Vitality County Championship Match Preview: Glamorgan v Northamptonshire

Vitality County Championship Match Preview: Glamorgan v Northamptonshire

Fifth meets sixth this week with Glamorgan and Northants separated by just  one point. Both sides have lost one match, but while Northants remain winless, Glamorgan having beaten Sussex. When the two sides met back in April Northants had much the better of the encounter, Glamorgan only saved from defeat by a wash out on day four. Five wickets from Ben Sanderson helped dismiss Glamorgan for 271 and then the Northants batters put the Glamorgan attack to the sword as they rattled up 605/6 declared, Karun Nair making 202 not out, Ricardo Vasconselos 182 and Saif Zaib 100. Glamorgan ended day three on 104/3, still trailing by 230.

Both sides have lost their overseas bowler from that game and the weakness of both attacks means a draw is the most likely outcome, as well as making promotion an unlikely scenario. The good news for Northants is the progress of a number of young players. James Sales made his maiden first class century against Middlesex and Raphael Weatherall is becoming a useful seam option. Meanwhile Glamorgan continue to be unable to successfully introduce youngsters into their side, with academy products not deemed ready for first team action. 23-year-old Zain-ul-Hassan played in their last Championship game, but he has come in from the South Asian Cricket Academy and is unlikely to start this week. Otherwise the youngest Glamorgan player on show will be 26!

Glamorgan’s Colin Ingram and Sam Northeast are first and third in the Division Two run scoring, while Northant’s Gay and Luke Procter sit second and seventh. The batting of both teams looks significantly stronger than the bowling, although Sanderson has 24 wickets and Glamorgan’s Mason Crane and James Harris have both collected 20, but they are all averaging over 30 runs per wicket. The expectation is for the bat to dominate, but with both sides in need of some wins, the pitch might be left with some grass.

Key players

James Harris is bowling as well as he has since his return to Glamorgan and is getting the ball through at 80+ mph. He has not been involved in the Blast, just playing some second team T20 games, so should be fresh for these two rounds of Championship matches.

Northants bowling stocks are rather slim and they need someone to support Sanderson. Jack White was Northants leading wicket taker in last year’s Championship with 50 at 25.58, but has been absent for the start of the season with an ankle injury. He returned for their last Championship match against Yorkshire, but did not bowl in the second innings and hasn’t played since. That leaves 19-year-old Raphael Weatherall who has put in some solid performances in the Blast, but has only played two first class matches. Northants will be hoping he can step up.

Team news

Glamorgan should have a fit squad to select from..

Glamorgan squad (from): Sam Northeast (c), Tom Bevan, Eddie Byrom, Kiran Carlson, Chris Cooke (wk), Mason Crane, Dan Douthwaite, Andy Gorvin, James Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Jamie McIlory, Harry Podmore, Billy Root, Zain ul Hassan, Timm van der Gugten

It is not clear as to the fitness of Jack White, but otherwise John Sadler should have a full squad to select from. Prithvi Shaw has replaced Karun Nair.

Northamptonshire squad (from): Luke Procter (c), George Bartlett, Michael Finan, Emilio Gay, Rob Keogh, Lewis McManus (wk), Alex Russell, James Sales, Ben Sanderson, George Scrimshaw, Prithvi Shaw, Ricardo Vasconcelos, Raphael Weatherall, Jack White, Saif Zaib

Weather and Conditions

The forecast is for it to be warm and sunny for the four days.

The normal pattern at Sophia Gardens is for the captain winning the toss to bowl first as the first morning is the only time the bowlers are likely to have an edge. The pitch will become lower and slower as the match progresses, but if the team batting first can post a big score there may be slow turn later on.

Date: 23rd June 2024

Time: 11:00

Ground: Sophia Gardens, Cardiff


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