Glos Assert Dominance on Day Three

14 September 2021

Gloucestershire went through the 400 barrier for the first time this season to put hosts Glamorgan under severe pressure as they established a first innings lead of 110 runs on day three of their LV= Insurance County Championship Division 2 clash at Sophia Gardens.

Then they ripped through the home side’s top order to put themselves on course for a magnificent seventh first-class win of the summer. Having reached 39 without loss, Glamorgan ended on 57-6 when the players went off for bad light at 5.50pm – still 53 runs behind going into the final day.

Resuming on 224-4, the visitors picked up maximum batting points on a day when their lower order came up trumps with 195 runs for the last five wickets. Leading the way was Tom Price, whose 71 included nine fours and not only took his team past Glamorgan’s first innings total, but also steered them to 419 all out to leave the home side with a mountain to climb.

Despite the overnight rain the game started on time at 10.30am and Glamorgan went one better than their visitors by bagging a wicket with the second ball of the day. Andrew Salter had gone on the third ball of the previous morning and David Lloyd removed the dangerous Graeme van Buuren with his second ball of the session.

van Buuren failed to add to his overnight score of 65 and departed LBW having added 40 for the fifth wicket with championship debutant Ben Wells. Glamorgan rattled through the nine overs they needed to complete to get to the new ball and then called up Michael Hogan and Timm van der Gugten to turn up the pressure.

Two wickets fell in their first seven overs as Wells was caught at second slip by David Lloyd for an impressive 40 and Zafar Gohar became home skipper Chris Cooke’s third victim behind the stumps off Hogan for 5. That meant Gloucestershire had added 47 runs and lost three wickets in the first hour to cut the deficit to 38.

Ben Charlesworth steered the visitors to the 300 mark in the 96th over and a four from Tom Price off Andrew Salter in the 98th over took Gloucestershire into the lead. Charlesworth had hit six boundaries in his lively 44 before he was castled by Ruaidhri Smith to make it 310-8 in the 101st over.

By lunch the lead was seven runs, but an enterprising 34 from David Payne, which included a straight six and three fours, in a ninth wicket stand of 69 with Tom Price edged Gloucestershire into a handy lead. By the time he was the last man out in the 141st over, Price had raced past his 50 (127 balls) and reached 71 when he was trapped LBW by Michael Hogan.

Hamish Rutherford and David Lloyd had enjoyed an opening partnership of 136 in the first innings and once again started strongly. Rutherford hit the first ball to the boundary and Lloyd did the same on the penultimate ball of the seventh over to take the score to 39.

Then Payne enticed him to play at a ball that left him outside the off stump and Miles Hammond took the catch at first slip. Chris Dent brought his spinner, Zafar Gohar, into the attack for the next over and he got Rutherford caught by Hammond again with the very next ball to make it 39-2.

It got worse as Zafar then removed both Nick Selman and Kiran Carlson for ducks to reduce the home side to 46-4 as the left arm spinner made it 3-3 in his opening four overs. Worse was to follow when Ryan Higgins uprooted Eddie Byrom’s off stump for eight in the 15th over and skipper Chris Cooke went for just six runs.

Pakistani spin ace Zafar Gohar said:

“We had a great day. We had some good partnerships down the order when he batted and then with the ball. Tom Price batted amazingly well to give us something to aim at to bowl them out in the evening. Coming out to bat after 140 overs in the field isn’t easy and we wanted to get into them after that.

“It was a great feeling getting some wickets, especially one with my first ball. I always try to get spin, but it was a great felling to bowl a classic ball to get Nick Selman out. If you don’t get any spin in the first few days of a four day match you can always hope that it will change in the last two days. Now we want to get a quick finish in the morning with some early wickets."

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