Cricket: Folland juggles in vain

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Somerset 185 and 124-3; Glamorgan 252

A BRISTLING 56 from Viv Richards, who made a rather mysterious first return to this ground since his abrupt leaving in 1986, was sufficient to give fourth-placed Glamorgan a chance to displace their higher opponents today. Chris Tavare's return to form last evening may not prolong the contest until Monday.

Glamorgan had resumed under cloud, soon dispersed by a stiff westerly, needing 53 for the lead, a target they achieved after 70 minutes for the loss of Matthew Maynard caught at slip off a ball that lifted in Andrew Caddick's first over. Adrian Dale continued smoothly to play the anchorman and it is such performances from the lesser publicised members of the team, like Steve James's accomplished 35 on Thursday, that indicates Glamorgan's growing strengths.

Richards appeared to sustained applause, having been elected a Somerset honorary life member on Wednesday, and he and Dale took Glamorgan into a comfortable lead before Jason Kerr began making the ball bounce awkwardly again at the Old Pavilion End, Dale being caught behind.

Six runs ahead, Richards, on 42, failed to middle a drive at Mushtaq Ahmed and Nick Folland, diving at extra cover, twice knocked the ball up, rolled on to his stomach and then, triumphantly, claimed a catch.

Folland was surrounded by jubilant Somerset men until they all realised that Richards was standing his ground; neither umpire could see the catch was completed (nor, probably, could Richards), but when he reached his 50, in the next over, all he got from Somerset's players was one perfunctory, probably ironical, clap from Mushtaq.

The antipathy is unlikely to linger for, six runs later, Kerr hit the spot again and even Richards could not evade an edge to first slip. Caddick and Mushtaq then ran through the side, the last seven wickets falling for 34 runs in 19 overs.

Just before three o'clock Somerset started again, this time with a deficit of 67. Mark Lathwell, having scored 40 out of 68 for 1 at tea, found himself harrassed by two short mid-ons when facing Robert Croft's bowling. The ploy cramped that favourite punch through midwicket, but Steve Watkin scuttled him when he tried to pull a ball that kept low.

By then Somerset were only two runs ahead. Richard Harden made a defiant 35 but Tavare has been scratching and it needed a few well-aimed legside blows to make his and the Somerset score look healthier.