Vitality Blast - 18 September 2019
Glamorgan won by 17 runs
Venue: Sophia Gardens
Glamorgan v Gloucestershire
Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie fell agonisingly short of becoming Glamorgan’s sixth centurion in T20 cricket as he led his side to a well-earned victory over Central Group leaders Gloucestershire by 17 runs in the Vitality Blast in Cardiff.
Balbirnie struck an explosive unbeaten 99, the highest individual T20 score by a Glamorgan batsman at Cardiff, to lay the foundations of a competitive 188 for four, adding 61 for the second wicket with David Lloyd and an unbeaten 79 for the fourth with Chris Cooke.
Defeat for the visitors means that they must now wait until their final match against Somerset on Sunday to discover whether they will have a home tie in the quarter-finals.
Glamorgan made three changes to the side that lost heavily to Somerset at Cardiff two nights ago - top scorer Owen Morgan, Callum Taylor and Marchant de Lange replaced by Kiran Carlson, Dan Douthwaite and Graham Wagg.
The Welsh county reached 51-1 in the powerplay as openers Lloyd and Nick Selman lofted the ball for a boundary apiece before the latter holed out to the mid-wicket boundary. However, Balbirnie continued the onslaught as Glamorgan reached 51 for one at the end of the powerplay.
Gloucestershire turned to the medium-pace of Benny Howell and Ryan Higgins, and then to the left-arm spin of Tom Smith – and it yielded success when Lloyd was bowled by Howell as he stepped away to the leg-side, before Carlson drove Smith to Howell at cover.
Balbirnie swept Taylor to the fine-leg boundary for his second six, bringing up his half-century, and continued to blast the Gloucestershire attack with Higgins conceding 17 in his second over.
Balbirnie waited nervously for his century, as Cooke was run out attempting a quick single, before Douthwaite despatched consecutive boundaries, but the Irishman ultimately fell one run short.
Chasing 189 to win, Gloucestershire made a slow start to their powerplay, despite two fours and a six by Chris Dent in the fourth over, before being caught at short third man in the fifth as the visitors reached 49 for one.
By the halfway stage, Dent, who was dropped by Salter before reaching his half-century from 32 deliveries, and Ian Cockbain, also dropped by van der Gugten in the deep, had guided Gloucestershire to 86 for one, still requiring 103 runs to win.
Graham Wagg gave Glamorgan important breakthroughs in successive overs, when he struck the top of Cockbain’s leg stump before catching Dent at long-off off Sisodiya.
He struck again when the equation was 65 from the final five overs as Bracey, although dropped at long-on on 29, skied to point from a leading edge on 37 in the eighteenth over.
Timm van der Gugten yorked Higgins from the final delivery of the penultimate over, and Wagg claimed a third wicket in the final over when Jack Taylor was caught at long-off as Balbirnie rounded off a memorable evening for the Dubliner.
Glamorgan won the toss and elected to bat.
David Lloyd | Nicholas Selman | Christopher Cooke | Andrew Balbirnie | Kiran Carlson | Daniel Douthwaite | Graham Wagg | Andrew Salter | Ruaidhri Smith | Timm van der Gugten | Prem Sisodiya |
Miles Hammond | Christopher Dent | Ian Cockbain | Ryan Higgins | Jack Taylor | James Bracey | Benny Howell | Graeme van Buuren | Tom Smith | David Payne | Matthew Taylor |
|Glamorgan win by 17 runs|
|Glamorgan First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Extras||0b 0lb 0nb 0p 0w||0|
Fall of wickets
|Graeme van Buuren||1||0||5||0|
|Gloucestershire First Innings||How out||Runs||Minutes||Balls||4s||6s|
|Extras||0b 3lb 0nb 0p 2w||5|
Fall of wickets
|Timm van der Gugten||4||0||33||2|