Cricket / Sunday League: James' century tilts the balance

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Glamorgan 269-8; Sussex 219

Glamorgan win by 50 runs

THE TASK of scoring 270 to win proved beyond Sussex here yesterday and Glamorgan joyfully took advantage, moving up to share first place with Kent in the AXA Equity and Law League after their sixth successive victory in the competition - this one by a 50-run margin.

At one point, Sussex seemed to have the target well within their sights. Alan Wells and David Smith were moving along effectively and had taken the total to 112 for 2 in the 25th over when disaster struck. Smith, on 42, played Steve Barwick square on the offside and set off for a run that was never there. Wells sent his partner back but not before Steve James had swooped from cover to return the ball and the wicketkeeper, Colin Metson, did the rest.

Colin Wells went without scoring and brother Alan was superbly stumped by Metson, the first of two victims in successive deliveries, both for Metson and bowler Barwick.

Bill Athey did not last long and at 153 for 7 in the 37th over there seemed no way back for Sussex. Viv Richards, though, gave them a glimpse of hope with a couple of loose overs that allowed Peter Moores to run riot. He hoisted three sixes and hit five fours in his 56, scored off just 31 deliveries before he was superbly run out by a direct throw by Richards. It was the end of the revival.

Glamorgan's 269 for 8 was built on another solid start by the openers, James and Hugh Morris. They put on 120 in 26 overs before Morris went for 67, superbly caught at cover by Athey off Ed Giddins.

It was a minor relief for Athey, who had put down a simple chance offered by James when he had scored 27 out of 46 in the 13th over. James made Sussex pay dearly, reaching his first century in Sunday League cricket, his eventual 107 coming off 126 deliveries and including eight boundaries.

Brief flurries from Matthew Maynard and Viv Richards maintained Glamorgan's momentum although a mid-order collapse saw five wickets tumble for only 36 runs. Sussex have scored appreciably more runs than this to win Sunday games but were unable to do it again, Adrian Dale claiming their last two wickets with the first two balls of the 46th over.