Cricket: Pike strives in vain

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The Independent Online
Glamorgan 302 and 39-1

Gloucestershire 149 and 191

Glamorgan win by 9 wickets

A WELSHMAN must enjoy Bristolian hospitality. Glamorgan allowed themselves to be detained overnight on Friday and then took lunch with their hosts as Gloucestershire's last- wicket resistance improbably took this game into the afternoon session. After rushing through 19 home wickets in five and a half hours on the second day, it took Glamorgan another two to remove the final pair and so complete their overdue first victory of the season.

Blocking their path was an irritant well known at Test level, Jack Russell, and the newcomer Vyvien Pike - a leg- spinner on leave from Somerset County Council and hoping to make the leap from Minor Counties cricket with Dorset to the first-class game.

He owed his presence in this match to the nine Cambridge University wickets he took on his debut at the start of the week and, after a respectable bowling performance here, he hinted at a fine temperament with the bat.

Glamorgan were left a target 39 for victory and they lost Hugh Morris to a lifter from Courtney Walsh in making 38 in 15 overs before lunch.

After enjoying what the West Country menu had to offer, it took two more balls for Glamorgan to wrap things up and head back home replete with 23 points. It was an utterly forgettable performance from Gloucestershire, although Russell and Pike may have some fond memories.

The young spinner coolly swayed out of the way of three Ottis Gibson short balls in one over. Only the introduction of the nagging Steve Barwick and the spin of Robert Croft promised results. In three overs both Russell and Pike were dropped before Barwick claimed his ninth victim of the game, with Pike jabbing one that bounced to short leg.

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