Cricket: Thomas passes his examination: Glamorgan's willing pupil: Michael Austin reports from Worcester

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The Independent Online
Worcestershire 267 v Glamorgan

AFTER 38 days, Championship cricket returned to New Road. It was almost like a new season, especially for Darren Thomas, the 19-year-old Glamorgan quick bowler, who celebrated the completion of his A-levels with 4 for 84 in his first Championship appearance this summer.

Thomas replaced Steve Barwick and exploited an old Worcester pitch, not the relaid variety, offering some pace and inconsistent bounce after Worcestershire were 103 for 1.

They deeply regretted the absence of Ken Benjamin, the West Indies bowler who has a viral infection and will also miss the NatWest Trophy quarter-final at Swansea on Tuesday when the counties meet for the sixth consecutive day in a third game.

This preliminary skirmish looks likely to produce a positive result, barring intervention by the weather, with Colin Metson's six catches at the wicket indicating the available bounce. Third in the table, Glamorgan stand four places ahead of Worcestershire, whose modest batting included a solitary half-century from Damian D'Oliveira.

Tim Curtis had scored a Championship hundred in each of the past four seasons against Glamorgan but was taken down the leg side by Metson, his finest catch of the innings.

D'Oliveira, having adjusted his style after being dropped, followed an innings of 94 against Hampshire with 73 from 143 balls. He was caught hitting on the up, but was not alone in that. Graeme Hick had fallen into a hooking trap, to deep backward square leg, one of Steve Watkin's three conquests for 35 runs in 26 diligent overs.