Glamorgan look to Laxman to fix their batting frailties

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The Independent Online

Four defeats on the trot, and a fifth on the cards here, have finally prompted Glamorgan to try to end their losing streak before it gets too close to their record run of 12 straight losses. That was back in 1922, their first season in the County Championship.

Four defeats on the trot, and a fifth on the cards here, have finally prompted Glamorgan to try to end their losing streak before it gets too close to their record run of 12 straight losses. That was back in 1922, their first season in the County Championship.

They are poised to sign India's VVS Laxman. His arrival at Sophia Gardens would be welcome. They have failed to take maximum batting points on five occasions to date. Only the Australian opener Matthew Elliott has been able to contribute anything significant to the cause.

The arrival of the 30-year-old Laxman, who has a first-class average of 54 and 43 in Tests, would be a huge boon. He has twice passed 300 and his Test best is 281, against Australia in 2001.

Yesterday Glamorgan underlined their need for a top batsman - if they fail to capture Laxman, then Chris Rogers, the Western Australia opener, would be another possibility according to reports in Wales - by following on 172 runs behind.

Only Elliott and Darren Thomas emerged with any credit. Elliott passed 50 for the fourth time in seven Championship innings before falling lbw to Billy Taylor, who had also accounted for Dan Cherry - one of four Glamorgan batsmen to be out playing on.

Thankfully Thomas, who scored an unbeaten hundred here last year andtook four wickets, showed his relish at playing on this ground by smacking his way to his first half-century of the season. It helped drag Glamorgan to a bonus point, but did not stave off the follow-on.

Chris Tremlett, a member of England's development squad, was the pick of the Hampshire attack - a minor miracle since he hobbled off nursing a jarred knee after just four balls. He did not bowl again until after the luncheon interval.

When he had the ball in his hand again he used it to devastating effect. He broke a promising second-wicket stand when David Hemp was caught behind attempting to a cut, Michael Powell got an inside edge on to his leg stump and Jonathan Hughes top-edged a pull which, when it finally re-emerged from the ionosphere, landed safely in Tremlett's hands.

He later accounted for Thomas for a return of 4-42, while Simon Katich's occasional left-arm Chinamen claimed the wickets of Robert Croft and David Harrison.

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