|Scorecard:||Lancashire v Glamorgan|
|Event:||LV County Championship 2013|
DateLine: 18th July 2013
John Ward at Old Trafford, Day 4
Close of play: Glamorgan (474 and 183/5) v Lancashire (567)
With the issue of first-innings lead not settled by the start of the fourth day, the only way an unforced result could be squeezed out of this match was for Glamorgan to implode spectacularly in their second innings. Briefly during the afternoon session, it appeared as if exactly that might be about to happen, as Glamorgan lost five quick wickets at the top of the order to Simon Kerrigan. But a fine century from their left-handed opener Gareth Rees, helped by Nathan McCullum, saw Glamorgan through to the safety of a draw on this most unsatisfactory pitch.
Lancashire began the final day still 51 runs behind Glamorgan on the first innings, though with five wickets still in hand. They did not really bat as if they were actively pressing for victory, with the overnight batsmen Luke Procter and Gareth Cross, starting on 53 and 10 respectively, played themselves in with care rather than pressing for runs. They took the score up to 461 before Procter, mistakenly playing back to a flighted delivery from McCullum, was bowled for 75. The New Zealander quickly followed this by trapping Kyle Hogg lbw for 1.
The Lancashire captain Glenn Chapple, as if expressing disapproval of his teamís batting tactics, was belligerent from the start, attacking the bowling and showing a particular liking for the reverse sweep. He soon had his team in the lead and ran up 31 off 28 balls before being stumped off Cosker, the score then being 510 for eight. Shortly afterwards Cross reached his fifty off 92 balls, while the new man Arron Lilley hit out boldly in the cause of the team.
The last two wickets fell just before lunch. Cross, who never really showed the aggression he can often produce, was stumped for 64, and then Simon Kerrigan holed out to a good catch at deep midwicket, leaving Lilley unbeaten on 35. The total was 567, and the two Glamorgan spinners both returned remarkable figures, mainly due to their heavy workload. McCullum removed Kerrigan in his 48th over, finishing with five for 191, while Cosker did complete 48 overs, in which he took three for 133. The whole innings lasted 164.4 overs.
Kerrigan was obviously the key bowler for Lancashire as Glamorgan went in again 93 runs behind, especially in view of the fact that in the first match between these teams this season he rolled Glamorgan over at Colwyn Bay. For quite a while Glamorgan appeared to be heading safely for a draw, as the dogged William Bragg and the aggressive Rees put in 66 for the first wicket in 22 overs. Kerrigan came on to bowl for the fifth over of the innings, but did not look threatening at this stage.
All this changed when Bragg, 13 off 65 balls, was caught at short leg off Kerrigan, just before his partner went to his fifty off 73 balls. Then Kerrigan began to weave his spell around the visiting batsmen again. To the right-hander he bowled left-arm round the wicket, often with a leg-stump line, getting a little spin, though slowly, and relying more on flight and variation. But on this pitch most of the demons were in the batsmenís minds. At the other end Lilley bowled his inexperienced off-breaks accurately, tying the batsmen down.
Murray Goodwin made 10 before edging a drive to slip, and he was the first of four batsmen to fall for ten runs in 27 balls. Chris Cooke pushed a catch to slip, Jim Allenby was bowled first ball and Mark Wallace popped up a low but gently return catch, and Glamorgan were suddenly 94 for four, just one run ahead. Victory for Lancashire was suddenly a real possibility and the fielders closed in on the batsmen to add to the pressure.
Rees was still there and his new partner McCullum batted with level-headed imperturbability, so Glamorgan reached 116 for five at tea. After the break Chapple rotated his bowlers in an attempt to break this crucial partnerships, and the two batsmen were perhaps a little too eager to play their strokes, as there were several miscues that did not quite go to hand, which provided some entertainment for the small crowd that was left. By the time (ten minutes to five) that Nash drove a ball from Kerrigan through the covers to the boundary to reach his century of 155 balls, Lancashire was moving from desperation to resignation.
The pair was still thriving at five oíclock, and not long after that Lancashire decided to accept the inevitable and call off the match. Glamorgan finished on 183 for five, 90 runs ahead and safe. Rees was left with 107 and McCullum 35, while Kerrigan had taken all five wickets for 90 runs. The ultimate winner, and villain, was the pitch. It was not suitable for first-class cricket, any more than a minefield would have been.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 John Ward)