9 wicket win against Glamorgan cements Glos as outright leaders of the group
NatWest T20 Blast -
10 July 2016
Glos won by 9 wickets
Venue: SSE SWALEC Cardiff
First met second in this top of the South Group clash in the Natwest T20 Blast at the SSE SWALEC in Cardiff, and it was Gloucestershire that secured victory against Glamorgan. Going into this game these teams were level on points with only net run rate separating them. Two points here mean that Gloucestershire are now outright leaders of the group.
Wickets for Graeme van Buuren and tight bowling from Benny Howell and Tom Smith restricted Glamorgan to 119-6. It was never enough runs to defend and an unbeaten stand of 97 between Michael Klinger and Ian Cockbain took Gloucestershire home. Both men reached fifty as they secured victory with 23 balls to spare.
A slow pitch with low bounce confronted the teams at Cardiff and it was surprising that Glamorgan chose to bat first on a pitch that was used for the match against Sussex on Thursday night. Right from the start of the home side’s innings the Gloucestershire bowlers were on top. A steady batting PowerPlay took Glamorgan to 40-0 but the introduction of spin bowling helped the visitors cease control.
Van Buuren took two wickets with his slow left arm bowling in this first over, and they were the wickets of Glamorgan’s two in-form T20 batsmen. First David Lloyd looped the ball off a leading edge to Michael Klinger at mid-off. Just two balls later Colin Ingram was pinned lbw by a van Buuren quicker ball.
From there the Glamorgan batsmen struggled to find any timing against some canny Gloucestershire bowling. It became clear very early on in the match that pace off the ball was the way to go, and the Gloucestershire attack was perfectly suited to doing just that. Benny Howell conceded just 13 runs from his four overs of medium pace, van Buuren finished with figures of 3-19.
It looked as if Glamorgan would fail to reach 100 runs, but an innings of 32 (23) from Graham Wagg, that included the only two sixes of the innings, helped them set 120 runs to win. Wagg scored 18 runs off the 20th over, bowled by Andrew Tye, to give his team a change, albeit a slim one.
A Glamorgan attack that featured the pace of Shaun Tait and Timm van der Gugten was far less equipped to cause real issues on this tired Cardiff pitch, and the extra pace allowed the Gloucestershire batsmen to time the ball with much greater ease than the opposition.
The early wicket of Hamish Marshall, well caught down the legside by Mark Wallace off the bowling of van der Gugten, gave Glamorgan some hope but from there Gloucestershire cruised to victory. That excellent partnership between Klinger and Cockbain saw their team to a nine wicket victory.
With a deficit of slower bowling options available to him Rudolph brought himself on to bowl his part-time legspin for the first time in the T20 Blast this season in attempt to try something different. By then the run rate was down to four an over and there was no need for Gloucestershire to take any risks.
Speaking after the game Cockbain complimented the efforts of the Gloucestershire spinners who did so well to restrict Glamorgan.
“I thought we did really well to keep them to 120. Our spinners did very well through the middle and Liam Norwell got us off to a good start. 120 was probably a bit under par.”
When asked how he and Klinger went about the chase Cockbain said that they used the Glamorgan innings as a guide to how they should go about things.
“We just got a good idea from the Glamorgan innings which gave us a heads-up and a chance to get some sort of game plan together. We had a pretty good PowerPlay and got off to a bit of a flyer which was probably a key thing with the new ball with the ball coming on a bit quicker. And then through the middle we didn’t really need to take a great deal of risks, we could just tick it along.”
This defeat is a setback for Glamorgan but they still have four matches left in this competition and are well placed to secure a quarter-final spot. For Gloucestershire one more win from their remaining two matches and they are mathematically certain of qualification for the knockout stages.
Glamorgan won the toss and elected to bat.
Mark Wallace | David Lloyd | Colin Ingram | Jacobus Rudolph | Aneurin Donald | Graham Wagg | Craig Meschede | Dean Cosker | Timm van der Gugten | Michael Hogan | Shaun Tait |
Michael Klinger | Hamish Marshall | Ian Cockbain | Christopher Dent | Benny Howell | Graeme van Buuren | Gareth Roderick | Andrew Tye | Tom Smith | Liam Norwell | Matthew Taylor |