Glam batsmen battle to draw in final encounter
GLAMORGAN battled to a draw in their final Bob Willis Trophy match of the campaign, as Warwickshire’s Ian Bell brought down the curtain on his 20-year first-class career at Sophia Gardens.
It ends a disappointing four-day campaign for Glamorgan, whose batsmen have failed to get going throughout the competition, despite a rotation policy which has seen a number of fringe players being handed opportunities in the top order.
Bell’s final contributions yielded 140 runs for the county he’s served so well, and he was given an ovation by both teams, umpires and coaching staff as he left the field for the final time.
Resuming their pursuit of 331 on 9-0 on the final morning, Glamorgan were 69-2 at lunch and much credit goes to Nick Selman in the afternoon for his defiant innings of 73 as he battled hard to save the match.
Having batted defensively and patiently in the first hour, Glamorgan lost two wickets from successive Ryan Sidebottom deliveries, when Cooke edged tentatively to the keeper before Owen Morgan was bowled by an in-swinging fulltoss.
The Welsh county’s defensive approach, having effectively given up the pursuit of 331, backfired after lunch as captain Chris Cooke, attempting a back-foot drive through the off-side, feathered to the keeper off Oliver Hannon-Dalby.
As Billy Root played the waiting game early in his innings, getting off the mark from his 11th delivery and glancing his first boundary off his legs two deliveries later, the 14th he faced beat him all ends up, flying off the edge into the hands of Sam Hain at second slip.
Selman, unbeaten on 62, and Callum Taylor, 14 not out, saw the Welsh county through to tea, and they needed a further 187 in the final session, with the visitors requiring a further six wickets.
They moved at a pedestrian pace in the final session, offering little in the way of chances before Taylor fended an uppish delivery by Sidebottom to short-leg after 29 overs at the crease and a partnership of 67.
The visitors had their biggest breakthrough when Hannon-Dalby struck Selman leg-before for 73, the batsman’s valiant effort ended after 215 deliveries when he was struck suspiciously high on the leg, and Glamorgan’s lower order still had 18.5 overs to bat out.
There was little doubt about Tom Cullen’s dismissal, though, as he was dismissed in similar fashion by spinner Alex Thomson for his first wicket of the match. Dan Douthwaite followed soon after, edging a rising delivery from Sidebottom to the keeper.
The visitors edged closer to a victory when Lukas Carey edged Hannon-Dalby to slip, but Michael Hogan and Timm van der Gugten survived the final three overs as Glamorgan closed on 264 for nine.