Close of Play Report
Leicestershire had reached 76-2 by tea, with a deficit of 41 runs, with Hasan Azad and Louis Kimber resuming against Andy Gorvin and Michael Neser. The latter struck with his third delivery as he bowled Kimber as Wiaan Mulder joined Azad who thick-edged Gorvin to the vacant third man ropes before completing his second fifty of the match from 88 balls by on-driving Gorvin for two, before flicking him to the ropes at long-leg .
Mulder had also earlier glanced Neser to fine-leg, before Michael Hogan returned to the fray at the Cathedral Road End. David Lloyd also came on at the River End and struck with his second delivery as Mulder feathered a catch to Chris Cooke. In his next over, the Glamorgan captain struck again as the obdurate Azad edged to Labuschagne at slip as Leicestershire subsided further to 115-5, still two runs in arrears.
Scott Steel on-drove Hogan before punching him through the covers whilst Swindells cover-drove Lloyd for a pair of fours. Steel also clipped Neser to the ropes at square-leg but next ball he trapped him l.b.w. as Glamorgan further tightened their grip on the match with the visitors on 139-6, or in effect, 22-6. Swindells was joined by Mike and off-drove Lloyd before the new batter clipped Neser to the ropes at fine-leg. Labuschagne and Weighell then bowled in tandem in the closing stages as Mike and Swindells attempted to see Leicestershire through to the close, but to the fourth ball of the final over of the day Swindells shouldered arms to Weighell and was bowled.
Michael Neser and James Weighell resumed with Glamorgan on 389-7 and a lead of 69 as Wiaan Mulder and Beuran Hendricks shared the bowling duties. Weighell immediately unleashed a booming off-drive but on 398 Neser edged Mulder to Louis Kimber at slip. James Harris replaced him and saw Glamorgan to 400, although not another point as it was in the 114th over. Weighell lofted Mulder for four but later in the over, the Protea had an l.b.w. appeal upheld against Harris.
Michael Hogan steered Hendricks through point for four as the lead went into three figures before Weighell biffed Hendricks over wide long-on for six. Hogan then drilled Ben Mike through mid-off for four but later in the over Weighell miscued a pull to Hasan Azad at fine-leg as Glmaorgan’s innings ended on 437, with their total swollen by 64 extras.
With a first innings deficit of 117, Azad and Sam Evans began Leicestershire’s second innings with the latter off-driving Hogan for four before Azad pulled Neser to fine-leg. But in Hogan’s third over, Evans was caught by Chris Cooke, diving full length to his left, to safely pouch an attempted leg-glance. 14-1 then became 15-2 as Cooke completed a second and more orthodox catch as Rishi Patel feathered a waspish delivery from Neser.
Louis Kimber began with a flick to fine-leg for four before punching Weighell and Hogan through the covers. He also did the same to Harris when he appeared at the River End followed by a firm straight-drive. Azad also punched Harris through point for four before Harris had a loud appeal turned down for a catch against Kimber behind the wicket. Azad also cover-drove Weighell shortly before tea as the pair continued to whittle away the deficit.
On the day when Abergavenny’s place in the first-class batting records was erased by the hurricane hitting of Ben Stokes for Durham at Worcester, a pair of less flamboyant innings at Cardiff by Sam Northeast and Kiran Carlson allowed Glamorgan regain the upperhand against Leicestershire. Whereas the newly-appointed England captain blitzed a record 17 sixes during his 88-ball innings to eclipse the achievements of Gloucestershire’s Andrew Symonds at the Avenue Road ground in 1995, the measured efforts of Northeast and Carlson - who between them struck 27 fours – rested the initiative back from the East Midlands county after the departure of Marnus Labuschagne to the last ball before lunch during what could prove to be a match-winning stand of 182 in 37.5 overs.
Thanks to their efforts Glamorgan resumed this morning just 15 runs in arrears, with eyes on further batting points during the next 30 overs as well as a decent first innings lead. Chris Cooke and Andy Gorvin faced Chris Wright and Beuran Hendricks, armed with the new ball, with Cooke flicking Wright to square-leg for the day’s first boundary. However, Hendricks struck with his second delivery as Gorvin, shouldering arms, was adjudged l.b.w.
Michael Neser joined Cooke as the arrears were wiped off with both playing watchfully against the probing attack. Wiaan Mulder and Ben Mike returned to the attack after an hour’s play with Neser punching the latter off the back foot for four as the 350 came up in the 96th and a further batting point was accrued. Neser also on-drove Mulder before Callum Parkinson returned to the attack, with the seventh wicket pair quietly working the ball around as the lead was extended.
Cooke also late cut Parkinson for four en route to a patient and invaluable fifty from 138 balls by flicking the spinner to long-leg, but next ball he was bowled with the total on 376 as James Weighell joined Neser shortly before lunch and lofted Parkinson for six.