Ward was as late as the famed rhododendrons which border the intimate ground here. They are normally in bloom by the time the cricketing circus comes to town, but this year Kent arrived a week and a day early and caught the clock and rhodies napping.
The Test and County Cricket Board have given special dispensation to counties to bring their festivals forward by a day provided there is no clash with test, NatWest Trophy or Benson and Hedges Cup matches. Kent decided they could attract more corporate business with three weekdays of Championship cricket and took up the TCCB's offer. But it has begun badly for them. They opened with barely half a day as rain set in.
And in that short space of time the Kent unfortunates were also robbed of a batsman when Neil Taylor was rapped on the knuckle of his left hand by a sharply rising delivery from Thomas. It was enough to break the bone and should have come as no surprise to anyone since Taylor was perched on 13 at the time.
So it was all down to Ward on a pitch that gave the Glamorgan bowlers a deal of encouragement with early lift and movement off the seam, but later settled down. It will demand a degree of toil before yielding much.
Glamorgan had themselves to blame for not dismissing Ward when he was on nine. He edged a simple catch to second slip where Matthew Maynard spilled the chance. The next delivery was pulled hard to the midwicket boundary and Ward was off and running. He likes Glamorgan as Watkin later ruefully pointed out. In seven matches prior to this one Ward had hammered six hundreds against the Welshmen, twice hitting a century in each innings in 1991 and last summer.
Yesterday's effort, which included 14 boundaries and lasted a shade under three hours at least took Ward past 1,000 runs against Glamorgan at an average of something over 85 and there is always the second innings.
n Dominic Ostler, the Warwickshire batsman who gas scored 777 runs in all cricket this season, has had a knee operation and will miss the Championship match against Somerset at Edgbaston, starting today.Reuse content