Cricket: Cowan injured as Glamorgan thrive

Glamorgan 307-7 v Essex
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The Independent Online
There were confusing goings-on here yesterday. England's Caribbean tour party suffered its first casualty barely 24 hours after the squad had been named. Ashley Cowan, Essex's promising fast bowler, was forced out of the Essex attack in the Championship match against Glamorgan after he had bowled just a handful of overs.

According to the 22-year-old Cowan, he aggravated an injury in his right shoulder while bowling the second of a four-over stint, in which he conceded just 10 runs. But it was not until he had been smashed for 16 runs by Hugh Morris when he came on to start a second spell, shortly before lunch, that Cowan decided he could not continue bowling.

Cowan said; "It's the same problem I had against Northamptonshire. The selectors know about it. I am going to see a specialist. It's the worst it's felt. I have already had X-rays and the medical experts say it is stress related. Rest should put it right and there is no problem for the winter tour."

Early reports stated Cowan was out of the match, but he later took the field, suggesting Essex were leaving open their option to employ him as a bowler later in the innings, if the injury allows. Whether Cowan makes the West Indies depends on exploratory surgery on the joint, an operation he will undergo shortly.

In fact Cowan's withdrawal from the attack was probably just as well, as at least he was spared further exposure to Glamorgan's batsmen who, while not making dramatic progress, certainly encountered few problems as they set about acquiring the bonus points they need to sustain their Championship challenge. They may miss out, but a pitch that is already taking turn could offer even less to Essex.

There was an immediate hiccup. Steve James has topped the batting averages all summer, but he was sharply taken, in the fifth over of the day, by Darren Robinson at short leg. He had made two. But there were still a couple of century partnerships and Morris, and later Matthew Maynard, proved more difficult to budge.

Morris in fact batted himself out of a lean spell. He had a hundred within his grasp, having rounded his boundary count up to a dozen when he fell lbw to the left-arm swing of Mark Ilott. By then he had shared in a second- wicket stand of 138 with Adrian Dale.

Then it was the turn of captain Maynard. Typically for a man in form, little escaped the middle of his bat, but he did have a let-off, missed at midwicket on 60. Perhaps that unsettled him because, not long afterwards, Maynard went, rather tamely, caught and bowled by Danny Law.