Vitality County Championship Match Preview: Gloucestershire v Glamorgan

Vitality County Championship Match Preview: Gloucestershire v Glamorgan

Cheltenham College
Cheltenham College

Glamorgan make the short trip to the beautiful surroundings of Cheltenham College this week for their Championship game against Gloucestershire. The game marks the start of two and a half weeks of cricket at the school ground, the cricket festival also including Blast matches and games to be played by the Western Storm.

The sides sit fourth and seventh in Division Two, but are separated by just five points, each with one win. They had differing fortunes in the last round, Gloucestershire suffering an innings defeat to Yorkshire while Glamorgan had a tight battle with Northamptonshire, which ended in an honourable draw.

Gloucestershire have generally been solid with the bat this season, Graeme van Buuren currently leading their run scoring with 599 at 59.90, closely followed by Cameron Bancroft with 561 runs, James Bracey with 554 and Miles Hammond with 521; Bancroft having one of his better county seasons. However they came unstuck against the Yorkshire attack, dismissed for 197 and 237. They are not likely to come under the same pressure this week, the top wicket taker in the Glamorgan attack being Mason Crane with his leg spin, having taken 23 wickets at 39.21. James Harris has also taken 23 wickets, but is likely ruled out of this match with a thigh injury picked up against Northamptonshire. This significantly weakens the Glamorgan threat with the ball, although Jamie McIlroy can come back in with his left arm seam. Harry Podmore played his first game of the season last week, but his medium pace yielded just 1/100. Timm van der Gugten is back from injury and has played two Champiopnship games in which he has taken 10 wickets at 19.80. Glamorgan will be relying heavily on him if they are to get anything out of this encounter.

Gloucestershire look to have the stronger bowling contingent, with more options despite the absence of Tom Price and Zafar Gohar with injuries. The sparingly used Marchant de Lange will likely return having been rested last week and he has been a real threat with the ball in the four matches he has played, taking 21 wickets at 25.61. They can also call on the significant pace of Ajeet Singh Dale as well as Dom Goodman, Zaman Akhter, Beau Webster, Josh Shaw and Matt Taylor, who enjoyed bowling against Glamorgan in the Blast, taking 3/21. They will be up against the strong Glamorgan batting line up, although their top run scorer this season, Colin Ingram is rested for the Blast. Sam Northeast has 696 runs at 63.27, but it has been something of feast or famine for the Glamorgan captain, while Kiran Carlson has also been scoring runs. Gloucestershire will also be very aware of the presence of Marnus Labuschagne in the Glamorgan ranks, for whom this will be his last Championship game this season.

When these two sides met last summer it was the bat that dominated, particularly in the match at Cheltenham when Glamorgan’s 450/6d was matched by the home side’s 402/6d. The Glamorgan batting is stronger than their bowling and the reverse is the case for Gloucestershire, so a draw is again the most likely outcome.

Key players

Beau Webster is not a particularly familiar name to British cricket followers and was signed by Gloucestershire primarily for the Blast. He was to be available for the two Championship matches in June, but with some injury problems he actually came into the side back in May. He is a right-handed batter who bowls both right-arm medium pace and off-spin and plays for Tasmania. He scored 554 runs at an average of 61.55 in the last Sheffield Shield competition, second only to Bancroft in the run-scoring charts and at 6ft 6in tall, he can cause problems with the ball. So far in his three Championship matches he has taken 10 wickets at 24.60, including 6/100 against Derbyshire and 150 runs at 50.00.

Timm van der Gugten will be the only Glamorgan bowler able to reach 80mph and much will rest on him in the absence of Harris. He was Glamorgan’s top wicket taker last summer with 39 at 29.23 and Northeast will be pleased to have him back from injury given the very limited seam bowling options available. He has already take 10 wickets in two matches and hopefully can stay fit.

Team news

Glamorgan will have to replace Harris, presumably with McIlroy. Dan Douthwaite could come in for Podmore to add some extra pace to the attack.  

Glamorgan squad: Sam Northeast (c), Tom Bevan, Eddie Byrom, Kiran Carlson, Chris Cooke (wk), Mason Crane, Dan Douthwaite, Andy Gorvin, Ben Kellaway, Marnus Labuschagne, Jamie McIlory, Harry Podmore, Billy Root, Will Smale, Timm van der Gugten

It is assumed that Tom Price and Zafar Gohar are still injured. There will be some rotation of the bowling.

Gloucestershire squad (from): Graeme van Buuren (c), Zaman Akhter, Cameron Bancroft, James Bracey (wk), Ben Charlesworth, Marchant de Lange, Chris Dent, Dom Goodman, Miles Hammond, Ed Middleton, Ollie Price, Ajeet Singh Dale, Josh Shaw, Matt Taylor, Beau Webster

Weather and Conditions

The forecast is for cloud cover throughout the match, with rain possible on days two and four.

Runs are usually in plentiful supply at Cheltenham and the captain winning the toss is likely to want to bat first.

Date: 30th June 2024

Time: 11:00

Ground: Cheltenham College, Cheltenham


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