Cricket: James reaps a rich harvest

Notts 202 and 6-0 Glamorgan 353-6 dec
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The Independent Online
Out Grounds do not come much further out than Colwyn Bay, Wilf Wooller's old stamping-ground, a good 150 miles north of Glamorgan's Cardiff headquarters. A healthy crowd of North Walians, holiday-makers and seagulls turned out yesterday to assess the present side's chances of emulating Wooller's champions of 1948 and Tony Lewis's heroes of 1969.

They duly regained the leadership by taking maximum bowling points and added four for batting, but even on a turning pitch will do well to collect 16 more for a win - 156 overs having been lost on the first two days.

Steve James, striking the ball beautifully to reach 162, his highest score of a prolific season, held the innings together. Apart from being knocked over by Middlesex for 31, the batting has generally been solid again this year, and Waqar Younis' arrival as strike-bowler has certainly had the desired effect.

As usual, there have been few phone-calls from the selectors, which has helped maintain a remarkable consistency of personnel. Only 12 players have appeared all season, a 13th, Phil North, failing to make it for this game when he overslept, missing a return to the side for the first time in eight years. A new, louder alarm-clock would appear to be a worthwhile investment.

Glamorgan would like to have used North in tandem with Robert Croft here, especially yesterday morning when held up for almost an hour by the last- wicket pair Wayne Noon and Mark Bowen. It took 13 overs before Darren Thomas induced a thin edge to the wicketkeeper from Bowen.

It was just as well that James was in such fine nick, for no partner stuck with him for long. After making the first 20 runs of the innings himself, he lost Hugh Morris for 12 to a shot ill-timed in every sense; it was the last over before lunch and gave Kevin Evans a comfortable catch at deep midwicket.

James lost three more colleagues in just seven overs while advancing at speed from 50 to 100. Nathan Astle had Adrian Dale (20) and Tony Cottey (0) leg-before and Matthew Maynard (13) miscued Usman Afzaal to mid-on.

Robert Croft, however unimpressive with the bat at Test level, proved more durable in adding a vigorous 31 to his 55 in the NatWest, and a lead of 151 gave him something to bowl at tomorrow.