Glamorgan’s rain-ravaged LV=Insurance County Championship match against Lancashire ended in a draw at a murky and overcast Emirates Old Trafford with the home side ending the day on 301-9 as the Welsh county secured a full clutch of bowling points.
Close of Play Report
A brief shower and bad light had forced the players off the field at 1530pm for an early tea following Josh Bohannon’s departure for 53 with Lancashire on 208-5 in the 78th over, and the game having become a scrap for bonus points. The overhead conditions did not improve until 1635pm by which time a further 12 overs had been shaved off the daily allowance.
However, the new ball was only nineteen balls away as Dane Vilas and Luke Wood made their way back to the middle to face the spin of Callum Taylor and Marnus Labuschagne. Vilas swept the latter for four before Wood drilled him to long-on for another boundary with Lancashire on 229-5 when the new ball was taken. Dan Douthwaite returned and, with his second delivery, removed Vilas who miscued another expansive drive to Joe Cooke at third man as Glamorgan bagged a second bowling point.
Danny Lamb continued the aggressive tempo by square-driving Douthwaite for four before Wood carved Neser through backward point for another boundary. Lamb then straight-drove Douthwaite for four before top-edging a pull to garner another bonus point on 250-6. He then clipped the all-rounder to square-leg before Wood flayed him to third man.
With the total on 265 Wood top-edged an ambitious pull against Douthwaite and was caught by Chris Cooke as Saqib Mahmood joined Lamb and plundered further boundaries against Neser as he scythed him through point followed by a straight drive. But the Australian made the perfect riposte as next ball he caught and bowled Mahmood, with Neser nonchalantly plucking out of the air with his left hand another drive hit vigorously back in his direction.
Matt Parkinson was the next batsman and he also smeared a ball square of the wicket for four against Douthwaite, but David Lloyd then entered the attack and, with his third delivery, he bowled Lamb to secure a third and final bowling point, before Parkinson drilled Timm van der Gugten through mid-off for four. In the Dutchman’s next over, he nearly departed to a spectacular bat-pad catch by Kiran Carlson, but James Anderson then cover-drove Lloyd to see Lancashire to the 300-mark whereupon the Red Rose side declared as the ended all square.
Lancashire were 108-2 when the afternoon session began with a minimum of 64 overs remaining in the contest as Andrew Salter and Michael Neser resumed the bowling duties. Keaton Jennings completed his patient half-century from 163 balls by cover-driving Neser for four followed by drilling a full toss from Salter to the ropes at wide mid-on. He also drove Salter to long-off for another boundary but then perished – with the total on 132 – as he skewed a repeat of the stroke and was caught at backward point by Callum Taylor as Glamorgan secured their first bowling point.
Liam Livingstone survived a confident appeal for a catch at bat-pad as he fended off a lifting delivery from Neser before striking Salter for a pair of sixes over long-on in the next over from Salter, followed by a rasping cover drive. Bohannon also drilled Salter for six to long-on as the fourth wicket pair looked to up the tempo in their quest of batting points. Marnus Labuschagne’s wrist spin was then employed at the James Anderson End with Bohannon straight-driving the Australian for six prior to clipping Timm van der Gugten to the boards at mid-wicket.
But the Dutchman claimed the fourth wicket in his next over as Livingstone’s breezy innings came to an end as he clipped a drive into the hands of Joe Cooke at backward square-leg. Dane Vilas joined Bohannon as the Old Trafford floodlights came on with Glamorgan opting for an all-spin attack as Callum Taylor returned in tandem with Labuschagne ahead of the new ball becoming available at 80 overs. Vilas punched the leg-spinner of the back foot through backward point en route to the Red Roses securing their first batting point of the contest on 200.
Bohannon duly reached his half-century by swatting Labuschagne to wide long-on for his fifth boundary but he became the fifth man to depart as next over he was caught by Salter at backward point as a shower forced the players off the field for an early tea with Lancashire on 208-5.
The revised format of this year’s County Championship will see the 18 first-class teams drafted into three divisions during the final month of the season, dubbed Super September, based on their positions at the end of the group stage of the competition. After events yesterday in the eight group games across the country, 8th May 2021 could justifiably be called Soggy Saturday with no play whatsoever in six matches, and a total of just 68 overs in the other contests at Lord’s and the Ageas Bowl.
This particular game at Emirates Old Trafford has seen, so far, only 127.5 out a possible total of 288 overs being bowled, although things have not been as dire as Glamorgan’s visit to Manchester twenty years ago when their contest with Lancashire, scheduled from 16th until 19th May 2001 - like the previous contest at the Old Trafford ground a fortnight before against Surrey - was washed out without a single ball being bowled.
With first innings bonus points still available, and just 96 overs left in this year’s game, the final day of the contest saw Lancashire, the group leaders, try to garner as many batting points as possible, plus the eight points were available for a draw, whilst Glamorgan sought the three, six or nine wickets needed to accrue bowling points to add to their three from batting, although some Welsh romantics may have dreamt of their beloved team emulating the achievements of August 1978 when in the space of 80.1 overs at Sophia Gardens, the Welsh county dismissed Northamptonshire twice on the second day of the game to record an innings victory.
The home side duly began on 22-0 and, after an over from Callum Taylor to allow the seamers to change ends, Michael Neser and Timm van der Gugten bowled in tandem. With two runs having been added, the former claimed his first wicket for the Welsh county with his eleventh delivery of the day as Alex Davies edged into Chris Cooke’s gloves. With Neser again in frugal mode, Keaton Jennings and his new partner Luke Wells accumulated initially in ones and twos with the first boundary of the innings – in the 26th over – coming from an inside edge to fine-leg as the statuesque Jennings played tentatively against the bearded Australian.
Another boundary followed in the next over as Wells square-drove the Dutchman before both batsmen collected threes from off-side drives against Neser which slowed up approaching the ropes. However, Wells found the boundary when Taylor returned to the attack as he advanced down the wicket to cover-drive the off-spinner. Van der Gugten then switched back to the Brian Statham End and was imperiously dispatched through extra-cover by Jennings, before Wells unfurled a coruscating off-drive against the same bowler followed by a lofted drive to long-off against Taylor.
Dan Douthwaite then entered the attack in tandem with Andrew Salter who was having his first bowl in a Championship match since September 2019. The off-spinner struck in his second over as Wells attempted another assertive drive but proceeded to hole out to Douthwaite at mid-off who safely pouched the skied catch. Josh Bohannon opened his account by clipping the all-rounder to fine-leg for four before taking Lancashire into three figures in the 47th over with, shortly before lunch, Marnus Labuschagne also entering the fray.