Cricket: Tourists rally as Snell class tells

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The Independent Online
Glamorgan 337-5 dec and 80-4; South Africa 288-6 dec

THE South Africans have been wary of contrived declarations against the counties after becoming involved in innings forfeitures in their first match, against Kent, and losing the game. It was a surprise, therefore, when Kepler Wessels declared South Africa's first innings 49 runs behind Glamorgan, but in doing so he should have set up an entertaining last day.

After losing two wickets in the last three overs on Saturday, South Africa had to make sure they suffered no lasting embarrassment. They managed this through Hansie Cronje, who had two and three-quarters hours useful batting practice, and the nightwatchman Richard Snell.

When South Africa returned to international cricket Snell was one of their most promising young players: a good seam bowler whose batting was far from negligible. He played a season for Somerset in 1992, but since then he has been overtaken in South Africa by Fanie de Villiers, Brian McMillan and Craig Matthews.

He was not selected for this tour, but when Aubrey Martyn pulled out Snell was called up. He has not threatened to make the Test side, although yesterday he provided some of the best batting and was within six runs of becoming that rarest of objects - a nightwatchman who has scored a hundred before lunch.

He is a lovely striker of the ball, whether driving back over the bowler's head, through the covers or pulling and hooking. He faced 105 balls while making 94 and hit 16 handsome fours before sweeping Robert Croft and being well caught low down at square leg.

Cronje has had a disappointing tour. He sensibly took the chance of a long innings and attempted nothing dangerous. By the time he was stumped, coming down the wicket to Croft, he was timing the ball nicely.

Otherwise, there was not a great deal else to match the charm of this ground until the Glamorgan batsmen went for their strokes with abandon in the evening. They lost four wickets in the process and still have some work to do to make sure they do not leave South Africa too easy a target.