Mighty Maynard strikes a blow

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The Independent Online
Glamorgan 450 and 329

Surrey 397 and 5-0

AFTER the glitter and clamour of Lord's this day's play illustrated the essential weakness of English cricket - the gulf in incentive, ambition, playing technique, income, popular appeal and media attention between Test and county cricket.

The best bowler on view was Carl Rackemann, an Australian. The best batsman was Matthew Maynard, another young Englishman who can star in the shires but has failed, so far, to bridge the Test gap. In early afternoon he continued his solid county form going from 41 to 52 in four balls to reach his seventh first-class 50 of the summer.

Four-day cricket may eventually produce more five-day players but not until counties rid themselves of three-day attitudes. Surrey went into this match without a regular spinner; in entertainment terms that is the equivalent of orchestrating only for trombones.

Not surprisingly the public, deafened by the hype that surrounds international sport, regard county cricket almost as distantly as croquet. There appeared to be as few as 200 spectators - a contrast to Lord's.

Glamorgan finished off the Surrey innings in two overs to win a lead of 53. Rackemann, lifting off a wearing surface, and Tony Pigott, now captain, lopped off the top of the order. Maynard rarely mistimed, met pace, lift and the occasional glimpse of Nadeem Shahid's leg-breaks, with total confidence as Glamorgan surged ahead again.

Pigott's options were limited by the absence of Joey Benjamin who, turning an ankle before lunch, departed for treatment.

By mid-afternoon Maynard's strokes were lighting up a grey sky when - on 97 - his second century of the season was within reach, Mark Butcher tempted him with a short ball. Maynard hooked and Rackemann, as solid as Ayers Rock on the deep square leg boundary, pouched the catch.

Four runs later Robert Croft was caught behind, Cottey and Darren Thomas soon followed but after tea Hamesh Anthony (91 off 80 balls) and Neil Kendrick, the latter once an Ovalite, piled into a tiring attack, taking 121 off 21 overs, a Glamorgan eighth-wicket record against Surrey. Both achieved career-best scores.

Surrey, seeking 383, were in their fourth over when the light failed. They will need all their seven batsmen tomorrow.

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