Cricket: Gibson on hot streak

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Somerset 372 and 112-3

Glamorgan 533

OTTIS GIBSON, the West Indian all-rounder, came good yesterday. Having recorded his best bowling figures of the season picking up five wickets in the Somerset first innings, he then hit a blistering 81 and rounded it all off by bowling Mark Lathwell and Ian Fletcher.

Thanks to his performance and a career-best 191 from Tony Cottey, Glamorgan turned the game around and notched up an improbable 161 runs first-innings lead.

By the close Somerset were 49 behind with seven wickets in hand and Marcus Trescothick undefeated on 71. If Glamorgan had not been deprived of both the services of Steve Watkin with a trapped nerve and Steve Barwick with a birth-giving wife, their position here could have been even stronger.

Ottis and the 5ft 5in Cottey rescued their side from a precarious 255 for six, compiling an effervescent 141 partnership for the seventh wicket and enabling Glamorgan to pass Somerset's total. This task they duly achieved in a mere 541 balls, mere, that is, in comparison to the 986 deliveries it had taken Somerset to compile their 372.

Gibson reached his 50 in just over an hour slapping the off-spinner Harvey Trump for four sixes in the process. A maiden first-class century seemed to be beckoning him when he was run out taking a single to short-leg. In fact it was not so much taking a single as starting one, stopping one, having a chat about one and failing to complete one. The diminutive Cottey appeared to be the man at fault.

He guiltily scratched his way to a century before he opened up and with his fellow little man Stuart Phelps put on 43 jaunty runs. Hitting the ball with tremendous power, especially through cover, he reached 191 before holing out, inevitably to cover. It was a magnificent effort.

Glamorgan's 533, their highest score at Swansea for 61 years was aided by an effortlessly charitable 81 extras. Sixty-one of these came from Adrianus Van Troost who gave away 172 runs, the most by a Somerset bowler since 1906.