Masterful Moody slams Glamorgan

NATWEST TROPHY FIRST ROUND
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The Independent Online
Worcestershire 253-9 Glamorgan 210 Worcestershire win by 43 runs

Worcestershire have had a dreary season, short of bowling, Graeme Hick inconsistent and playing on a flat, heart-breaker of a square at New Road. A first Championship victory over Somerset lifted spirits and this win, spearheaded by captain Tom Moody, added champagne.

For Glamorgan had made the best of starts at bright, breezy Sophia Gardens, the 'unknown' Owen Parkin knocking off the top of the Worcestershire order for only 35 runs.

Parkin looks a promising recruit, born in Coventry, arriving via Bath University. Six feet tall, fair-haired and 23, he has a lithe, whippy action, swings the ball away and has a quick faster ball. He made his debut in 1994 and would probably have made an impact last summer but for a serious back injury.

Phil Weston's dismissal revived speculation about the pitch, expected to turn, as the ball seemed to hold up. Tim Curtis was trying to clear extra-cover, Graeme Hick deep-cover. For whatever reasons, Worcestershire were 35 for 3 and 16 overs had gone. They were in a pit and if Moody is tall enough to stand on the bottom and look over the top, he still had to call upon that Australian resilience to lead them out.

He found a reliable partner in Vikram Solanki, the pair adding 100 in 20 overs; only Steve Watkin seemed able to block the escape. But even Watkin could do little about the rampaging Moody and he crowned a fine innings with a thunderous 54th over in which he hit Gary Butcher straight for six, lofted him over extra for another and was only a few feet short of a third to long-off. Moody's 123 came off 129 balls and also included six fours.

Glamorgan set off just before 3pm and for 15 overs Steve James and Hugh Morris batted as though victory was a formality. Three seamers made no impact, but as soon as Richard Illingworth appeared, a wicket fell, but not to the bowler.

James pushed to cover and set off; Morris, seeing that there was only a 50-50 chance of a run, sent him back; Steve Lampitt had the ball into Steve Rhodes first. Four overs later, Morris was taken at the wicket as Illingworth tied him up and Glamorgan were struggling when the captain, Matthew Maynard, anxious to maintain momentum, mistimed a pull.

The retrenchment was slow, Adrian Dale and Tony Cottey raising 36 in 14 overs before Cottey took a chance and Phil Newport fired in and hit the stumps. By then Worcestershire had unveiled their own new quick bowler, Scott Ellis, 22, a Warwick student, strong build, shortish run, fast arm action, late of England Under-19. He may have been nervous, tending to over-pitch, Dale and Gary Butcher taking advantage as they reduced the target to 113 off the last 20 overs.

Dale was then tempted by Hick for Moody, at square leg, to run with his back to the ball, circle and, with the sun in his eyes, take the catch with extraordinary judgement.

When Phil Newport limped out, after eight overs, Glamorgan might have glimpsed a last chance but Stuart Lampitt bowled both Robert Croft and Colin Metson and the rest, 69 off 42 balls, three wickets remaining, was arithmetic.

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