Cricket: Maynard takes leading role: Preliminary round of the Benson and Hedges Cup throws up a surprise for the men of Kent

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Glamorgan win by 104 runs

THE RECESSION may be officially over elsewhere, but in the Garden of England the green shoots continue to wither on the hop vine. One day into a season, in which Kent confidently expect to end 14 years without a trophy, and they are already out of one competition.

With Keith Fletcher in attendance, the script called for Kent's band of rejected tourists to make an early case for Texaco Trophy selection, but they were upstaged in the preliminary round of the Benson and Hedges Cup by a series of Glamorgan players led by Matthew Maynard.

Fellow fringe candidates, Robert Croft, Hugh Morris and Colin Metson, played strong supporting roles as the Welsh side earned a home first-round tie with Sussex on 11 May with a 104- run win with more than five overs to spare.

Maynard, capped once against the West Indies in 1988, made 89 in 100 balls after Glamorgan had initially struggled on a slow, damp wicket. The 27-year-old played shots all round the crease, giving the harassed scorers plenty of work with the mouse on their complex new pie- chart computer. Morris, having taken 19 overs to reach double figures, made 44, but Maynard, the man-of-the-match, was the only player to bat with ease and his efforts looked even better once Kent batted - or rather, occupied the crease.

Chasing 237, they failed to make a run off the bat for five overs, losing Trevor Ward in the process. When the seamers rested, Croft bowled 10 tidy overs of off-spin, displaying a refreshingly high loop and good line, while Barwick tied up the other end with neat off-cutters.

Graham Cowdrey launched a post-tea attack, but Glamorgan held their nerve, none more so than Barwick, who finished with four for 15, although one of them did owe much to Colin Metson. He made a stunning leg-side stumping off a delivery that was called wide.

Glamorgan's vibrant mood was exemplified by the old warhorse, Viv Richards. He cajoled and exhorted his team as if at Bridgetown and looked in the mood for another Lord's show.