Donald casts an explosive spell

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The Independent Online
reports from Cardiff

Glamorgan 122 and 122 Warwickshire 208 and 37-1 Warwickshire win by nine wickets

Just at the moment there is an irresistible momentum about Warwickshire's cricket which goes bubbling right through the side from Dermot Reeve, their irrepressible captain, to the substitute fielders waiting on the pavilion balcony. After this victory, which came 37 minutes after tea on the second day, they are outright leaders in the County Championship for the first time this year.

Not even the West Indians will produce a more hostile and impressive spell of fast bowling this season than Allan Donald managed when, in 7.1 overs, he destroyed Glamorgan's second innings and took Warwickshire to their eighth win in 10 matches.

Even on this slow pitch Donald was awesome. His rhythm was almost perfect, not an ounce of the smooth build-up of power in his approach was wasted in his delivery, the control was excellent and he was extraordinarily fast.

In his second over Stephen James was twice beaten for pace as he went on to the back foot before a third identical delivery found the edge. Hugh Morris was coping well with the pace before he was yorked by a slower ball concealed so cleverly that Franklyn Stephenson, the past master, would have been envious.

Matthew Maynard played from the crease at one which had lifted past the off stump and was caught behind and when Adrian Dale drove at the first ball of the last over of the morning he was caught low down, two-handed by Dominic Ostler at third slip.

Donald had taken 3 for 0 in nine balls and 4 for 17 in 7.1 overs overall in a magnificently explosive piece of fast bowling. At 29 for 4 with Tony Cottey, who had turned his ankle over in a training run the night before, unable to bat Glamorgan were still 57 runs behind and a beaten side.

Although the pitch had an awkwardly low bounce it had not the slightest bearing on Donald's success. Glamorgan moved to Sophia Gardens from Cardiff Arms Park in 1967 and there have been many splendid individual pieces of cricket played there, not least when Majid Khan of Pakistan batted for Glamorgan. But the ground can never have seen better fast bowling than this.

The fifth Glamorgan wicket fell to Tim Munton who, without the help of Thursday's heavy atmosphere, was not such an awkward proposition. David Hemp played a poor defensive stroke with his bat away from his body and was caught low down by Donald at Gulley.

Robert Croft was lbw to Ashley Giles' quicker ball which kept horribly low while Hamesh Anthony called Neil Kendrick for an absurd single to short leg and was run out. Another kept low to account for Kendrick and Steve Watkin's run out was as senseless as Anthony's.