Glamorgan v Lancashire at Sophia Gardens: Head-to-Head

31 May 2021 | Cricket

Glamorgan will welcome Lancashire, plus many of the Welsh county’s loyal members on the opening day, back to Sophia Gardens for their next contest in the LV=Insurance County Championship with the four-day contest scheduled to get underway at 1100 on Thursday 3rd June. (writes Andrew Hignell)

Lancashire are the leaders of group three following their innings victory on Sunday afternoon over Yorkshire at Emirates Old Trafford, with the Red Roses currently having 123 points and four victories to their credit this summer. Glamorgan are in fourth place with 80 points, although the Welsh county have been particularly affected by the rain and bad light during May, including the drawn contest between the two teams at the Manchester ground. In fact, Glamorgan’s total of 47.25 hours of lost playing time so far this summer in the County Championship is only surpassed by Somerset’s tally of 48.50 hours.

This will be Lancashire’s seventh visit to Sophia Gardens for a Championship match and their first since 1996 when an imperious 214 by Matthew Maynard saw Glamorgan to a mammoth total of 505 and underpinned a 48-run victory for Glamorgan with spin-twins Robert Croft claiming 5/47 and Dean Cosker 4/60 on the final day.

The Welsh county also won by four wickets in a rain-affected game at the Cardiff ground during August 1968 with an unbeaten 95 by Alan Jones seeing Glamorgan to their target of 178 inside 39 overs. Lancashire’s sole victory in Championship cricket at Sophia Gardens came in August 1981 when the Red Roses won by 66 runs after half-centuries by Clive Lloyd and Bernard Reidy, plus a return of 6/44by Peter Lee trumped career-best figures of 8/70 by Glamorgan’s off-spinner Barry Lloyd.

The contests between the two teams in 1967, 1970 and 1984 at Sophia Gardens all ended in draws. In contrast, Lancashire have been victorious on each of their last three visits to Wales – all staged at Colwyn Bay – winning by 14 runs in 2013, by an innings and 157 runs in 2015 and by an innings and 150 runs in 2019.

Glamorgan’s most recent Championship victory over Lancashire came at Liverpool during June 1997 when a fine 152 by Steve James plus an astonishing spell of 7/25 by Waqar Younis – who twice was on a hat-trick - saw Lancashire dismissed for a paltry 51 as the Welsh county won by 221 runs en route to lifting the county title.

Besides seeing the welcome return of Glamorgan supporters on the opening day of this game after an absence of over 600 days at Sophia Gardens, the contest could also be a red-letter one for several Glamorgan players including Michael Hogan, their evergreen seam bowler who celebrated his 40th birthday earlier this week, as well as club captain Chris Cooke and batsman Kiran Carlson.

Michael needs two further wickets to reach the outstanding landmark of 400 first-class wickets for his adopted county, whilst Chris is 49 runs short of taking his own tally of first-class runs for Glamorgan to 5,000. As far as Kiran is concerned, the renaissance man of Glamorgan cricket in 2021 currently has 552 first-class runs to his name and is 15 runs away from surpassing his best-ever seasonal tally of 567 runs, achieved in 2018.