A probing spell of 3/31 by Ruaidhri Smith plus 3/26 from David Lloyd saw Gloucestershire dismissed for a modest 131 as Glamorgan began their 2016 season with a comprehensive seven-wicket victory in their one-day friendly at The SSE SWALEC.
British Summer Time may not start until Easter Sunday, but Glamorgan's cricketers began their match preparation today under clear blue skies in the Welsh capital, with a 45-overs friendly against a Gloucestershire side who have been in action in various warm-up games since St. Patrick's Day.
After Glamorgan had opted to bowl first, Graham Wagg was in frugal mode as he began with a pair of maidens. It was not until the sixth over that the first boundary was scored as Chris Dent clipped Ruaidhri Smith to backward square-leg but, with the total on 15, Smith gained revenge as the opener spooned a ball into James Kettleborough's hands at square-leg. Four runs later the young seamer's accuracy was further rewarded as he trapped George Hankins l.b.w. Miles Hammond cover drove Smith's final delivery of his probing new ball spell before clipping David Lloyd's third delivery to mid-wicket and cover-driving the sixth to the Pavilion ropes.
With the total on 42, Craig Meschede struck in his second over as he had an appeal for l.b.w. upheld against Benny Howell. His replacement Brandon Gilmour began with a crisp on-drive for four against Meschede, whilst Hammond twice found the ropes in Lloyd's second over. But a smart piece of fielding by Chris Cooke at long-on, and a direct hit at the bowler's end, saw Gilmour run out as the visitors attempted a second run.
With his side on 65/4, visiting captain Jack Taylor made his way to the middle, with Glamorgan also introducing the off-spin of Andrew Salter into the attack whilst Dewi Penrhyn Jones had a spell at the Cathedral Road End. Each began with a maiden before Hammond advanced down the wicket to strike a full toss from Salter over long-on, but three balls later, with the total on 76 he was run out by the ever-alert Wagg as he was sent back by his captain after trying to poach a quick single into the covers.
As Gloucestershire limped towards the century-mark, Smith returned to the attack whilst Dean Cosker's canny spin was also introduced, and the wily twirler struck with his third delivery as Taylor was stumped as he jaywalked down the track. His departure, on 94/6, saw teenage wicket-keeper Brandan Allen make his way to the middle to face a man who was playing Championship cricket before he was born!
The youngster opened his account by square-cutting Smith for four, before his namesake - Tom - clipped the seamer to square-leg. But the bowler gained revenge as three balls later, Smith edged the ball into Wallace's gloves as Gloucestershire slipped to 106/7. Allen responded by on-driving Lloyd for four, but in his next over, the all-rounder bowled both Josh Shaw and Liam Norwell , before ending the innings by having Tom Hampton leg before
Chasing a target of 132, Glamorgan lost an early wicket as Jacques Rudolph departed in the second over with the home captain, having steered Shaw through the gully for four, then edging the on-loan bowler from Yorkshire into the gloves of Allen. Kettleborough began by clipping Norwell to square-leg whilst Will Bragg deftly glided a couple of short balls from Norwell through backward point for a pair of fours. The flame-haired bowler then overstepped later in the over and Kettleborough duly struck the free hit to long-on for four.
The racy tempo was maintained as Kettleborough clipped Shaw to square-leg and mid-wicket for further boundaries, before the opener brought up the fifty in the eighth over by cutting the young seamer for four. Bragg added another four to the total as he cover-drove Shaw, but with the total on 59, Ollie Currill bowled Kettleborough for 22. Aneurin Donald announced his arrival by harpooning the seamer high over square-leg for six before Bragg struck successive fours through the off-side in Tom Hampton's opening over.
After surviving a hard chance at point, Donald swatted Currill to the extra cover boundary before Donald struck Hampton to third man and long-leg for further fours. Bragg then plundered a pair of fours in Currill's next over as the hundred came up in the 15th over before Donald brought up the fifty stand by sweeping Tom Smith to the Pavilion ropes. The young tyro then unfurled a laconic late cut for four against Hampton but two balls later his little cameo was ended as he was bowled for 31.
Chris Cooke opened his account with a flowing cover drive for four against Smith before repeating the stroke to score the winning runs as Glamorgan eased to an emphatic seven-wicket victory in the 21st over, with Bragg unbeaten on 45 to make it a very Good Friday for the Welsh county.
The match scorecard can be viewed at on the Total Cricket Scorer website at http://www.totalcricketscorer.com/TCSLive/TCSScorecard.aspx?id=41109