Close of Play Report
Glamorgan had reached 92-2 at tea with Marnus Labuschagne and Sam Northeast poised to take the Welsh county into the lead. Matthew Waite and Josh Tongue resumed the bowling duties, and in the fifth over Waite jagged a ball back into Labuschagne which bowled the Australian for 42. Having been joined by Kiran Carlson, Northeast brought up the hundred before his new partner flicked Tongue to square-leg for four.
The pair took Glamorgan into the lead, with the total on 111, Adam Finch returned to the attack and had an l.b.w. appeal upheld against Northeast as Billy Root made his way to the middle. Carlson square-cut Leach for four but next over he departed l.b.w. to Finch. The bowler struck again two runs later as he bowled Chris Cooke as the visitor’s continued to chisel away at the Glamorgan line-up with the home side continuing their post-tea slump to 120-6.
Having been joined by Neser, Billy Root cover drove Finch as well as Leach, besides guiding Leach to third man to four. Neser then clipped Tongue to square-leg for four before drilling Tongue through mid-off for four to bring uop the 50-stand as the seventh wicket pair continued to watchfully extend the Welsh county’s lead.
Worcestershire were 66-6 when play resumed after lunch with Gareth Roderick and Matthew Waite mounting a recovery mission having come together in the 17th over with the score on 36-6. But Michael Neser ended their stand with the fourth ball of the session as he re-arranged Waite’s stumps with Joe Leach replacing him. He began by cover-driving the Australian before Roderick clipped him to the ropes at mid-wicket, followed by an on-driven three as the hundred came up in the 37th over.
But six runs later, James Harris - as in his opening salvo - claimed a wicket in his first over as Leach was caught down the leg-side by Chris Cooke. Three runs later Harris struck again as Roderick edged to Labuschagne at second slip before Adam Finch departed l.b.w. to his first delivery as Worcestershire were dismissed for 109.
There were 53 overs remaining as Glamorgan began their first innings with David Lloyd and Eddie Byrom facing the new ball duo of Leach and Tongue. The latter was on-driven for four by Lloyd who then had a life as Jack Haynes at second slip spilled an edge. But later in the over, Byrom edged Leach into Roderick’s gloves as Marnus Labuschagne made his way to the middle and began with a trio of boundaries through the covers and mid-off.
Lloyd greeted the introduction of Finch into the attack by on-driving him for three fours, through mid-on and mid-wicket. He also on-drove Matthew Waite before Labuschagne on-drove him for another boundary as the fifty came up. Lloyd then caressed Waite through the covers for a pair of fours, before Labuschagne again on-drove Finch for four. The flurry of boundaries saw the return of Leach at the River End but Lloyd drilled him through mid-on before Labuschagne off-drove Finch and steered Leach through point for four. After Labuschagne had flicked Tongue to fine-leg, but with the total on 88, Lloyd inside-edged a drive against Leach onto his stumps.
Two months after the investiture of HRH Prince Charles as the Prince of Wales at Carnarvon Castle on 1 July 1969, the Worcestershire team visited Cardiff and were defeated by Tony Lewis’ buoyant team as the Welsh county clinched the Championship title for the second time in their gallant history. Fifty-four years later, and five days after the Coronation of King Charles III in Westminster Abbey, the West Midlands side are playing again at Sophia Gardens.
Glamorgan made one change to their line-up with Eddie Byrom having recovered from a back spasm replacing Andrew Salter from the team which drew against Yorkshire. Michael Neser and Timm van der Gugten opened the bowling as Taylor Cornall and Ed Pollock began Worcestershire’s innings. Both openers survived loud appeals for l.b.w. before Pollock cover drove van der Gugten, but later in the over, Cornall was trapped leg before.
12-1 saw the arrival of Azhar Ali with the Pakistani driving Neser for three but he soon lost his partner as Pollock edged to Lloyd at first slip.22-2 almost immediately became 22-3 as, to his second ball, Jack Haynes edged to Sam Northeast at third ship who completed a juggling catch. Two runs later, another spectacular catch was made as Azhar edged van der Gugten low to second slip where Marnus Labuschagne completed a one-handed ankle-high catch low to his left.
The procession of batters back to the pavilion continued as two balls later 24-4 became 25-5 as Brett d`Oliveira departed l.b.w. Gareth Roderick then on-drove Neser for four but James Harris then replaced Neser at the Cathedral Road End and with his first delivery he bowled Adam Hose. A couple of overs later he had a loud appeal for l.b.w. turned down against Matthew Waite.
Roderick also drove Harris through mid-wicket before Waite twice clubbed Jamie McIlroy through extra-cover as Worcestershire reached the 50-mark in the 24th over.