Streak's triple strike

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The Independent Online
THE sight of ground staff in wellington boots greeted Hampshire on Saturday morning, doubly frustrating after they had been on the verge of completing victory over Glamorgan inside two days. Glamorgan had a torrid time on Friday losing 15 wickets for 317 runs and being forced to follow on for the want of a single run.

They started yesterday a mere five runs ahead with four wickets standing. Anthony Cottey provided the only serious, if dour, resistance in the second innings and he began the day on 40 not out scored off as many overs.

A strong wind dried the outfield quickly and play eventually began at 2.10pm. An hour and a quarter later Glamorgan were all out with Heath Streak picking up three of the four wickets to fall. Cottey, at 5ft 4in one of the shortest player on the professional circuit, moves into line quickly and looked untroubled by the fast medium of Cardigan Connor and James Bovill, but he was undone by Streak's extra pace. He fell to an excellent catch by Sean Morris at gully after mistiming an attempted back- foot drive.

Streak also proved too much for Hamesh Anthony and Steve Watkin and Glamorgan's last three wickets fell in 12 balls with the score static on 204. Kendrick made 17 before holing out to a simple catch by Paul Terry at midwicket off Shaun Udal.

Watkin did his best to set Glamorgan pulses racing with a hostile spell which had visibly hurried all the batsmen and generated prodigious movement off the seam. Morris crashed Watkin for four in the first over but the Welshman got his revenge almost immediately with a wicked lifter which induced a catch to the wicketkeeper.

When Terry was beaten for pace by Watkin and played on Hampshire had slumped to 17 for two. Robin Smith strode to the wicket, bristling with confidence and still smarting at the England selectors' infidelity. Smith was in imperious form and rattled up 30 with shots all round the wicket to steer Hampshire to an eight- wicket victory shortly after tea.

Hampshire had not played on the fourth day of their five Championship matches this season. Unfortunately they have been on the losing side in three of them, but there are signs now that their season is getting into gear after their innings victory over Sussex last week. Streak, who is big, raw and genuinely quick, is now settling down after an erratic start and all their leading batsmen are running into form at the same time. By contrast, Glamorgan have had a lean time after winning their first two matches. Their chief area of concern is their top-order batting, which is failing too frequently and placing intolerable pressure on their bowlers.