Hard work for Warks bowlers osper

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The Independent Online

Matthew Maynard produced a disciplined captain's half-century to deny Warwickshire the win they set their sights on when they forced Glamorgan to follow on yesterday. There may be two bridges into Wales these days, but with Maynard as stalwart as Horatio for most of the afternoon, Warwickshire's bowlers were unable to exact their expected toll.

They wasted no time first thing, when Glamorgan's first innings resumed with three wickets in hand and 15 needed to avoid the follow-on. All it took was four overs to make the visitors bat again.

First to go was Steve James, pushing forward at Ashley Giles' left-arm spin and edging to the wicketkeeper. James had been batting since Thursday, and overnight he was 165 not out from 373 balls. Yesterday, he faced eight balls and was out twice. It's a funny old game.

Next over, Darren Thomas paddled a simple catch back to Ed Giddins, whereupon Steve Watkin whipped his first ball to the midwicket boundary, leaving two runs required. Instead, Giles tantalised Simon Jones into driving at a ball already leaving him and Dominic Ostler took the first of several catches at slip. Glamorgan were batting again; Warwickshire, moreover, had sneaked in with a full set of bowling points in the 130 eligible overs.

James lasted three balls second time out, swatting a short ball back to Alan Richardson in his first over. Matthew Elliott, on the other hand, batted impeccably until lunch. Anything off line was clipped away on the leg side or punched square on the off. His footwork, in contrast to most English batsmen, puts him in position; good timing does the rest.

Warwickshire gave away nothing. Without Allan Donald, their attack can look ordinary, but their out-fielding is aggressive and gregarious. The Woolmer effect is already apparent. Another year, they might have feared a second hundred in the match from Elliott - and let him get it. Yesterday, Trevor Penney was on a cracking square drive faster than a kestrel on its prey, and the tone was set. Warwickshire do not plan to be in the Second Division next season.

The prospect of victory came a step closer when Elliott was lbw to Giddins in the first over after lunch. Adrian Dale had gone before the interval, another victim of the Giles-Ostler combination, as was Wayne Law in the afternoon when the spinner put in two long, testing stints.

There was not much turn, but every so often the ball took the edge and desperate cries of "catch it" stopped any snoozing in the sunshine. Eventually Maynard swept at Neil Smith's off spin one too many times, but Adrian Shaw's fighting 50 ensured that his captain's effort wasn't wasted.