lateral movement on a slow paced pitch and the Leicestershire openers showed admirable patience. They saw off the new ball and took advantage of more wayward change bowling. At lunch, Leicestershire had reached 82 without loss.
The wickets lost in the afternoon session were self-inflicted, as Sam Evans ran down the pitch to Marnus Labuschagne and missed the ball, to give a simple stumping to Chris Cooke and Hassan Azad was run out for 64, attempting a second run. However, Leicestershire still looked comfortable at tea with the score on 168/2. Fortunes then swung in favour of the home side.
A further error of judgement occurred in the first over after tea as Louis Kimber was run out attempting a sharp single. At the other end, Rishi Patel was showing why he is so highly thought of by Paul Nixon, as he moved to his maiden first class 50. He then looked on as Labuschagne took two wickets in two balls, bowling his leg spin. Glamorgan had fought their way back into the game as Leicestershire slipped to 199/5. Spin was operating from both ends and aggression was being shown as Salter was deposited over his head by Patel. He had moved serenely on, playing shots to all parts with excellent use of his wrists. However with the score on 260, he went for 82, playing on to James Harris and Ben Mike was bowled soon after. That left Leicestershire on 268/8 and it was just left for Chris Wright and stand in captain, Callum Parkinson, to bat out time. Leicestershire finished the day on 285/8, losing 6/117 in the post tea session. Labuschagne was the pick of the bowlers with 3/65.
After the game Labuschagne said:
“Really good finish for us. Probably taken the day in the last session. Pretty good wicket to bat on. Not much pace and a little bit of nip with the second new ball.”
Asked about the decision to bowl first:
“Tough to pick what the wicket will do. When you put a side in you get a nice look at what’s unfolding in the game and can adapt. Finish the day with probably winning the day, just. In a four day game, unless going to be severe spin or uneven bounce (bowling first) probably going to put you ahead of the game.”
So, all to play for on day two.