Cricket: Dale saves Glamorgan

Derbyshire 513-6 dec and 28-0 Glamorgan 364-8 dec
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The Independent Online
Glamorgan batted much better than they had bowled here yesterday, if that is not damning with faint praise, but still experienced more mishaps than they would have anticipated until Adrian Dale's seventh hundred of the season held things together.

Dale's recent form did not suggest he might be the man to save his side from the embarrassing possibility of being asked to bat again a good pitch, but on a day when others tended to perish from their first error he produced an exemplary, old-fashioned No 3 innings.

Three noughts on his last five visits to the middle no doubt helped to concentrate his mind; playing with admirable straightness he built his innings carefully in the arc between mid-on and mid-off and then patiently waited for errors in length and line.

To Derbyshire's credit these were not as prolific, in these discouraging conditions, as they had been earlier. Phil DeFreitas has handled affairs with imagination since inheriting the captaincy and it did not take him long to discover an acceptable formula of using his quicker bowlers with the breeze at their backs and the often neglected off spin of Matthew Vandrau at the other end.

Luck was probably with them at the start when DeFreitas won a marginal lbw decision against Hugh Morris before Vandrau's well-judged catch on the boundary cut off an uncomplicated but decidedly threatening innings by Darren Thomas, the nightwatchman.

After that all the batsmen got a start only to find a way of getting out. Each dismissal merely brought fiercer concentration and a tightening of his belt from Dale. Matthew Maynard took some pressure off him with the way he timed the ball superbly from the start, but just when Vandrau must have been bracing himself for a test of nerve, Maynard flicked him to mid wicket where Adrian Rollins held a tumbling catch.

A piece of quick thinking by Paul Aldred ran out Tony Cottey from silly point, when the batsman overbalanced after blocking Vandrau, and at this point DeFreitas produced something for the cognoscenti by bowling a spell to Gary Butcher without a solitary fielder on the leg side.

He proved his point, too, by getting him caught at slip. If Adrian Shaw had been stumped off Vandrau, Glamorgan would have been 257 for 7, still 107 adrift of the follow on figure.

By the time Shaw played on to Devon Malcolm, only 52 were needed. When the target was achieved with the aid of a full-blooded pull for four from Dale it probably, for once, suited both sides.