Giles' early flush leaves Glamorgan in a spin

<preform>Glamorgan 198 and 323 <br> Warwickshire 564-8 dec <br> Warwickshire win by an innings and 43 runs</preform>
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The Independent Online

Cricket, like most sports actually, is often referred to by those in the know as a simple game. This should mean bat first, amass a large and imposing first- innings total and then bowl and field aggressively but with discipline. The ensuing scoreboard pressure, mental tiredness of the opposition and deteriorating pitch should do the rest.

Cricket, like most sports actually, is often referred to by those in the know as a simple game. This should mean bat first, amass a large and imposing first- innings total and then bowl and field aggressively but with discipline. The ensuing scoreboard pressure, mental tiredness of the opposition and deteriorating pitch should do the rest.

It certainly worked for Warwickshire as they launched the defence of their Championship title with an impressive defeat of Glamorgan. Apart from batting first, the basics were all there. A score in excess of 500, bowling good, tight lines, taking sharp catches, fielding smartly on the ground and, for Ashley Giles, having men round the bat. As a left-arm tweaker he had no right to be bowling in April, or indeed taking wickets, but with the pitch slightly scuffed and a huge total to offer comfort, he plodded in over the wicket and added three wickets to his six in the first innings. A highly commendable performance, and one that augurs well for his and England's summer, but also a performance that was aided by the other bowlers delivering their lines. Heath Streak persevered, Neil Carter bustled and Ian Bell continued his progression to all-rounder.

Barely a star name among them, but that is now the Warwickshire way. Goodness knows how dominant they would be if they imported a front-line gun bowler like Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan or Brett Lee. The plan at the moment is not to engage a second overseas player, and it is to be hoped that they will stick to it unless a superstar becomes available.

There were mutterings last season when they won the title with only five wins and no defeats, particularly as their last win was in late July against a demoralised Surrey at Guildford. While the critics had a point, it ignores the incredible discipline, work ethic and cussedness of their performances.

A first-class season without defeat is an astonishing effort, and on yesterday's evidence they are determined to continue in similar vein, but with the bonus of Giles being available for up to four games instead of last year's one.

Glamorgan, in contrast, showed the necessary resolution and spirit only when the game was gone. If they were to engineer any chance of a draw they needed to quell Warwickshire's enthusiasm by stonewalling to at least lunch for no loss. Mark Wallace and Michael Powell did not even make it to the end of the fifth over. Wallace was stumped off Giles, Keith Piper proving too swift after Wallace had sashayed down the pitch only to hit the ball on to his foot and watch it trickle back towards the crease. Very next ball, Powell was bowled by Streak attempting a glamorous drive.

The wisdom of playing such attacking shots so early in the morning session can be questioned but, in fairness, if both had gone for four, both players would have been applauded for bold shot-making. They did not, however, and Warwickshire have served notice of their intentions. Big scores and big pressure, and why not? It worked last year.

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