Cricket: Maynard in form again

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The Independent Online
Glamorgan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .300 and 363-7 dec

Durham . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .263 and .62-2

GLAMORGAN moved inexorably towards a victory that will establish them on top of the County Championship table, thanks to some fierce hitting by one of England's one-Test wonders, Matthew Maynard.

Maynard's assault on the Durham bowling, on one of the dry spots on the North Wales coast, enabled Glamorgan to score at four an over and declare in time to make immediate inroads into the visitors' batting.

Glamorgan's nicely rounded lead of 400 was largely accounted for by two impressive stands. The first and lesser of the two ended at 73 when Hugh Morris was caught behind attempting to sweep Phil Berry. On the same score, his opening partner, Steve James, was dismissed by David Graveney, also attempting to sweep.

Steadily before lunch and then with increasing aggression afterwards, Maynard and Adrian Dale built what should be a winning lead. Maynard, whose brief Test career ended when he chose to tour South Africa in 1989, hit 10 fours and four sixes in an often savage innings before falling leg before to John Wood two runs short of a spectacular century.

In the process Maynard thrashed Ian Botham out of the firing line, long before it was possible to judge whether his 4 for 11 in the first innings was the mark of his resurgence as a strike bowler or, as his captain seemed to suspect, a fluke.

Two of his sixes came in the 18 Maynard took off Botham's fourth and last over; to those around the Colwyn Bay ground who wondered why Graveney had taken 50 overs to bring him on, here was an answer of sorts.

Dale was out for 85, mishooking Anderson Cummins but, even with partners going down at the other end, Viv Richards provided a glimpse of past glories with an unbeaten 62.

If he had trouble timing the ball before tea, there were no such problems once his sandwiches were digested and three imperious boundaries after he had reached his half-century were vintage Richards.

A more streaky four from Colin Metson was the signal that enough was enough. More than enough, one fears, for Durham, who lost Wayne Larkins with their score on 12, a delivery from Roland Lefebvre edged to Richards in the slips.

Botham and Paul Parker were hitting out happily enough until Parker was trapped leg before in Robert Croft's first over of off-spin and Durham now have a long way to go to avoid defeat tomorrow.