Cricket: Vintage Emburey tilts balance

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Middlesex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .267 and 368-4 dec

Glamorgan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .285 and 270

Middlesex win by 80 runs

IF THE eyesight is not what it was, the focus remains undimmed. Gnawing away in time-honoured fashion at the nerves of an inexperienced Glamorgan order on a blameless pitch, that old sweat, John Emburey, yesterday earned the county champions their first win in a month with 6 for 89, his best return of the season.

Set 351 after Mike Gatting's overnight declaration, the championship basement dwellers were eyeing a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. None of their number, after all, had been born when last the county won a championship fixture here in 1954.

Hugh Morris and Adrian Dale reached lunch with 102 on the board without loss or alarm. So untroubled were they in raising what was only Glamorgan's second three-figure opening stand this championship that when Emburey defeated Dale's outside edge in the 29th over, the reaction of the fielders suggested Mafeking had been relieved.

Soldiering on despite a detached retina and entrusted with carrying an attack deprived of four regular choices, Emburey altered the tenor abruptly in successive overs after lunch, trapping Morris with a creeper, then having Dale snared at backward short leg off an inside edge. Three overs later, Matthew Maynard was bowled behind his legs sweeping at Paul Weekes.

Glamorgan's two in-form batsmen, David Hemp and Tony Cottey, now added 68 in 17 sprightly overs, whereupon Emburey lured the former into a return catch.

Resting briefly after a spell of 31 overs broken only by lunch, Emburey promptly dispatched Alistair Dalton and Ottis Gibson in consecutive overs after tea to deny Cottey his role as saviour.