Timm van der Gugten was the star with the ball as the hosts restricted Gloucestershire to 165 with figures of 5-26 from 17 overs.
The Australian-born Dutch international put the pressure on top-order batters Marcus Harris and James Bracey in the early segments of play along with new signing Harry Podmore; leaving the visitors 17-1 from the first 16 overs.
Following an opening spell, interrupted by rain, of seven runs from eight overs, van der Gugten came out firing after tea with four wickets, stepping up to his role of the senior bowler in a new-look Glamorgan attack on the opening day of the new County Championship season in formidable fashion.
The 32-year-old seamer missed the majority of 2022 with a torn hamstring, making his anticipated return to full fitness, excluding his minimal contribution to last season, one of importance in the absence of Michael Neser and Michael Hogan.
Hogan, a stalwart of Glamorgan’s new-ball pace attack of the last decade, reversed a retirement decision at the end of the 2022 season to join Division One side, Kent.
With Neser’s delayed arrival to Cardiff, Glamorgan looked to be lacking a hint of magic dust provided by the Queenslander until van der Gugten’s devastating spell of pad-wrapping nip-backers after tea to run through the Gloucestershire middle-order.
Making a charge for an international recall by method of an anticlimactic use of the word, Gloucestershire’s Harris showed some resistance in the top order while six wickets fell around him.
After just four days since his return to England, the Victoria batter on the back of a Sheffield Shield final defeat, accumulated 59 in a patient, risk-free innings.
In an English domestic season hyped up by Bazball, Harris’ gritty half-century was reached after 113 balls, with his first boundary taking 92 balls to be accommodated.
Before Gloucestershire’s fall of four wickets for 16 runs, Harris’ resistance was accompanied by a flamboyant innings from James Bracey including a 66 partnership before his lingering bat outside the off-stump on the stroke of lunch found a fine edge off a David Lloyd delivery, dismissing him for 33.
As the final session went on and van der Gugten’s spell inevitably ended, Zafar Gohar and Tom Price were allowed to put up 46 for the eighth wicket before the Glamorgan seamer returned to the attack to claim his five-wicket haul.
On the back of his devastating spell, van der Gugten said: “I think as a first day, we’re happy as a team after winning the toss and bowling”
“It was nice for me to make some inroads with the ball and get out there to bat already.
“With a wet wicket, I think it’s really important to just hit a length and don’t go chasing anything, let the pitch do it for you.” He added.
“The missing of Ness [Michael Neser] and Hoges [Michael Hogan] from last year, it’s on one of us senior guys to potentially step up but Harry [Podmore] bowled really well as well this morning so it doesn’t just have to come from one of us senior boys.”
Gloucestershire top scorer Marcus Harris:
“165 was probably a bit under what we would’ve wanted but there’s enough in the pitch for us.” He began.
“There’s moisture in the wicket, so we don’t know what it’s going to be like with the weather tomorrow, but it was just about getting yourself in today.
“My last two games were at the WACA so it was completely different conditions today, I was just trying to give myself a chance because it takes a while to get used to it on a day like today.
“Timm bowled really well, and it was doing a bit more from that end so that was tough but he’s a season campaigner he does it year in, year out, hopefully we can have a bit of the same tomorrow.”