Northamptonshire win by 83 runs
ROB BAILEY may not have packed a bucket and spade when he set off for the St Helen's ground, but yesterday beside the seaside he dug himself in and built a match-winning innings of 98 that took Northamptonshire into the NatWest Trophy semi- finals for the third summer in succession.
Sloggers present should have nipped across the road to the beach because above all patience was the key word here on a low, slow wicket and Bailey was certainly not short of the necessary in that department. He opened the innings and Glamorgan never did winkle him out.
The reward for his effort should have been a century. Instead, he had to settle for the man of the match award after batting for 190 minutes, and facing 161 balls, half a dozen of which he dispatched for fours. He also struck the only six of the day.
Locals present may have anticipated a few big hits of that nature on behalf of their own side, but long before the end they wore a down-at-heel look and many began drifting homewards, in itself the sort of journey that in
the morning had tried everyone.
If roadworks on the M4 did not get you, then the 8.47 from Cardiff - a two-carriage job - apparently would have. As it was, the crowd was reckoned to be close to five figures - not quite up to the 10,000 or so who might attend a Swansea-Llanelli rugby match here, but pretty impressive for all that.
Meanwhile, Glamorgan may have thought they were on the right tracks once they had been put in the field. At one stage, for example, Northamptonshire found themselves four down for 97. Among those departing early were Alan Fordham for a bright and breezy 33 that contained six boundaries, and Allan Lamb, who chopped Adrian Dale's first ball into his stumps for eight.
Indeed, few of Bailey's partners hung around for any great length of time. The best of them turned out to be David Capel, who made 21 in a stand of 37 for the fourth wicket, Kevin Curran (19) in putting on 51 for the fifth and Curtly Ambrose (8) in raising 49 for the eighth and last wicket to fall.
Still, Glamorgan needed 225 for victory off their own 60 overs and their problems soon emerged. Whereas Northamptonshire had batted mainly in sunshine, now cloud cover drifted in and immediately the ball began to move around. They had the worst of the deal, no doubt about it.
Much depended on Matthew Maynard and our old friend Viv Richards once Hugh Morris had fallen for 29 to a brilliant catch at backward point by Nigel Felton off Curran. But although Maynard made 41 - the first time in the competition this season that he has failed to make a half-century - Richards was soon on his way after facing six deliveries and then chasing one from Capel that swung away.
The rest was collapso cricket, Glamorgan all out 83 runs short of their objective in the 52nd over.