Glamorgan’s challenge to second placed Middlesex stalled today, while Worcestershire have potentially resurrected their promotion hopes.
It was a disappointing day for Glamorgan as their new overseas signing Shubman Gill was the only one of the home batters to make any significant contribution. Restarting on 111/2, with nightwatchman Timm van der Gugten alongside the young Indian star, Glamorgan would have had high hopes of accumulating sufficient batting points to close right up on Middlesex, who are not playing this week. However, the Worcestershire seamers had other ideas. Van der Gugten was the first to go, Joe Leach producing a delivery which would have had many top order batters in trouble. He induced the edge and Ben Cox tidied up. That brought the leading Championship run scorer, Sam Northeast to the crease. Glamorgan would have hoped for a big partnership, but Dillon Pennington dismissed Northeast for 10, with a ball that cut back between bat and pad and next ball induced an edge from Kiran Carlson; a ball that he had to play at. Gill, watching on at the other end, was making batting look easy, often advancing down the wicket to the bowlers and seemingly having those extra fractions of a second to play the ball that differentiates the top players. When Carlson was dismissed Glamorgan had reached 146/5 and soon after Gill moved past 50. Rain then brought a premature end to the morning’s play, Glamorgan on 172/5, still trailing by 282 runs.
The rain kept the players off for the afternoon session, play resuming at 4pm, with 36 overs left in the day’s play. Root made slow progress until he was on the wrong end of a close lbw decision off the bowling of Ben Gibbon, out for 15, with the score on 189. Chris Cooke then joined Gill and together they took the total to 230 before Gill was Ed Barnard’s first wicket, trapped lbw as he moved across his crease to a ball that would have struck leg stump. Two balls later the umpires took the players off for bad light. Further rain kept the players off for 38 minutes, with the loss of 10 overs, but conditions improved and play resumed at 17:48. Cooke showed stubborn resistance, but James Harris was Pennington’s third victim, bowled in the last over of the day for 5. Glamorgan ended the day on 241/8, still needing 64 runs to avoid the follow on.
Fortunately the rain has stayed away sufficiently for the game to have moved on to a point where Worcestershire would be hopeful of enforcing the follow on and pushing for a win. Unfortunately the forecast for tomorrow is a poor one and rain may have the final say. As the game stands, Glamorgan still need 9 runs for a second batting bonus point, but even that would still leave them behind Middlesex, as they only collected to two bowling points. Meanwhile if Worcestershire are smiled upon by the weather-gods, a win would put them within 13 points of Middlesex.