Northamptonshire drew with Glamorgan on the final day of their Specsavers County Championship match at Sophia Gardens after the East Midlands county were dismissed for 750.
Close of Play Report
Glamorgan had an hour’s batting with Nick Selman and Charlie Hemphrey facing initially the medium pace of Luke Procter and Josh Cobb, before Adam Rossington and Ricardo Vasconcelas each had a trundle. After some elegant drives, Selman was bowled by Cobb before the umpires called time at the start of the final hour with Glamorgan on 70/1.
Northants were 629/5 at lunch having passed their previous highest total in Wales – 552/9 at Swansea, 2011 – having faced 196 overs with Glamorgan poised to beat their previous record of bowling 203 overs at their Cardiff headquarters in 2000. But before this latest record to beaten took place Jason Holder was bowled playing forward to Charlie Hemphrey as Luke Procter joined Rob Keogh.
Keogh off-drove Hemphrey in the 201st over before doing the same to the first ball of the 204th delivered by Labuschagne. Wagg returned in spin mode but it was Labuschagne who ended Keogh’s vigil, shortly after he had completed a 323-ball 150 as he chipped a ball back into the Australian’s hands. Nathan Buck then joined Procter and glanced Wagg to fine-leg for four, before Procter harpooned Wagg over deep mid-wicket for six.
David Lloyd returned to deliver the 214th over before pouching, at the second attempt, an outside edge from Procter’s bat as Wagg struck in the 217th over. Ben Sanderson clattered a pair of fours before Nick Selman became the tenth bowler of the innings, with Northants on 699/8 as he delivered the 222nd over. Buck struck a trio of fours as the Northants total became the highest against Glamorgan in Wales beating Surrey’s 701/9 dec at Cardiff in 2001.
Another cover driven four by Buck against Billy Root’s off-spin saw the visitors pass 712 they passed their total at Northampton in 1998 as it became the highest-ever in first-class cricket against the Welsh county. A lofted drive for six by Buck against Root saw the total became the highest-ever in a Championship match in Wales beating Glamorgan’s 718/3dec against Sussex at Colwyn Bay in 2000.
Root then bowled the 225th over to pass the recent highest number of overs, surpassing the 224.5 overs bowled by Surrey against Lancashire at The Oval in May 1990. Buck responded by off-driving the first ball and then smearing the last to mid-wicket for four. Sanderson then hooked a short ball from Selman for four before Nathan Buck drove Root for six to complete a 64-ball fifty. Later in the over he departed l.b.w. as Blessing Muzarabani joined Sanderson. The latter though edged Selman into Cooke’s gloves as the visitors innings ended ten minutes before tea.
So far, this has been a match of records, albeit on a placid surface where a draw is inevitable in the absence of any discussions about a final day run chase. The contest had begun with a fizz as Glamorgan won the toss and batted with a smile and swagger - so rarely seen in red ball cricket during 2018 - as they galloped along at 4.6 an over. In contrast, the visitors have adopted a more tempered approach, scoring at 3.2 an over to reach 522/4 after 165 overs at the close of play last night.
With a series of batting records having already been established, today might see a bowling one with the Welsh county’s record of delivering a mammoth 203 overs against Essex at Sophia Gardens in 2000 being at risk. Michael Hogan and Timm van der Gugten resumed the bowling duties. Rob Keogh , on 74, had an early life as first slip spilled an outside edge off Hogan’s bowling before cover-driving successive deliveries from van der Gugten to the Pavilion boundary.
Glamorgan took the second new ball after 173 overs as Graham Wagg returned at the River End. Van der Gugten continued at the Cathedral Road End and saw Rossington pull a ball just short of the fielder at deep square-leg. He then swatted Wagg through the covers for four before Keogh greeted the return of David Lloyd by drilling him through extra-cover. Later in the over he was nearly run out by Carlson before Wagg switched to his slower style.
Carlson then entered the attack bowling seam up as Keogh completed his century from 234 balls, with later in the over Rossington reaching fifty from 140 deliveries as Northants went into the lead. Rossington then straight drove Carlson for four before Billy Root also had an over of military medium before Charlie Hemphrey and Marnus Labuschagne returned in their normal guises. With the total on 622, the latter ended Rossington’s tenure of the crease as he chipped a ball to Hemphrey at mid-wicket