Cricket: Glamorgan fall short as Reeve fashions revival

Henry Blofeld reports from Glamorgan Warwickshire 239 Glamorgan 227 Warwickshire win by 12 runs
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The Independent Online
Warwickshire will soon no longer be welcome visitors at Sophia Gardens. Last year, they beat Glamorgan there in the Championship and the Sunday League before overwhelming them in the NatWest semi-final. Now, in the Benson and Hedges Cup, they pinched a victory from their hosts at the very last moment, which was a testimony to the resilience of Dermot Reeve and his side.

When Warwickshire had reached 239 on a pitch with an awkward bounce it looked as if it would be a winning score with something to spare. This was underlined when, in the 23rd over of their innings, Glamorgan had sunk to 80 for 5, Reeve having taking 3 for 7 in 18 balls with his medium- paced all-sorts.

Ottis Gibson now joined Matthew Maynard and in the next 22 overs they put on 136 with some lovely controlled hitting and made light of the conditions. Maynard began by dancing down the pitch to the first ball he received from Reeve and driving it over mid-off for four. He was positive throughout his innings and yet managed to eliminate those moments of recklessness which have so often caused his downfall on important occasions.

Gibson timed the ball well and his three straight-driven sixes were a delight. The running between the wickets was good too, and when the 200 came up in the 44th over, a Glamorgan victory was looking a formality.

In the 45th over, Gibson came down the pitch to Shaun Pollock and flashed him in the air to Dominic Ostler at deep cover. In the next over, Darren Thomas skied an unwise pull off Gladstone Small to midwicket and in Small's next over came the decisive blow. Maynard played round his pad and was lbw, although he seemed to think he had contact with his bat.

Glamorgan's last two now had to score 19 for victory and it was too much for them. The game ended in the penultimate over when Doug Brown had Colin Metson caught behind cutting, and penetrated Steve Barwick's sketchy forward push to the next ball, which hit his off stump.

When Warwickshire batted at the start having been put in, Brown, who came in at the fall of the first wicket, played some powerful strokes, making 44 in 34 balls. The rest of the innings centred on Ostler, who batted carefully and with great sense, although there was one moment of destruction when he pulled Watkin over midwicket for six. He received useful support from Reeve and Graham Welch and won the Gold Award.

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