Glamorgan will relish a rare trip to Lord’s in the Specsavers County Championship this week on the back of an excellent start to their campaign against Gloucestershire in Bristol.
The county have not played a Championship match at Lord’s since Middlesex were last in Division Two, in 2011 – and will be delighted with a repeat of the nine-wicket they secured on that occasion.
There are no survivors of that team in Glamorgan’s current playing group although head coach Robert Croft took key wickets – and the early damage was done by James Harris, the Swansea-born seamer who joined Middlesex four years ago.
Harris has made an excellent start to the current campaign for Middlesex in a new all-round role and impressed again with bat and ball even in a team that suffered a surprise defeat at Derbyshire in the last round of matches.
They will be boosted this week by the first appearance of the season for Dawid Malan, who will take over the captaincy from Sam Robson.
But they have injury doubts over Tim Murtagh and Toby Roland-Jones.
Glamorgan, meanwhile, are in excellent spirits.
Matthew Maynard, the club’s former captain and recently appointed batting coach, was especially delighted by the batsmen’s approach, and also their consistency during the six-wicket win at the Brightside Ground – sealed by an Aneurin Donald six.
“We emphasised in our pre-season preparations how important it was to be patient, and also to build partnerships,” said Maynard.
“They responded by sharing two century partnerships, and three others over fifty, and although we missed out on two batting points, our aim was to build a big score and put pressure on the opposition.”
New Aussie signing Shaun Marsh laid the platform with what Maynard described as a “chanceless” century. “After that, it was most encouraging to see David Lloyd, coming in at No 7 to achieve a career best 119,” he added. “That’s the blend of youth and experience we are developing this year.”
Meanwhile captain Michael Hogan praised the bowlers who had to contend with “a very flat pitch” and toil for 118 overs before dismissing Gloucestershire in their second innings.
“If you didn’t strike with the new ball, then there was little or no deviation afterwards,” said the Australian. “But everyone made a huge effort and we got there in the end.”
Hogan also predicted a bright future for Lukas Carey, the 20-year-old seamer who took seven wickets in the game and confirmed the promise he showed in his first full season in 2017.
“He has worked hard during the winter, lost some weight and spent some time with the ECB which has helped him develop his skills,” added the 36-year-old, who will urge his team-mates to soak up the trip to Lord’s.
“It can be a daunting experience for any young player appearing at the Home of Cricket,” he said. “But we will sit down with the squad and chat about the occasion. Middlesex have home advantage and know their pitches, had and have already had a resounding win against Northants in the opening game.”
Article written by Edward Bevan for the ECB Independent Reporter Network.