Lower order resistance with Timm van der Gugten making a career-best 58*, has seen Glamorgan to 235/9 at the close of the third day of their Specsavers County Championship match at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, with the Welsh county leading Gloucestershire by 18 runs.
Glamorgan were still 82 runs in arrears when they resumed after tea on 135/7 with Ben Charlesworth and Matt Taylor continuing the bowling duties. Kieran Bull cover drove Charlesworth for four before flicking him to deep backward square-leg, but with the total on 150, Ruaidhri Smith edged Taylor and was caught by a diving Gareth Roderick low to his right in front of the slip cordon.
Timm van der Gugten announced his arrival with a flowing cover drive against Taylor followed by the same stroke when Craig Miles returned at the River End. Bull also nurdled Higgins to third man for four before van der Gugten twice got a thick edge to balls from Miles which each time evaded the outstretched hands of gully and third slip before racing away for four.
With the light becoming murky, Chris Dent brought himself on at the River End with Miles Hammond’s leg-breaks at the Cathedral Road End, but the spinners were stoutly defended by the ninth wicket pair. Van der Gugten also cover drove Hammond for a pair of fours before Matt Taylor and David Payne returned as the overhead conditions improved. Another thick outside edge by the Dutchman saw Glamorgan past the 200-mark.
Bull continued to play with a ramrod-straight bat whilst van der Gugten unfurled another cover drive forr four, plus a leg glance for two to wiped off the deficit, prevented an innings defeat and reach a maiden Championship fifty from 79 balls, much to the delight of a hardy band of supporters. He celebrated with another straight drive for four but on the stroke of six o’clock, Bull’s defiant three-hour innings came to an end as he was trapped l.b.w. for 30 by Taylor.
With Glamorgan leading by six runs, Michael Hogan joined the Dutchman who completed his career-best with another cover drive against Taylor. Hogan straight drove Taylor for six in the penultimate over as his side reached 235/9 at the close.
Resuming after lunch on 6/3, David Lloyd opened his account with a trio of firmly-struck straight drives plus a cover drive against Craig Miles whilst Stephen Cook clipped David Payne to square-leg as well as outside-edging him to third man.. But with the total on 37, Miles claimed his fourth scalp as Cook feathered a catch into Roderick’s gloves.
Lloyd responded with a booming off-drive for four before Chris Cooke began with a square-cut for four against Miles. Lloyd also greeted the introduction of Ryan Higgins into the attack by punching him through extra cover for four before Cooke did the same to Matt Taylor. Lloyd also pulled Higgins for four before drilling Taylor through cover but, with the total on 72, Higgins bowled Cooke as Graham Wagg made his way to the middle.
Lloyd reached his fifty with an on-drive for four from his 57th delivery before hitting the 58th back past Taylor for another boundary, but the bowler made the perfect riposte next ball by having the batsman caught by a diving Ryan Higgins at mid-on. With Glamorgan on 90/6, Ruaidhri Smith made his way to the middle and outside-edged a drive against Higgins, before Wagg did the same to Matt Taylor to see Glamorgan into three figures.
But with the total on 101, Taylor bowled Wagg as Kieran Bull joined Smith, who drilled a no-ball from Higgins to the boundary boards at cover point before nurdling the all-rounder to the vacant ropes at third man. Smith also cover drove Miles when the seamer returned at the River Taff in search of possibly his final “five-for” for Gloucestershire.
Payne also came back into the attack at the Cathedral Road End with Smith skewing a drive to third man before drilling the left-armer through the covers for four. Ben Charlesworth also had a short spell before tea
After the clatter of 15 wickets in 93.1 overs on the first day, only one fell yesterday during 47 overs on a day which was bookended by the weather with the start of play delayed until 1.25pm before bad light and drizzle brought a premature close with around an hour’s play still remaining.
During the three hours in which play was possible, Jack Taylor, who two months before bludgeoned a 19-ball fifty in the T20 encounter at Sophia Gardens, showed a more sober side to his batting as he made a composed and unbeaten 98 during a stubborn stand of 143 with teenager Ben Charlesworth which took the visitors away from parity with Glamorgan and by the premature close, a healthy lead of 147 runs Charlesworth, a seventeen year-old from Oxford, lost nothing in comparison with his senior partner and unfurled a series of well-timed drives through the covers against a Glamorgan attack missing Ruaidhri Smith with a side strain.
With early morning rain having cleared, play resumed on time at 10.30am with Gloucestershire on 284/6 , eager to collect further batting points and further extend their lead. There were some personal landmarks as well with Taylor also two short of his century and his second single of the morning, against Timm van der Gugten, saw him complete his hundred from 192 balls besides breaking Gloucestershire’s seventh wicket record against Glamorgan.
Charlesworth added to his account by pulling the Dutchman for four and continued to look unruffled as he approached his career-best score of 77, as well as the possibility of being the first player born in the 21st century to score a hundred in Championship cricket. neither landmarks were achieved as on 72, and the total on 296 he edged van der Gugten into the hands of Kieran Bull at first slip, also ending their stand which had added 155 in 49.4 overs.
Craig Miles, soon to be joining Warwickshire, replaced the schoolboy in the middle but with the total on 307, Taylor edged a rising delivery into Cooke’s gloves and departed for 112. David Payne joined Miles and nearly edged the Dutchman into Cooke’s gloves, before outside-edging him through the slips for four. Payne also survived a near run-out as he sneaked a single against Bull before under-edging the spinner to third man
After a prolonged period of gymnastic gyrations and stretches , Graham Wagg entered the attack in place of van der Gugten and a straight six by Payne against Bull saw the visitors lead reach the 200-mark. Payne also cover-drove Bull before lofting him to wide mid-on, but with the total on 354, Payne perished at long-on as he tried to repeat the stroke against the canny spinner. Four balls later Miles chopped Wagg onto his stumps as Gloucestershire ended on 354 and a lead of 217.
Miles was swiftly back in the action with Glamorgan having twenty minutes to bat before lunch, and he duly claimed a wicket with his first ball as Brown edged to third slip where Miles Hammond completed the catch, before trapping Tom Cullen l.b.w. with the fifth as Glamorgan lost two wickets before a run had been scored.. Stephen Cook unfurled two straight drives to get the scoreboard moving but Miles struck again next over as Kiran Carlson was caught behind with Glamorgan going into lunch on 6/3.