Glamorgan maintain their interest in the promotion race as they take maximum points against Derbyshire.
At the start of day four the equation was that Glamorgan needed seven wickets for victory while Derbyshire required another 174 runs to make Glamorgan bat again. Despite some resolute batting from Wayne Madsen and Leus du Plooy, Glamorgan took the final wicket halfway through the afternoon session and with Middlesex overcoming Leicestershire, they remain in second place, the gap closed to nine points.
The pitch was the winner for the first 90 minutes as the overnight pair of Madsen and Du Plooy batted without undue concerns. James Harris was the main threat, passing the outside edge of Du Plooy’s bat on several occasions, but it was Michael Hogan, playing his last day of cricket in Cardiff, who struck first as Du Plooy left a ball that jagged back and clipped off stump. Derbyshire were 194/4, still trailing by 103, the partnership having put on 128. Three overs later Patel trapped Harry Came lbw and it was a matter of Anuj Dal and Madsen seeing Derbyshire through to lunch.
Derbyshire’s hopes rested with these two as play moved into the afternoon session, Patel having extracted some slow turn before the interval. There were still 14 overs until the new ball, with the tail starting with the next batter Alex Thomson, coming in at eight. They took the score to 233 at which point Harris induced an edge off Dal, taken by Chris Cooke and he was gone for 25. The batter was not convinced he had made contact but the tail were exposed. Thomson was trapped lbw by Andrew Salter in the next over and when Madsen played on to a ball from Harris for 77, Derbyshire had lost three wickets in eleven balls. Sam Conners played some expansive shots, making 23 before pulling Michael Hogan into the safe hands of Timm van der Gugten at long leg and van der Gugten then finished things off as Ben Aitchison provided Cooke with his third victim of the innings. Derbyshire’s innings fell 24 runs short of making Glamorgan bat again, Harris and van der Gugten each picking up three wickets. Harris has bowled with good pace in this game, following up a good performance in the last game at Lords.
After the match the Derbyshire coach Mickey Arthur was obviously disappointed with the result.
“The depth was tested in this game in terms of the bowling department” and he pointed to the unavailability of Nick Potts due to injury and the inability to sign Zac Chappell on loan as the loan window had closed. When asked about the decision at the toss he said “I take responsibility for that. We have batted first all year so we went away from our blue-print. We thought we could get something out of the wicket early and if you looked at stats through this year batting last here has been fairly comfortable. It did look a bit damp and moist and if we had them four down at lunch it could have put us in the ascendancy. We lost a bowler early on and it put us behind the eight-ball.”
Michael Hogan (pictured above) was typically professional in his observations when asked about his personal feelings on the win and his last appearance in Cardiff:
“It’s nice but in terms of the season goal it’s very important for the team as we move forward and push for promotion. It’s more important the team wins so there’s still a chance next week. There’s no room for sentiment; as long as we win the game although it was nice to get a wicket with what was essentially my last ball at Sophia Gardens. Job’s not done and there’s still another week and we need another good win at Sussex and rely on some other results. Fans have been really good to me and us.”
Glamorgan move on to Hove next week, still with promotion hopes, while Derbyshire host bottom placed Leicestershire.