Cricket: Dale's peak lifts Glamorgan

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The Independent Online
Glamorgan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .334-8 dec

Notts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17-0

A GREY day and a slow, grafter's pitch made the going tough for Glamorgan here yesterday. For a side who are having the season that, to quote one of the Welsh poets, is starless and bible black, they battled it out pretty well, give or take the odd lapse in concentration.

More than one batsman got in only to get out. No one was more culpable than the captain, Matthew Maynard, who slogged a catch to cover on the stroke of lunch which meant that with Viv Richards absent, Nottinghamshire had no immediate worries about their bowling being shredded.

Instead, they were frustrated by an initially low-key but important piece of batting by Adrian Dale, who made a three-hour hundred and finished with a career-best 150 not out with the backing of David Hemp's half-century it ensured that Glamorgan did not squander the considerable advantage of winning the toss.

This pitch, judging by the worn state of the bowler's footmarks at the start, has had a previous existence. According to some seasoned Welsh observers, there were holes in it. And the spin of Eddie Hemmings and Andy Afford was not only seen before lunch but able to make the ball grip.

Small wonder then that Glamorgan went after anything offering a bit of width with great relish. Nottinghamshire, having performed indifferently in the defeat by Gloucestershire, must have feared the worst again when the outside edges declined to carry to slip while the half chances failed to stick, usually off the deserving Kevin Evans.

Evans has unobtrusively carried his side's attack for much of the season. Andy Pick is awaiting a shoulder operation and probably no one imagined how much the also injured Kevin Cooper would be missed. So Evans took the new ball and soldiered on acquiring a bit of extra know-how here and perhaps a yard of pace there.

He bowled well. Elsewhere the tendency to produce one bad ball an over was no great advertisement for Nottinghamshire's Championship aspirations yet when Chris Cairns held a stunning left-handed return catch to dismiss Colin Metson they had still reduced Glamorgan to 214 for 7.

But Steve Watkin dug in to make two while 57 were added for the next wicket. Dale then cut loose against the spinners as he ran out of partners. He batted fairly well and thanks to him Glamorgan's own slow bowlers should have something to say about the outcome of this game.

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