Kiran Carlson led the way with one of two Glamorgan centuries on day two as the hosts took a big lead in response to Gloucestershire’s first innings total.
The 24-year-old Welshman paved the way for his season to come with 106 from 136 balls including 13 fours and one six.
On the back of a breakout 2021 season where Carlson scored 928 runs in the County Championship, averaging 48.84, the Glamorgan one-day captain struggled in 2022; accumulating just 491 runs in 22 innings, causing him to be dropped towards the back end of the season.
After a successful winter, representing Zimbabwean side, Mid-West Rhinos, Carlson looked to put his poor form aside. However, his low scoring tendencies returned when being dismissed early against both Somerset and Cardiff UCCE, bringing doubts over his place in the side for the start of the 2023 season.
Carlson’s century from 35-3 was his first since July 2021, where was accompanied in partnerships of 160 and 58 before falling at 253-5.
Billy Root’s century rubbed salt into the wound of the Gloucestershire bowlers later in the day on the back of the earlier triple-figure total scored by Carlson and the important 81 made by Eddie Byrom who kept the innings together in after an early wobble.
Root’s partnership with the already set Carlson, allowed him to play patiently while the latter scored fluently.
As the pitch improved throughout the day and the bowlers tired, runs came easier for Glamorgan, reaping the rewards for battling through their tricky early spell.
Root enters day three unbeaten on 104, accompanied by James Harris; Glamorgan leading by 223 on 388-8 and in the driver’s seat to force the result in the opening season of the weekend.
Gloucestershire bowlers experienced little fortune on day two at Sophia Gardens. Dropped catches, including both centurions twice, saw the visitors endure a frustrating day, likely due to a trickle-down effect of their sub-par first innings score on a tricky pitch which became easier to score on as the game progressed.
Marchant de Lange (3-72) and Tom Price (2-52) in particular weren’t credited in their figures for their particular spells, bowling 42 overs between them on the day in the rare April sunshine.
Promotions were given to Glamorgan batters throughout the day in fears of Colin Ingram not batting due to experiencing neck spasms. The South-African eventually came out to bat at number nine although he was unable to see the hosts into day three, departing for 19.
Glamorgan centurion, Kiran Carlson:
“I think we’re in a good position going into day three. After what happened yesterday we were just looking for any kind of lead, thankfully it dried out a bit.” He began.
“It was tough early on and the new ball looks like it’s still doing a bit but we’re in a good position getting that big lead.
“It was nice to get some time out in the middle and have that big partnership with Eddie [Byrom] and he batted remarkably at the top, soaked up all the pressure and deserved a hundred.
“Waiting for this day [opening game of the season] and ticking the box, coming away with a hundred is great, hopefully I can kick on and first and foremost get the win in this game.”
Gloucestershire seamer, Marchant de Lange:
“It’s always good to get out there early in the season.” The South-African began.
“Obviously, we would’ve wanted a bit more out of the result today, wickets wise. Otherwise, I thought the boys did really well today, we were relentless and also, I think the wicket was better today.
“They played really well, that’s why we play the game, we’re trying to compete.
“It’s always nice to get your first wicket for a new club so I’m excited about that.” He commented after bowling 20 overs in the day.
“Hopefully we get those two wickets early tomorrow, we have good batters who are capable and know what’s required so it’s going to be a good shift.”