Glamorgan start their home campaign in the LV=County Championship for 2021 in the same way that they began their inaugural season as a first-class county back in 1921 by welcoming Sussex to Cardiff, with the match scheduled to get underway behind closed doors at Sophia Gardens on Thursday, 15 April at 1100. (writes Andrew Hignell)
The Welsh county celebrated their elevation into the County Championship in 1921 by defeating Sussex at the Arms Park by 23 runs. This was one of four Championship victories over Sussex in seventeen encounters at the Arms Park before Glamorgan moved to Sophia Gardens in 1967. In fourteen subsequent encounters against Sussex at their new home in the Welsh capital, Glamorgan have been victorious on four further occasions with their latest success taking place in April 1999 when both Simon Jones and Robert Croft each took five-wicket hauls, before a superb 153 from Steve James helped the Welsh county successfully chase a target of 336 on the final day to record a comprehensive victory by six wickets.
Sussex’s most recent visit to Glamorgan’s headquarters at Sophia Gardens saw the visitors record a narrow victory by two wickets in 2016 as the South Coast club successfully chased a target of 233 on the final day. Timm van der Gugten had given Glamorgan the perfect start as he removed Ed Joyce with the first delivery of the innings, before returning after the tea interval with a superb spell of hostile fast bowling, claimed 3/22 in the space of seven overs to put Glamorgan into the ascendancy. But the pendulum swung decisively in Sussex’s favour as the eighth wicket pairing of Ben Brown and Danny Briggs (now with Warwickshire) added 55 in the space of nine overs with the latter using the long handle with plenty of luck as he hit the ball just over the head of the Glamorgan fielders. After Brown was dismissed, Briggs scampered a series of singles with teenager George Garton as Sussex reached their target with 20 balls remaining.
Their encounter at Colwyn Bay in 2017 produced an equally enthralling contest as Sussex reached a target of 209 with one wicket in hand. As the year before, Lukas Carey struck with the first ball of the Sussex innings as Luke Wells feathered a catch to wicket-keeper Tom Cullen and, when Angus Robson was bowled shouldering arms, Glamorgan had reduced the visitors to 10-2. Chris Nash and Ben Brown then counter-attacked before Glamorgan stormed back into the game as Sussex lost four wickets for five runs in the space of nineteen deliveries as Sussex went to tea still needing 36 runs with just two wickets remaining. When Michael Hogan – the only capped player in the Welsh county’s side – removed Jofra Archer in the first over after the interval, it looked like Glamorgan would clinch victory but Danny Briggs and Ollie Robinson remained resolute with the latter harpooning Ruaidhri Smith for six over the Rhos-on-Sea pavilion before ending the game in the grand manner by lofting Smith high over long-on to seal victory by one wicket.
After their encouraging performance in the opening County Championship match against Yorkshire at Headingley, Glamorgan will be looking to continue their decent form in a contest which is also set to see Michael Hogan make his 100th first-class appearance for the Welsh county.