As the IPL danced on from Chennai to Kolkata, a game of an altogether more sedate pace was being play out to a smattering of supporters in the spring sunshine in the Welsh capital. It was no less engrossing than matters thousands of miles away, however, as Glamorgan were able to wrestle the ascendancy from Derbyshire after a hard fought day.
It was the on-loan Nottinghamshire seamer Andy Carter who did the majority of the damage for the home side, during an inspired spell either side of lunch that saw Derbyshire lose their last 8 wickets for just 73 runs. Derbyshire’s total of 205 all out is certainly well below par on what has been an entirely somniferous pitch.
The docile wicket made Carter’s spell all the more remarkable as he accounted for Ben Slater shortly before lunch, the batsmen offering a chance to Mark Wallace behind the stumps. Carter followed that scalp with the dismissals of both Thakor and Hosein, without either imposing themselves on the match. Thakor’s dismissal was clearly a well-executed plan from the Notts-turned-Glamorgan man, as the batsman was unable to cope with a short delivery delivered from around the wicket.
In truth, after Slater’s resistance was broken, Derbyshire fell rather tamely. One factor may have been the ball itself, having been changed due to Glamorgan’s repeated insistence that it was too soft and out of shape. The new ball certainly did some damage and Graham Wagg got in on the act to take the final two Derbyshire wickets.
In the morning session Slater and Scott Elstone had looked completely untroubled, as they cut and drove with aplomb thanks to some wayward bowling from Wagg and Hogan first up. Elstone was the fourth wicket to fall, with a lazy flick to square leg, handing Michael Hogan his first wicket since his return from injury.
The only negative from the afternoon’s play, from a Glamorgan perspective, was the number of extras they gifted Derbyshire: 34 in total, with 20 coming from no balls alone. But on the whole, Glamorgan bowled nicely, to prey on a young and extremely inexperienced Derbyshire batting line-up.
The evening session was shortened due to a miserable combination of bad light and rain, and Glamorgan marginally enjoyed the better of it. Closing on 84/2 leaves the hosts with the slight upper hand heading into Day 3.
Although things could have been worse had skipper Jacques Rudolph, who turned 34 today, been accounted for twice in the gully region, as he should have been, and if it weren’t for a brace of missed chances. Thakor eventually cleaned up both openers during a quick and accurate spell that proved why he has been talked about as future England man.
It also worth noting that given England’s current spin bowling quandary, we may just have seen the future here in Cardiff today. 18-year-old Matt Critchley came on for his first first-class spell, and was incredibly impressive. His 4 overs of leg-spin cost just 5 runs and all his deliveries were on the money, with a few turning quite prodigiously. His action appears easy, fluid and easily repeatable, certainly one to look out for in the future.
But then how many times have we heard that before?