(writes Andrew Hignell)
Glamorgan meet Middlesex at Sophia Gardens in their next match in the Specsavers County Championship, with the four-day contest starting at 11am on Saturday, July 13th (Gates Open – 10am).
Having sat out the latest round of Championship matches, Glamorgan are now in second place in the Division Two table after injury-hit Lancashire salvaged a draw at Northampton to return to the top of the table. Having started this week’s batch of Championship games at the foot of the table Middlesex have now moved up into seventh place having defeated Gloucestershire at Merchant Taylor’s School.
Middlesex will, no doubt, be eager to put into practice again the lessons they learnt from their victory over the West Country side as they visit Cardiff for a Championship match for the first time in eight years. Indeed, Middlesex’s most recent visit to the Welsh capital came back in September 2011 when they were involved in a rain-affected draw. After the loss of the first two days, Chris Rogers posted a century whilst John Simpson made 95, before Will Bragg replied with a half-century of his own, with Will Owen also claiming five wickets during a probing spell.
Middlesex had been victorious in 2010 when they visited Glamorgan’s headquarters, with Scott Newman posting scores of 99 and 64 in his side’s six-wicket victory. In fact, Middlesex have a decent recent record in Championship cricket over the past two decades or so at the Cardiff ground, having won by an innings in 1997, 1998 and 2005, as well as being victorious by ten wickets in 1993 and again by eight wickets in 2002.
It is twenty eight years since Glamorgan last recorded a Championship victory at their Cardiff base against Middlesex, with the victory in June 1991 coming in a rain-affected contest as four wicket hauls by Steve Barwick and Mark Frost saw Glamorgan to a 129-run victory. Since then, the eight Championship games at Sophia Gardens have seen six defeats and two draws against the North London side.