Cricket: Robinson frustrates leaders: Our correspondent reports from Swansea

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The Independent Online
Glamorgan 329; Nottinghamshire 308-8

TIM ROBINSON, the Nottinghamshire captain, frustrated the confident locals here as he refused to keep to the script and proved to Glamorgan that not everything is going to go their way in the quest for the Championship.

All the talk in Wales may be about a first trophy for 24 years but the stubborn Robinson, aided by the more demonstrative Paul Johnson, put the Championship leaders' title apirations into perpective.

If the first day had belonged to Glamorgan's top-order batsmen, then the same was true for the visitors' in their response to the home side.

It did not take long for Hugh Morris to decide that the seam bowling of Steve Watkin and Roland Lefebvre was not the answer on a pitch that was too slow to give them encouragement and, after each had bowled five overs, the captain turned to the off-cutters of Steve Barwick and the off-spin of Robert Croft.

Morris's judgement was soon rewarded. Mark Saxelby was the first to go, charging Croft and presenting Colin Metson with the chance to remove the bails before the batsman had completed his misjudged shot.

In his next over, Croft induced a lofted drive from Paul Pollard with a slower delivery that deceived the opener and, at 41 for 2 in the 22nd over, Nottinghamshire were in need of a boost. It came in the shape of a 94-run third-wicket partnership between Robinson and Johnson, dominated by the latter, who showed little regard for Glamorgan's lofty position.

While Robinson played the anchor role, Johnson's 84-ball innings saw him cut, pull and drive 12 fours and a six in reaching 70 out of a total of 135 before he fell to Lefebvre, the first of three slip catches by Steve James.

It could have been far less painful for Glamorgan had Morris held on to a chance offered by Johnson from the first ball after lunch when he was only on 18, another small indication that the rub of the green had deserted them, at least temporarily.

Robinson then decided it was time to exert a stronger influence and reached his second century of the season, and the 48th of his career, hitting the boundary fence 17 times in the process.

He found ready support from the New Zealand import Chris Cairns, with whom he added 57 for the fifth wicket, but his role changed as the day progressed and he batted with greater confidence and authority to reach 119 before becoming the best of Croft's five victims in a 34-over stint.

That will not have escaped the attention of Arthur Milton, one of Ted Dexter's scouts, who somehow found his way to Swansea. He had left before the end, but not before the country's leading wicket-taker, Watkin, had claimed his 49th victim of the season by removing Cairns.

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