Last pair thwart Leicestershire

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Cricket

Leicestershire 536 & 231-7dec Glamorgan 433 & 299-9 Match drawn

Leicestershire's attempt to regain the leadership of the Championship was frustrated by a resilient Glamorgan who, set 335 to win in what turned out to be 86 overs, ended an absorbing day at Swansea on 299 for 9 to earn a laudable draw.

When Phil Simmons declared Leicestershire's second innings at 231 for 7 after 15 overs yesterday morning, Glamorgan were left contemplating a difficult decision. To refuse the challenge would be cowardly but the pitch was taking spin and to accept it could prove costly.

It was not a match Glamorgan were prepared to throw away; to have done so would have been to negate the sterling work of Anthony Cottey and Ottis Gibson on Saturday when the pair set a Glamorgan record seventh-wicket partnership of 211. Neither would capitulation have gone down too well with the other counties in the Championship race.

Steve James and Hugh Morris took their response to 82 before James was leg before playing back to Simmons. It had taken them 29 overs to do it and at tea, with 66 minutes and 16 overs ahead of them, Glamorgan still needed a further 185 runs with eight wickets intact.

They lost Matthew Maynard for 33 in the third over after the resumption, stumped by Paul Nixon off Matthew Brimson and Cottey, who claimed his maiden double century on Saturday, had managed just 10 when he tried to pull Brimson across the line only to lose his off-stump bail instead.

Morris reached his fourth first-class century of the summer and the 47th of his career off 189 balls with 17 boundaries and when the final 16 overs began Glamorgan, at 228 for 4, needed 107 for victory, an improbable but not impossible task.

It looked increasingly improbable two balls later when Gary Butcher was run out for 15 by a direct throw from Aftab Habib at extra cover. Two overs later Morris was adjudged leg before to Adrian Pierson for 106 and Leicestershire were right back in the picture.

Gibson and Darren Thomas were in no mood to surrender and took Glamorgan to 70 runs short of their target with 10 overs remaining. There were 55 needed when Thomas was bowled by Greg MacMillan and 48 at the start of the last five overs.

Leicestershire needed only three wickets and that became two when Robert Croft gave Vince Wells a simple catch off Brimson from the first of those final 30 deliveries.

Gibson, who had batted with responsibility, then went to a dreadful shot, playing all round a ball from MacMillan, and was bowled for 42. Simmons put eight men around the last man, Neil Kendrick and, for the last three balls of the final over, Colin Metson had to contend with the maximum 10 close companions. Somehow he survived.

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