Glamorgan had the better of Leicestershire today as they reached their target of 150 for the loss of just four wickets. The win took them briefly to the top of Division Two on 74 points, one point ahead of Nottinghamshire. However, Middlesex moved past them as they chased down 370 against Sussex to move to 82 points, having played a game less than Glamorgan.
Leicestershire had won the first two sessions of the game and it looking as if the decision to bowl first might have been an error of judgement. However, Glamorgan started to take control after tea on day one and did not let up. Unfortunately Leicestershire made significant contributions to their own downfall, in particular the three run outs in their first innings, but Glamorgan must take credit for taking advantage of all the opportunities presented to them.
For the first 90 minutes of the final day, Leicestershire looked to be trying to right some of their previous mistakes, as Ben Mike and Callum Parkinson thwarted the Glamorgan bowlers. Mike was particularly aggressive going to his 50 off just 82 balls. The pair put on 88 together before the new ball brought the breakthrough. Mike’s aggression led to his demise as he top edged a ball from Michael Hogan and Chris Cooke took the catch. To most watchers surprise, it was Andy Gorvin who took the new ball at the other end, but he made good use of it, as he trapped Chris Wright lbw in his second over, his maiden Championship wicket. Hogan then wrapped things up as he uprooted Beuran Hendricks’ middle stump and Leicestershire all out for 266. Hogan and Michael Neser both finished the innings with three wickets and Glamorgan were left with a target of 150 when play restarted after the lunch break.
David Lloyd set about the Leicestershire attack reaching 36 off 32 balls, before he tried to sweep Parkinson’s fifth ball and was bowled. Marnus Labuschagne continued in the same veign and became Parkinson’s second victim. The score was then 59/2 and when Andrew Salter was out lbw to the same bowler, Glamorgan needed another 58 runs. Kiran Carlson and Sam Northeast batted cautiously up until tea, at which point the score was 125/3, the runs required down to 26. Parkinson was the main threat and he would have welcomed having the extra 50 runs Leicestershire had conceded in no balls during the game.
After tea, Scott Steel picked up his first Championship wicket, when Carlson danced down the wicket and sliced a catch to Mike at point however Northeast batted calmly finishing on 40 not out, as Glamorgan reached their target with six wickets in hand.
Glamorgan have had mixed returns from their overseas signings in the last decade, but in Marnus Labuschagne and Michael Neser they have two they will want to hang on to. Neser has been a constant threat with the ball and his one wicket in the first innings did not reflect his efforts. Labuschagne needs no build up as the energy he gives to everything he does must be infectious. Leicestershire will be hoping their South African duo will start to deliver in a similar fashion.
For Glamorgan this has been another strong team performance, with everyone chipping in. Since their poor display against Middlesex two weeks ago, they have turned things around, but next week’s visit to Durham will need a further step up in performance. They will be hoping Ben Stokes’ efforts this week have been enough preparation for the coming Tests, although there are plenty of other threats in the Durham line up. Meanwhile Leicestershire host Sussex who, while lying only just above Leicestershire in the Division Two table, have put in an good performance this week against Middlesex, albeit succumbing to a dramatic run chase. Coach, Paul Nixon will be expecting more from his players than they have delivered in this game.
After the game the Glamorgan coach, Matthew Maynard was pleased with the win:
“They did make us work but at the end of the day we’ve come away with a well deserved win.”
“One more game and there will be a massive effort up in Durham. We know they’re a strong side and however that game goes in Worcester today, we know they’ll be tough opposition come Thursday.”
David Lloyd commenting about whether the decision to bowl first at the toss was the right one:
“Obviously looking back now I’d say yes. I think looking at the games here this season, for the teams that have bowled first there has always been a little bit in it. Maybe there wasn’t as much this game but we gave ourselves a chance and whatever they posted we could try and get more and get ion the driving seat which we did and I thought the way we batted that first innings to get a hundred lead was really good and from then on I though t we did some really good things.”
Asked about his brisk start to the Glamorgan second innings:
“In those smaller chases you want to get things going. Don’t want to start slow and lose a couple of wickets and always our intent to look to be positive and get their heads to drop a bit and the way Sammy [Northeast] batted again was really pleasing.”
Leicestershire captain, Callum Parkinson said:
“We showed some good character today. We scrapped hard all day with bat and ball. We just didn’t do the basics well all week. We didn’t hold onto partnerships with the bat. We were in a great position first innings and didn’t make that pay and then the no ball situation has been a problem and we didn’t hold the ball. Disappointing again. We’ve got to keep trying and move forward.”
“Another hundred would have been nice, but anything to be honest. If we’d got a bit more, there were signs of turn and ones keeping low. We felt we bowled pretty well that second innings so frustrating.”
It was a really good cricket pitch. It deteriorated over the four days . I’d love to play on that every week. Just didn’t do the basics well enough this week and the lads have got to start holding their hands up and making themselves accountable and we are just playing soft periods of cricket and it’s not good enough for where we want to be in the table.
On the subject of the 25 no balls conceded:
“It’s just not acceptable. We hope to draw a line under it this week and hopefully do some work on the training ground and get behind that front line and there is no excuse. Bowlers are paid to get behind the front line- it’s as simple as that.”