Chris Cooke scored the fastest-ever hundred for Glamorgan in T20 cricket reaching his maiden 100 from just 38 balls as he shared a record stand of 187* from 13.1 overs - the highest-ever for any wicket for the Welsh county -and the best for the fourth wicket by any team - as Glamorgan made 238-3 after opting to bat first against Middlesex at Merchant Taylors’ School. In reply, Middlesex made a rapid start before falling away in the latter stages to 209-5 as Glamorgan won by 29 runs.
This was the Welsh county’s first-ever visit to the well-appointed school ground in Northwood and it is here at the distinguished seat of learning that Chris Cooke, the day after his 37th birthday, broke Mark Wallace’s Club record by making his 137th appearance for Glamorgan in T20 cricket as well as re-writing the Clubs T20 record books!
Tom Helm shared the new ball alongside Blake Cullen with Byrom cover-driving Helm for the day’s first boundary with Northeast doing the same to Cullen in the next over. But Northeast departed in the third over as he drilled a full toss from Martin Andersson into the hands of Helm at mid-on. 13/1 saw Kiran Carlson make his way to the middle and he began by deftly running a ball from Andersson to the vacant ropes at third man. But next over Byrom skewed a drive against Cullen into the hands of the fielder at backward point.
After a trio of singles, Colin Ingram launched Andersson over extra-cover for four before hoisting a low full toss over wide long-on for six. Carlson then opened his shoulders by pulling Helm for four to mid-wicket before flat-batting him over mid-off for four as Glamorgan ended the powerplay on 44-2. Ingram brought up the fifty by hoiking Cullen to mid-wicket for four but later in the over, Carlson top-edged another expansive blow and was well caught by Andersson.
51-3 saw the arrival of Cooke who clipped Ryan Higgins to fine-leg for four before cover-driving the all-rounder for another boundary. Cooke greeted the introduction of Nathan Fenandes’ left-arm spin by reverse-sweeping him for four before Ingram pulled Luke Hollman’s first ball to the ropes at mid-wicket. Cooke then square-drove and pulled Higgins to the boundary boards with the boundaries book-ending the over.
Ingram then lofted Fernandes over long-off for six as the 100 came up in the 13th over before Cooke flayed the youngster over extra-cover for four. Ingram then harpooned him for six over deep mid-wicket before completing his fifty from 33 balls by reverse-sweeping Hollman for his seventh boundary. Cooke also drilled Hollman inside-out over extra-cover before Ingram drove both Andersson and Higgins through the covers.
Cooke flicked Higgins to fine-leg to complete a 26-ball fifty before harpooning him for six to bring up the century stand. Ingram also cleared the ropes as he drove Andersson over long-on before outside-edging him to third man. Cooke then drilled Helm through Pieter Malan’s hands on the extra-cover boundary before drilling him over long-on for six. Another four followed to backward point before he scythed him over extra-cover followed by a savage pull to mid-wicket as the over yielded 25 runs as he surpassed his previous highest score of 72.
Cooke also drilled Higgins to long-off for four before Ingram hoisted Higgins for a pair of sixes to take the total past 200 as the stand broke the previous best of 150 by David Lloyd and Sam Northeast against Middlesex last year at Cardiff as the penultimate over yielded 20. Cooke then pulled Helm for a pair of sixes to complete the fastest-ever hundred for Glamorgan, from 38 balls, and his first in the competition. He added another pair of maximums to the last pair of balls as he ended unbeaten on 113 from 41 balls with Ingram unbeaten on 92 as Glamorgan ended on their second-highest total of 238-3.
Joe Cracknell began with a pair of boundaries against Jamie McIlroy before flaying Harry Podmore to mid-wicket and fine-leg. Stevie Eskinazi also inside-edged a slog against McIlroy to fine-leg before Cracknell launched McIlroy over deep square-leg before swatting him to the boards. Eskinazi then drove Sisodiya square of the wicket before Cracknell pulled the spinner for four as Middlesex raced to 50 after 22 balls. Cracknell then drilled Sisodiya through point before lofting Dan Douthwaite inside-out over mid-off for four, with Eskinazi also pulling Podmore for a pair of fours before deftly driving him through the covers for the third four of the over as Middlesex ended the powerplay on 77-0.
Cracknell then reverse-swept Peter Hatzoglou before doing the same to Sisodiya to complete a 26-ball fifty. He celebrated by drilling the spinner over long-on before the 100 came up in the ninth over as Cracknell launched Hatzoglou over long-off for another massive six. Eskinazi also flat-batted the leggie through cover for four before ramping Douthwaite to fine-leg for four followed by an orthodox sweep to the same place as well as a pair of rasping extra-cover drives as Middlesex reached 129-0 at the halfway stage.
Eskinazi then ramped Podmore for four to complete his fifty from 25 balls but next over Cracknell was stumped by Cooke for 77 as he attempted a reverse-sweep against Hatzoglou. 146-1 then became 150-2 as Eskinazi tried to do the same against Sisodiya with McIlroy completing the catch at short third man. Max Holden and Pieter Malan joined forces with Middlesex needing 87 off 7 overs. Holden responded by flaying Podmore for six over long-on but next over he perished as Byrom at deep mid-wicket took a brilliant catch over his head as Sisodiya struck again with Middlesex on 163-3.
The spinner nearly claimed a third wicket as Hatzoglou almost clung onto a lusty swipe by Luke Hollman before Malan cover drove Douthwaite but it was the only four of the over as the task became 62 off 24 balls. Hatzoglou then bowled Malan who had an ugly heave in a desperate bid to find the ropes. The boundaries continued to be few and far between as the visiting bowlers held their nerve with Higgins eventually hitting a four and a six in the final over as Middlesex finished on 209-5