Glamorgan look to continue unbeaten run

21 Jun 2019 | Cricket

Head coach Matt Maynard has named a 13-man squad for Glamorgan's trip across the bridge to face local rivals Gloucestershire in the Specsavers County Championship on Sunday.

Seam bowlers Michael Hogan is the only addition to the squad which drew with Middlesex at Radlett last week and took home nine points. The 38-year-old was rested following the fixture against Derbyshire at St Helen's last week as part of the club's ongoing rotation policy for the fast bowling group.

The Welsh county are still undefeated in the Specsavers County Championship and currently sit in 2nd place having secured two wins and five draws from their opening seven matches. They are three places in front of Gloucestershire, who come in to the fixture on the back of a draw to Leicestershire.

Glamorgan will be looking to replicate last year's victory at the Brightside County ground when they defeated their nearest rivals by six wickets. In the home tie of the season between the two sides, Glamorgan recovered after being forced to follow-on to almost steal the game from their Bristol-based rivals as a phenomenal partnership of 231 between Nick Selman and Marnus Labuschagne set the platform for an exciting final day.

Labuschagne's 137 at Spytty Park was his second century of the season, with the Australian all-rounder now sitting on 704 runs in the County Championship (which makes him the leading scorer in the country) and has racked up three centuries and two half-centuries in seven matches.

"We're halfway through the season undefeated so there's a lot of positives. It was disappointing not to get a result against Middlesex due to the rain, we were slightly on the back foot but we were confident we would chase any target. So far season has been going well so we want to keep that momentum going."

"There's a few reasons why we've been successful. Everyone in our batting order has performed, not just the top seven but even down to nine and sometimes 10 and 11 too. It makes such a big difference.

"The bowlers have been really good and stepped up. They get us in a position where we can win games."

Labuschagne has experienced cricket at the highest levels, having made his Test debut for Australia in 2018, and is enjoying the positive culture that is at the club.

"The environment here has been really good. Matt and Wally have been great and it’s just a combination of everything going well. I am trusting my game and playing with confidence. I’m clear in the different plans and that’s really helped me and given me clarity for what’s needed for each game and each situation.

"You come to a new club and there's always some pressure so it was good to step up and get a score on the board early in the season. The crowd was amazing and it’s great to see Glamorgan doing well. There are some very passionate supporters and it’s great to reward them with the performances we are producing.

"I never used to get big hundreds so it’s a big focus point for me to try cash in, convert. Once you get to a hundred it’s a lot easier and you have to make the most of it, because there will always be points in your career where you are struggling for runs.

Looking ahead to the Gloucestershire fixture, Labuschagne knows how good the opposition attack is but believes in his sides ability to get themselves in to a good position and get their third away win of the season.

"We played the Royal London One-Day Cup game there and Cooky scored a great hundred so we know we can perform at Bristol, especially as the lads won there last year. They’ve got a good pace attack, they’ve added Chadd Sayers plus they've got some good left armers in David Payne and Matt Taylor. They rely on the new ball quite a bit, they are strong up front.

"If we can bat well agains the new ball like we did last game and then move the pressure on to them and put them on the back foot we have a good chance of getting a result."

Glamorgan squad to face Gloucestershire: Lloyd*, Selman, Labuschagne, Hemphrey, Root, de Lange, Cullen +, Carey, Wagg, Hogan, Morgan, Douthwaite and van der Gugten