Glamorgan had gone to tea on 376-7 trailing by just 31 runs with the doughty eighth wicket pair having potentially changed the complexion of the game and eager to continue their good work as Michael Finan and Tom Scriven resumed the bowling. Initially, Cooke and Neser worked the ball around for singles and when the total reached 392 the partnership became Glamorgan’s best for the eighth wicket against Leicestershire beating the 166 added by Gwyn Richards and Malcolm Nash at Swansea in 1978.
The 400 came up courtesy of four byes as Scriven sent a ball down the legside and out of the reach of Peter Handscombe. Neser celebrated by off-driving the swing bowler later in the over before he wiped off the arrears by late cutting Rehan Ahmed for another boundary as the floodlights came on. Cooke then completed his century from 220 balls with a single to mid-on before bringing up the double-century stand with a rasping square-cut for four against Mulder.
Later in the over, Cooke glided the South African to third man for four as their stand became Glamorgan’s all-time best for the eighth wicket against any county, surpassing the 202 added by Dai Davies and Joe Hills against Sussex at Eastbourne, 1928. Their stand though ended next over as Wright returned and bowled Neser for 90 with a delivery which scuttled through and struck the base of the stumps.
Andrew Salter joined Cooke but soon afterwards the light deteriorated and the players left the field.
Glamorgan had taken lunch just a run away from avoiding the follow-on with Chris Cooke and Michael Neser looking to whittle away further at the deficit during the afternoon session. Wiaan Mulder and Tom Scriven resumed the bowling duties with the latter being drilled through extra cover by Cooke, who then flicked Mulder to fine-leg and on-drove Rehan Ahmed when the wrist spinner returned to the fray at the Pavilion End.
Neser also straight-drove Ahmed to bring up the 300 and another batting point before Cooke completed his patient fifty from 119 balls. Neser on-drove Ahmed again for four before slashing Michael Finan through point for another boundary as the eighth wicket stand reached three figures. Neser then completed his fifty - his second in the competition - from 94 deliveries by flicking Chris Wright to the ropes at fine-leg.
Cooke also late-cut Colin Ackermann for three before Neser biffed him through the covers for four as the pair expanded their range of strokes as Glamorgan moved closer and closer to parity. Shortly before tea, Neser reached his Championship best score by flicking Ackermann to mid-wicket before bringing up the 150-stand by biffing Ackermann through extra-cover for four.
They say lightning never strikes twice but Billy Root might disagree after the left-hander, who was dismissed for a first-ball duck last year in the run-fest at Leicester, departed in identical fashion yesterday afternoon as he was yorked by a superb delivery from rookie seam bowler Tom Scriven. Before yesterday, the former England Under-19 international had just seven first-class wickets to his name but, during two waspish spells, yesterday he completed career-best figures of 10-2-15-3 as Glamorgan began the third day of this intriguing contest 243 runs in his arrears with five wickets in hand.
Sam Northeast and night-watchman Timm van der Gugten resumed their innings this morning knowing that there was plenty of batting still to be done for Glamorgan to avoid being asked to follow-on for the first time at Grace Road since 2008. Michael Finan and Chris Wright continued the bowling with the later being cover-driven for four by Northeast who also clipped the former to long-leg. But with the total on 186, van der Gugten miscued a pull against Wright with Rishi Patel completing a diving catch at mid-wicket.
Chris Cooke joined Northeast and began with a sumptuous cover-drive against Wright before dispatching Wiaan Mulder through point for four. Both played watchfully as they chiselled away at the deficit. With the total on 218-6. Leicestershire took the new ball as Northeast cut Wright through point for four. But Finan returned at the Pavilion End and removed Northeast who edged an attempted cut into Handscombe’s gloves and departed for 40.
225-7 saw the arrival of Michael Neser who punched Finan off the back foot through extra-cover before Cooke edged the left-armer just short of first slip as the home bowlers strove for further success. Neser then drilled Finan through the covers for four before square-driving Wright for four as the follow-on was almost avoided.