(writes Andrew Hignell)
The rain shower which forced the players off at 3.31pm proved to be a brief one as play resumed immediately afterwards with Graham Wagg making further inroads as George Hankins edged to Nick Selman at second slip. 89-4 saw the arrival of Ryan Higgins and he began by cover-driving Wagg for four before clipping him to the ropes at fine-leg. But Wagg’s perseverance was rewarded as Tom Lace edged a delivery into Cooke’s gloves and departed for 42.
Gareth Roderick became Higgins’ new partner with the latter straight-driving Wagg twice for three before the former opened his account with an off-drive for four followed later in the over by a clip to the mid-wicket ropes against the left-armer. But with the total on 137, Roderick also edged a ball into Cooke’s gloves as Glamorgan secured their second bonus point.
Having been joined by George Scott, Higgins late-cut Douthwaite for four before his new partner unfurled a lofted straight drive for four when Kieran Bull returned to the attack. But next over Marchant de Lange also returned to the fray and found the edge of Scott’s bat as Cooke completed another catch. 155-7 saw David Payne make his way to the middle as Higgins reverse-swept Bull as well as playing some orthodox sweeps against the off-spinner.
Another sweep against Bull however proved to be Higgins’ downfall as he skied a catch to de Lange at deep backward square-leg. Josh Shaw then edged de Lange to second slip where Nick Selman pouched a low catch to his left before Bull ended the innings as Payne chipped a ball back to the bowler with Gloucestershire all out for 181.
After a short break for a light shower, Glamorgan began their second innings with 14 overs remaining as David Payne and Ryan Higgins shared the new ball. Nick Selman flicked Higgins to fine-leg for four shortly before the floodlights came on and then repeated the stroke a few overs later as Josh Shaw entered the attack shortly before the close. Selman also nurdled Higgins to third man in the final over as Glamorgan ended the day on 23-0
Gloucestershire had laboured to 14-1 at the interval after the home bowlers had repeatedly beaten the outside edge as the ball continued to dart around. Graham Wagg and Dan Douthwaite resumed the bowling duties with the latter being off-driven for four by Graeme van Buuren. Wagg continued to pose problems with his canny swing at the River End and after several abortive appeals against Ben Charlesworth, the umpire upheld a shout for l.b.w. as Wagg claimed the 247th first-class wicket of his Glamorgan career.
31-2 saw Tom Lace make his way to the middle and he began his Gloucestershire career by thick-edging Wagg to third man for three before edging a drive against van der Gugten over the slip cordon when the Dutchman returned in tandem with Marchant de Lange operating at the Cathedral Road End. Lace square-drove de Lange before van Buuren on-drove van der Gugten for another boundary.
Kieran Bull then entered the attack in the 33rd over and was pulled for four by Lace before van der Gugten nearly held a diving catch at backward square-leg as van Buuren tried to repeat the stroke against the off-spinner. Lace also straight-drove van der Gugten for four before pulling Bull for a second boundary, but with the total on 74, van Buuren was bowled by a jubilant van der Gugten.
George Hankins was the new batsman as Lace twice pulled Bull for further boundaries shortly before a heavy shower descended over the ground and the players went in for an early tea.
With the pitch having been under cover for 36 hours, and dank conditions persisting yesterday at Cardiff, Chris Dent had no hesitation in opting to bowl first when play belatedly began at 12noon. His seam and swing bowlers responded with a fine effort during the 48 overs which followed before a tea-time deluge prompted an early finish.
Besides a scoreboard reading 80-5, a measure of the visitor’s supremacy was that only a couple of boundaries were scored in front of the wicket, with Billy Root pulling a long-hop and Dan Douthwaite unfurling an off-drive, both off George Scott, the former Middlesex all-rounder, who was the fifth seamer on display. In contrast, little was on offer from the other four - David Payne, Ryan Higgins, Josh Shaw and Matt Taylor - whose parsimony and nagging accuracy tied down the home batsmen in the bowler-friendly conditions with no less than 245 dot balls out of 288 deliveries on another rain-shortened day.
In contrast to being greeted by gun-metal grey skies and steady rain, there was plenty of sunshine and blue skies when the players and officials arrived, with play starting on time at 11.00am with Payne and Higgins resuming the bowling duties. With only a single added, Payne struck in the third over as Root edged to second slip where George Hankins took a smart catch moving to his left.
Graham Wagg joined Douthwaite and began by inside-edging Higgins to fine-leg, but with the total on 91 he miscued an on-drive and chipped a ball from Payne into Higgins’ hands running in from mid-on. Payne made further inroads in his next over as Kieran Bull feathered a catch to Roderick before Douthwaite saw Glamorgan into three figures by edging a pull for four against Higgins before swatting a six over mid-wicket a couple of deliveries later.
The all-rounder opened his shoulders again as he drove Payne for four to mid-wicket followed by a lofted drive to long-off, but the bowler atoned next over as he trapped Timm van der Gugten l.b.w. 113/9 then became 116 all out as Josh Shaw returned to the attack and ended the innings by having Marchant de Lange caught behind.
Having lost their last five wickets for 36 runs in the space of 11.3 overs this morning, Glamorgan’s bowlers were looking to extract the same assistance as de Lange and van der Gugten shared the new ball with the left-handed pairing of Chris Dent and Ben Charlesworth opening the batting. Van der Gugten struck with his fifth ball as Dent was caught behind by Chris Cooke without a run on the scoreboard.
Graeme van Buuren began with an on-drive for three against the Dutchman followed by a cover-drive for four whilst de Lange repeatedly beat the bat of Charlesworth whilst operating at the Cathedral Road End. Douthwaite then replaced him shortly before lunch with Wagg also having a trundle at the River End.