Cricket: Kitchen too hot for Glamorgan

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Nottinghamshire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .476-6 dec

Glamorgan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .221 and 29-0

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE encountered only sporadic resistance from Glamorgan as their quest for second place in the Championship moved a significant step forward on a stop-start day here yesterday.

With the Welshmen forced to follow on 255 behind and the pitch, so benign on Tuesday, beginning to display explosive tendencies, any result other than a resounding home victory seems inconceivable.

Assuming they do complete the job successfully today, the Nottinghamshire players ought to stand the Central Avenue groundstaff one round of drinks at least. It was a remarkable effort on their part to get play underway on time after an overnight deluge, especially given the fact that water-clearing technology in these parts amounts to a heap of sponges and a mangle to wring them out. Even with five stoppages for rain or bad light, there were still 84 overs possible, largely due to the swiftness with which Les Kitchen and his team had the covers on and off again.

Glamorgan may well wish they had not been so efficient. At few points did they enjoy anything but discomfort as they sought a theoretical target of 327 to avoid being asked to bat again. Chris Lewis, ending the season in positive mood and consistent form, would have posed problems for any batsman as the wicket, which had not entirely escaped the wet, showed symptoms of the expected deterioration. Both Matthew Maynard and Adrian Dale succumbed to balls that rose sharply from a good length, to be snapped up alertly behind the stumps by Wayne Noon, who was kept on his toes as much as anyone.

Until Robert Croft went on the attack against Andy Afford, depositing three balls in the river at the town end in the process, Maynard's three- and-a-half hour 69 was the only lasting obstacle in Nottinghamshire's way.

Afford, one of three left- arm spinners in the Nottinghamshire attack, made the ball turn and bounce to match Lewis in finishing with three wickets as Glamorgan subsided 221 all out. Gary Butcher is unable to take further part in the match, having tripped over a low wall during one of Wednesday's stoppages and broken his right ankle.

Nottinghamshire's Mark Crawley, elder brother of the Lancashire and England batsman John, has announced his retirement from first-class cricket at 26. The former Oxford University captain, who moved to Trent Bridge from Old Trafford in 1991, has decided to pursue a career in the City after failing to keep a regular first-team place.

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