A dramatic post-lunch collapse saw Lancashire subside from 88-3 to 164 all out in the space of 25.5 overs with Glamorgan’s Michael Neser claiming 4/25 during a waspish spell in their LV=Insurance County Championship match at Sophia Gardens. Needing 188 to win, the Welsh county were 137-3 at the close of play with Marnus Labuschagne unbeaten on 32.
After their stirring fightback during the afternoon, Glamorgan’s batsmen, needing 188 to win, had 41 overs to bat today plus all of Saturday and Sunday – a possible 233 overs during which to record their first victory over the Red Roses at Cardiff since 1996 and to inflict the first Championship defeat this summer on the visitors.
Joe Cooke began by nurdling Tom Bailey to third man for four before David Lloyd punched Bailey through the covers for four, followed by an outside edge for four over the head of the solitary slip fielder. Cooke also steered Mahmood over the slips for four before Lloyd edged the seamer to third man, with Cooke also unfurling a high-class cover drive against Bailey before pulling Wood for a huge six as the 50 came up in the 17th over.
Lloyd then cover drove Lamb before Matt Parkinson’s leg-spin was introduced in the 21st over with Cooke driving him straight for four before sweeping him to the ropes at square-leg, but later in the over he edged to slip where Liam Livingstone completed a regulation catch and departed for 38. 72-1 heralded the arrival of Marnus Labuschagne and he began by deftly nudging the spinner to fine-leg for three before Lloyd lofted him to long-on for four.
Labuschagne then outside edged Mahmood to third man as the target dropped below the hundred mark, prompting the return of Bailey in place of Parkinson at the Cathedral Road End. The seamer duly ended Lloyd’s tenure of the crease as he clipped a ball to Keaton Jennings at short mid-wicket. Billy Root duly brought up the hundred with a cover drive against Bailey but two runs later he departed l.b.w. to Mahmood.
With Kiran Carlson as his new partner, Labuschagne cover-drove Bailey for four before clipping him to fine-leg, with Carlson doing the same to Danny Lamb when he returned for a second salvo at the River End. Parkinson also returned for another brief spell but the fourth wicket pair remained resolute with Glamorgan needing 51 in what could be a humdinger of a session tomorrow.
Having removed Alex Davies with his second delivery of his pre-lunch over, Michael Neser completed the remaining against Liam Livingstone who had joined Josh Bohannon at the start of the afternoon session. Livingstone began with a brace of fours against Douthwaite but there was a dramatic change in the complexion of the game as Neser struck again as he bowled Bohannon with a full length delivery. 109-4 then became 113-6 as firstly Livingstone got a leading edge to a leg-glance against Douthwaite with Neser running in from third man holding a fine catch running in from the boundary’s edge.
In the next over, a smart pick up and throw and throw at cover by Marnus Labuschagne ran out Luke Wood as the all-rounder tried a quick single. Dane Vilas then clipped Neser to fine-leg for four but the two balls later the visiting captain also departed l.b.w. to Neser who next ball found the edge of Tom Bailey’s bat as Chris Cooke completed a regulation catch with the visitors’ plummeting to 124-8.
Danny Lamb and Saqib Mahmood steadied the ship before David Lloyd replaced Neser whose spell of 4/25 had lifted his team’s spirits against the group leaders. The vice-captain was in economical mode with Michael Hogan also having a second spell at the Cathedral Road End as well as James Weighell with the ninth wicket pair accumulating almost entirely in singles.
But it was Lloyd who broke the stubborn stand as Chris Cooke pouched at the second attempt an edge standing up to the seamer as Lamb departed with the total on 153-9. After an hour’s play without a boundary, Matt Parkinson clipped his first ball to the ropes at fine-leg before Mahmood smeared Neser to mid-wicket for four, but next over Lloyd bowled the Lancastrian seamer as Lancashire ended on 164
The start of Championship games at Cardiff this summer have seen plenty of wickets tumble – a dozen fell on the first day of the match with Kent, followed by fourteen against Yorkshire, whilst yesterday nineteen tumbled on an action-packed opening day against Lancashire by the end of which Glamorgan were 23 runs in arrears with their last pair – the Australian combination of Michael Neser and Michael Hogan – at the crease. But it only took two balls to end the innings as Neser drove a ball to mid-on with Tom Bailey running out Hogan at the striker’s end as the tenth wicket pair attempted a single.
The pair were swiftly back into action as Alex Davies opened the batting with Keaton Jennings against the two Michael’s who again shared the new ball for the Welsh county. Davies began by off-driving Neser for four before twice drilling him through extra-cover as well as mid-wicket. Jennings began with a brace of singles before James Weighell replaced Neser at the Cathedral Road End and in his second over had an l.b.w. appeal upheld against the former England opener.
38-1 saw Luke Wells join Davies who drove Weighell to the ropes at extra-cover before his new partner drilled both David Lloyd and Weighell through mid-off for a pair of firmly struck boundaries as batting appeared to be an easier proposition under today’s clear blue skies. Wells also greeted Dan Douthwaite by dispatching his first two deliveries to the boundary boards at extra cover. However, the all-rounder made the perfect riposte as he re-arranged Wells stumps with the next ball.
72-2 nearly became 72-3 as later in the over Josh Bohannon almost chopped Douthwaite onto his stumps, but Davies at the other end continued to play assertively as he drove Lloyd through the covers to take the lead into three figures shortly before lunch. But Neser returned at the River End and in the final over before the interval trapped Davies leg before for 47.