Cricket: Rollins rolls over Glamorgan

CRICKET: Championship leaders unsettled: Derbyshire 379-4 v Glamorgan
Click to follow
The Independent Online
It must have seemed like a good idea at the time when Matthew Maynard opted to bowl first here yesterday. After all, were not Glamorgan top of the table, had not Derbyshire just come through yet another traumatic week on and off the field and, most important of all, was there not a tinge of green and moisture in the pitch?

All true. But on days like this, you have to think twice about putting in the opposition. Moreover, local historians would have pointed out it is years since this venue was a seam bowlers' paradise, even for those putting the ball in the right place.

Glamorgan manifestly failed to do that, right from the start, and they were sent on their way by some majestic strokeplay from Adrian Rollins, with a century before lunch (possible a collectors' item) against an attack containing Waqar Younis, and Michael May, who made a highly satisfactory maiden championship hundred.

When Waqar was "seen off", the scoreboard read 79 for 0 from 10 overs. The openers hit no fewer than 32 boundaries before lunch and their partnership of 247 was the fourth highest in Derbyshire's history.

Waqar bowled short and wide and there was no sign of the dreaded swinging yorker. Rollins hooked him regularly, and with time to spare and, as often happens, the other Glamorgan seamers fell into the same desperate groove.

What made it all worse was that Maynard operated for far too long without a third man, which suited May, who found his strength in dealing with anything short outside the off-stump fed with profitable if embarrassing frequency.

There was little playing and missing and neither batsman needed much luck. Rollins cruised to three figures off 97 balls with a flurry of powerful strokes before Dean Cosker lured him into a mistimed drive. May fell to an undistinguished stroke off an equally undistinguished ball after reaching his century of 184 balls.

Yet Glamorgan should not feel out of it. Last month, Derbyshire lost here to Hampshire after amassing 523. For the moment though, Maynard has to live with his decision much like Len Hutton, who once confessed that rarely did a day pass when he did not reflect on the time he put Australia in at Brisbane and saw them score over 600.