Jones lifts Glamorgan and raises hopes for England

Hampshire 197-3 Glamorgan
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The Independent Online

Some brightness pierced the gloom at The Rose Bowl, and it was good news for England as the Glamorgan fast bowler Simon Jones worked up a reasonable head of steam for the table-propping Welsh side and Kevin Pietersen passed fifty for the second successive Championship innings.

Jones, who had missed the previous two Championship matches because of a back injury, was certainly able to bend that particular part of his anatomy on occasion during the long afternoon session and he also picked up a wicket on a day when they were not that plentiful.

It was a frustrating day for Hampshire. They began it in third place, knowing maximum points against a side that has begun the season with four straight defeats, something they had not done since their second season in the Championship in 1922, could mean going top of the First Division.

But heavy rain wiped out the morning session, meaning that when play finally got under way at 1.10pm the players faced a minimum of three hours in the field, instead of the usual two for the afternoon session.

By the close further showers had brought the total of overs lost in the day to 43, but what action there had been intriguing enough. Jones caused a few worried frowns with his inter-over exercises to keep the muscles in his back well flexed, but he generated some genuine pace.

He caught Michael Brown on the left elbow with one wicked delivery and it was no surprise when the opener departed in Jones' next over. He hurried other batsmen as well. And if there was a tendency for Jones to stray down the leg side early on, in his second spell he rectified that.

The contest between Jones and Pietersen, overlooked by England this time, was a draw. The latter punished the rest of an attack shorn of Alex Wharf, twice smacking three boundaries in an over, once off David Harrison and once off Darren Thomas.

By the close both John Crawley and Pietersen had reached fifty, the latter in the penultimate over off 57 balls (Crawley's having taken a more watchful 121 balls). As the close they had put on an unbroken stand of 82 for the fourth wicket.