Having decorated an excellent 1993 season with their first trophy in almost a quarter of a century, Glamorgan believe they can do better still in 1994, even without the assistance of Viv Richards.
Essentially they are a young team, approaching maturity according to the captain, Hugh Morris, a view for which last summer's achievements - third in the Championship, semi-finalists in the NatWest and Sunday League winners - act as powerful supporting evidence. And they have replaced Richards with Ottis Gibson, a Barbadian whom the West Indian selector, Andy Roberts, regards as the best fast bowling prospect in the Caribbean.
The potential that a new-ball partnership of Gibson and Steve Watkin (92 wickets in 1993) may hold is already causing excitement in Swansea and Cardiff. The first test of its effectiveness will occur here today, where Glamorgan resume at 291 for 6, with Gibson 36 not out, after an opening day that began bleary-eyed but later found a focal point with David Hemp's maiden century.
Hemp is another source of Welsh optimism. An upright left-handed batsman, born 23 years ago in Bermuda but raised in South Wales and educated at Millfield, he did well from limited chances last summer, making five half-centuries in 15 Championship innings, and on yesterday's showing merits more opportunities.
Going in at 64 for 3 after Matthew Maynard was dismissed with the last ball before lunch, Hemp responded to the burden of rescuing the Glamorgan innings with a confident performance. He was in trouble occasionally against the pace of Gladstone Small and Paul Smith. The helmet saved him from one ball dug in by Smith. Balancing that were two cover drives that Brian Lara, stand-
ing at slip, would have admired.
Neil Smith had Steve James caught hitting loosely to square leg, but there was not much help for his off-breaks nor for Richard Davis' left-arm spin. .
Morris, having won the toss, took almost two hours to make 24 before falling leg before, half- forward to Tim Munton, who also benefited from an untidy swipe at a short ball by Adrian Dale. Dermot Reeve produced two fine deliveries to remove Maynard and Robert Croft.Reuse content