Welsh on song

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The Independent Online
Warwickshire, the pre-season bookmakers' favourites to regain the Britannic Assurance County Championship, looked anything but a side set to reassert their superiority in the four-day game when the campaign began yesterday.

The 1995 champions were dismissed for just 151 by Glamorgan at Cardiff in their opening Championship innings of the summer, and then had no joy in the field as their opponents set about building a commanding lead.

Darren Thomas took 4 for 62 as the Welsh county showed that they can bowl sides out even before the arrival of their overseas player, Waqar Younis, from Pakistan. The off-spinner Robert Croft, who is likely to be on England duty for much of the season, took two wickets.

Glamorgan restricted Warwickshire to a best individual knock of 36 from Neil Smith, and then reached tea with their opening partnership of Steve James and Hugh Morris intact. James was eventually out for 83 but Morris was unbeaten on 78 at the close with Glamorgan 195 for 1.

There were two centurions on the opening day of Championship play. Lancashire's Graham Lloyd was the top scorer - he was dismissed for 102 as Lancashire piled up a formidable tally of 494 for 9 at Old Trafford to turn David Boon's first day of serious action as captain of Durham into something of a nightmare. As well as Lloyd, Jason Gallian, Peter Martin, Glen Chapple and Mike Watkin all passed fifty.

Tim Curtis was unbeaten on 100 as Worcestershire made 286 for 3 against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. The 37-year-old Curtis, a former England opener, announced yesterday that he is to retire at the end of the season to take up a full-time teaching post at Worcester Royal Grammar School.

Devon Malcolm showed the form that once made him England's most-feared fast bowler, taking 6 for 74 as Kent were didmissed for 251 at Canterbury. However, Derbyshire were 35 for 4 at the close. At Hove, Northamptonshire scored 288 for 9 against Sussex.