James weighs in

Glamorgan 310 & 275-3 Somerset 338
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The Independent Online
The Glamorgan opener Steve James registered the 18th first-class century of his career as Glamorgan took a grip on their Championship match against Somerset at Swansea, ending the day on 275 for three for a 247-run overall lead.

James has not enjoyed the best of fortune in recent weeks and was out without scoring to the fifth ball of the match in Glamorgan's first innings on Thursday.

There were still moments yesterday when that lack of confidence was evident, but he benefited from some good performances at the other end and eventually gained his just reward.

James shared an opening partnership of 51 with Hugh Morris before his former captain, on 31, edged one from Graham Rose that left him late and was taken by the wicketkeeper Robert Turner. Adrian Dale then contributed 62 to a second wicket stand of 104 in 34 overs. Dale took three leg-side boundaries off one over from the off-spinner Jeremy Batty and found the ropes seven times in reaching his half-century off 84 balls in 105 minutes. He was bowled through the gate by Kevin Shine in the last over before tea and Matthew Maynard flattered briefly before tickling Andrew Caddick to Turner with the total on 205 in the 68th over.

Through it all, James looked composed and assured while rightly declining to take any risks. That policy was not shared by his new partner, Anthony Cottey, who was riding on the back of a first-innings century of his own and oozed confidence.

Cottey got off the mark with a beautifully placed delicate cut backward of square that raced across the fast outfield to the boundary, and then took two fours in an over by Shine.

James, becalmed for a while on 78, took the hint and collected boundaries off both Caddick and Batty before reaching three figures with a glorious drive to extra cover off Batty. He had taken 319 minutes, faced 256 deliveries and struck 17 fours.

Glamorgan had earlier restricted Somerset, 299 for seven overnight, to 338 all out and a lead of just 28 runs. Steve Watkin, who bowled superbly on Friday but with little success, claimed the last three wickets to finish with four for 47 off 27.5 impressive overs.

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