Glamorgan eclipsed by shining Knight

Nick Knight's disappointment at being dropped for the third Test was at least partially assuaged here yesterday when the Warwickshire left-hander produced a match-winning century in the NatWest Trophy quarter-final against Glamorgan.

Nick Knight's disappointment at being dropped for the third Test was at least partially assuaged here yesterday when the Warwickshire left-hander produced a match-winning century in the NatWest Trophy quarter-final against Glamorgan.

Knight learned on Monday that he would make way for Graham Thorpe against West Indies at Old Trafford tomorrow week, further souring his memories of the second Test at Lord's when, in addition to failing with the bat, he suffered a broken finger, causing him to miss the NatWest triangular series.

He was in good order yesterday, bringing to bear all his expertise in this form of the game as Warwickshire posted a total that was to prove far too substantial for the Welsh side, beaten by 81 runs after being bowled out inside 45 overs.

It was the eighth time Knight has made a hundred in domestic one-day cricket. To Glamorgan's regret, however, his 118 runs should not have happened and without his contribution Warwickshire may not have prospered nearly so handsomely on a slow pitch. Knight had made only nine runs when, to Owen Parkin's frustration, the wicketkeeper Adrian Shaw spilled a routine leg-side catch.

Given that Alex Wharf was then to take wickets in his next two overs at the other end, reducing the home side to 25 for 2 as Michael Powell was safely pouched by Shaw and Steve James took a fine one-handed catch at square leg to remove Ashley Giles for a duck, it was a critical miss.

But man of the match Knight was unperturbed. Locating gaps in the field on both sides of the wicket to accumulate 11 boundaries, he rebuilt the innings magnificently, sharing a partnership of 123 with the tellingly aggressive Dominic Ostler for the third wicket and one of 71, after another pivotal moment, with Trevor Penney for the fifth.

Ostler struck seven boundaries in his 79-ball 63 but his dismissal, to a mistimed on-drive off Robert Croft, heralded a flurry of excitement, the England off-spinner almost claiming a hat-trick, holding a first-ball return catch to remove David Hemp and then finding the edge of Penney's bat only to see the ball fly past the left hand of Matthew Maynard at slip.

Penney went on to add 42 off 36 balls before holing out to the midwicket boundary. Knight, with late and lusty support from Neil Smith, had faced 143 deliveries, the last 59 yielding 68 runs, before a slice to backward point gave Parkin a somewhat empty success.

Warwickshire, humbled by Durham last Sunday, have not played well of late but, chasing 274, Glamorgan always had their work cut out. They should have lost Keith Newell to the first ball, bowled by Ed Giddins and dropped at second slip by Hemp, and did lose, damagingly, Matthew Elliott, caught at square leg off Dougie Brown, in the second over, although they were making a decent fist of it until a disastrous 19th over.

At 77 for 1 they were well ahead of Warwickshire's score at the same stage but were undermined at the double when James, responding late to Newell's call, was run out by Powell's throw from backward of square and Newell, perhaps distracted by the incident, was bowled.

The over was the second from the off-spinner Neil Smith, who accounted for Maynard and Dale in a highly creditable spell yielding 3 for 37. Shaw and Croft deserve mention for their efforts but Glamorgan's hopes were thwarted long before Allan Donald saw off the tail.

* England have withdrawn Andrew Caddick and Darren Gough from this week's round of Championship matches ahead of the third Test against West Indies. The pair are the only members of the 14 centrally contracted players to miss out. The trio will join up with the captain Nasser Hussain, Robert Croft and the Surrey pair Graham Thorpe and Alec Stewart - none of whom have county matches - for a closed-training session at Old Trafford before the Test on August 3.

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