Drizzle fails to halt eager Glamorgan

CRICKET: Benson and Hedges Cup hit by weather
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The Independent Online
Gloucs 176-8 v Glamorgan

The Gloucesters met all the usual hazards suffered by Englishmen in West Wales: drizzle, soft turf, sharp seamers and sharper fielding. They would not have been too unhappy with their 95 for 4 when the rain intervened.

Both teams then had to wait until 6.55 to resume, Glamorgan eager, Gloucestershire less so. Glamorgan had to win to be certain of qualifying while Gloucestershire needed only a point from a no-decision match to be sure of a quarter-final in Bristol.

The ground staff were so taken aback by a start at 11.15, despite light rain, that Glamorgan, winning the toss, were on the field before the stumps had been placed. Watkin, Lefebvre and Barwick were soon seaming the ball over St Helens. Steve Watkin, probably moved it too much.

Tony Wright and Dean Hodgson are possibly the most in-form opening pair in the country. They broke the county record with a stand of 362 last Friday and for 28 overs they were able to ride the storm. There were alarms when Watkin beat Hodgson perilously close to the off stump, and when Wright might have been caught at slip and mid-on off successive balls from Watkin.

Tight gutsy cricket played against a steely background, a grey, white- capped Swansea Bay. Gloucestershire were losing only when, after a midwicket conference, it was clear that 76 runs off 28 overs was not quick enough.

Wright pulled Robert Croft for six; Hodgson went to lift Barwick over the long-on boundary and would have succeeded but for a diving, tumbling acrobatic catch by Roland Lefebvre that would have brought the house down, had there been a house.

One run added, Wright was leg before to Robert Croft. Monte Lynch and Bobby Dawson began rebuilding until Dawson chipped to midwicket; when Lynch tried to sweep Croft two overs later, fine leg took the dolly.

The restart, watched by two policemen brought a magnificent run-out of the dangerous Andrew Symonds. He nudged Adrian Dale to midwicket and set off. Mark Alleyne rightly sent him back but Maynard, hit the stumps.

Alleyne, sent back by Jack Russell, suffered a more orthodox run out as Gloucestershire's score looked increasingly vulnerable.