Lamb waits in the wings

Glamorgan 334 and 47-0 v Northants 377 and 243
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The Independent Online
THE umpires delayed tea by half an hour waiting for the last Northants' wicket to fall, but it resisted to within an hour of the close, and with each run and minute of their 10th-wicket stand the visitors edged ahead in a fascinating contest. The partnership was between their designated last man, the quick left-armer Paul Taylor, a tail-ender who relishes batting, and their number 11 on the day, Allan Lamb, who had been nursing a wrist injury and batted with obvious discomfort. Their 43 runs together capped a steady day's work by Northants.

Both these sides took maximum points from their first Championship skirmish, and Glamorgan have won their five matches in all formats so far, but the key to Monday's climax could be Northants' Indian import Anil Kumble, the fastest slow bowler since Derek Underwood. Glamorgan's spinners Robert Croft and Neil Kendrick shared 65 overs and five wickets, and there were late signs the pitch might be starting to crumble.

A large crowd was attracted to Sophia Gardens in heatwave weather. They were rewarded with cautious, rather than carnival, cricket. Robert Bailey, Steve Watkin's third lbw of the innings, and Mal Loye, who tried to hit Croft back over his head twice and succeeded only once, soon left the visitors four down. David Ripley, who batted half his innings with a broken finger, and Kevin Curran saw out a sleepy morning.

Curran's demise came dramatically in mid-afternoon when, needing four for his 50, he smashed the ball back at Kendrick. The bowler had a choice of catching the ball or losing half his face, and chose correctly.

Northants' late resistance meant that they could ask Glamorgan to make a teasing 287 to win. Steve James and Hugh Morris began confidently, Kumble was soon in action, and Bank Holiday Monday promises well.

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