Cricket: Stout reply from James

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The Independent Online
Lancashire 310-9 dec

Glamorgan 303-5

KEITH FLETCHER spent a third day in blustery Manchester yesterday, effectively killing off the canard that the selectors never watch Glamorgan. He had a treat, three Lancashire spinners performing on a turning pitch, matched by some resilient batting from Glamorgan, led by Steve James's first century of the summer.

Hugh Morris and James defied the seamers and three early breaks for rain, which removed 18 overs, in a stand of 95 in 29 overs. Glamorgan have a refreshingly brisk attitude: they get on with it. Phillip DeFreitas gave them little space to play shots. Alex Barnett, called into the attack after only seven overs, twice induced an edge amid some dross. He was let down by his deep square-leg when Morris, on 22, having lifted him for six, tried again and was dropped.

Neil Fairbrother then used off- breaks at both ends, Gary Yates pushing them through, Mike Watkinson allowing a little more air and spinning enough to beat Morris's back-foot prod. James went to a half-century off 93 balls with his seventh boundary, a beautifully crisp square drive off Yates, but by mid-afternoon the ball was gripping.

Adrian Dale disappeared in a similar style to Morris, Matthew Maynard played over a near yorker and Viv Richards, who was given a standing ovation on his walk to the wicket, was well caught behind. James, on 64, was dropped at cover, off the bowling of Yates. Once Tony Cottey arrived Glamorgan prospered in later sunshine.

Deft footwork - and some luck - enabled the fifth-wicket pairing to steer their side out of danger, Cottey's 50 coming off 60 balls while James's 100, made out of 224, came off only 212.

DeFreitas had to be recalled to see off a stand of 119, but Robert Croft proved a third able partner for James. The sides will start about level tomorrow for the last day.