CRICKET: Wizard Weekes

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The Independent Online
Middlesex 335 and 45-1

Glamorgan 238 and 141

Middlesex won by 9 wickets

After a chilly, seam-dominated May the spinners are flexing their fingers and coming into their own at the first glimpse of June sunshine.

Glamorgan's off-spinner, Robert Croft, took six wickets in Middlesex's first innings and Paul Weekes and Phil Tufnell spun the home side to victory by nine wickets inside three days. Weekes surpassed his career best, with eight for 39, and capped the day by scoring 40 of the 45 runs needed for victory.

Although there was no sign of extravagant turn, the Middlesex pair were models of persistent, nagging accuracy, chipping away at the Glamorgan innings with alarming regularity, poor shot selection being responsible for many of the wickets.

Earlier Tufnell whetted his appetite with an idiosyncratic batting display which included a delicious drive for four on the up off a disbelieving Steve Watkin. He added 47 for the last wicket with Angus Fraser, who danced down the wicket (although one would hesitate to call it the quick-step) to deposit Croft for six and four over cover.

Glamorgan's reply rattled along at almost four an over against the seamers but the brake pedal was firmly applied with the introduction of Tufnell and Weekes. Weekes used flight and the arm ball to great effect to have Alun Evans and Matthew Maynard caught at the wicket and Gary Butcher bowled with a deceptive looping delivery.

Glamorgan steadied themselves while Weekes was rested but his second spell produced devastating figures of 5 for 7 off 34 balls. Tufnell's contribution should not be underestimated: he bowled unchanged for 25 overs and exercised his own brand of death by strangulation.

Glamorgan's frustration played direct into Weekes' hands. Cottey top- edged the sweep to the wicketkeeper and Croft perished driving. The tail were no match for the off-spinner and Glamorgan were in an abject state when Tufnell chipped in for a thoroughly deserved wicket to close the innings.

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