By Edward Bevan at Cardiff
First day of four: Leicestershire 133-5 v Glamorgan
ON a day when such past luminaries as Allan Watkins, Jeff Jones and Don Shepherd were enjoying the Glamorgan former players reunion, they saw the current attack enjoy a productive couple of sessions after play had started at 3.30pm.
With play scheduled to begin at noon and end at 7.30 for the first three days, the miserable weather did not encourage more spectators for the final hour but did allow Glamorgan to bowl 44.5 overs.
Glamorgan rearranged their team after Steve James was summoned to Lord's and Steve Watkin failed a fitness test, but their bowlers nevertheless soon made inroads.
Leicestershire opted to bat on a pitch where there was enough to encourage the quicker bowlers and Waqar Younis responded by taking two wickets with successive balls in his second over. Vince Wells struck a short ball to cover and then Waqar had Ian Sutcliffe caught low down by Adrian Shaw.
Had Owen Parkin not been no-balled by the umpire as Ben Smith edged to second slip, Leicestershire would have been 11 for three in the eighth over, but Smith and Darren Maddy then re-established the innings with a partnership of 65.
Maddy, who must also have been in the selectors' thoughts as a possible replacement for Mark Butcher, struck six boundaries mostly off his legs until he also cut a short ball to cover. In the next over - Gary Butcher's first - Smith edged a lifting delivery to second slip and, at 73 for four, Chris Lewis might have had second thoughts of batting first on a lively strip.
Aftab Habib and Phil Simmons had to contend with a hostile spell from Darren Thomas with Simmons coming close to edging him to the wicketkeeper.
Thomas, who was not 100 per cent fit, was rewarded when Simmons was well held at fly slip. Habib and Paul Nixon held out until bad light ended play with 14.1 overs remaining.
Day 2: No play due to rain.
Day 3: Century by Nixon maintains trend
By Edward Bevan at Cardiff
Third day of four: Glamorgan (74-3 dec) need 285 to beat Leics (292 & 66-2 dec)
WICKETKEEPERS have made a habit of scoring centuries against Glamorgan this season and Paul Nixon (101 not out) became the fifth to reach three figures with a campaign's best at Sophia Gardens yesterday.
He struck two sixes and 16 fours during his four-hour vigil, and Leicestershire were grateful after subsiding for 146 for six.
Nixon was well supported by Chris Lewis who also struck his highest score of the season and added 107 in 29 overs.
With only a day and a half remaining, there seemed little prospect of a positive outcome after Leicestershire had batted on until midway through the afternoon. But with 20 overs of the day remaining, Matthew Maynard declared 218 runs adrift then Lewis declared after the penultimate over to leave Glamorgan a target of 285 on the final day.
There was little support for Nixon after Lewis's dismissal as John Dakin sliced Wayne Law's off-spin to cover giving the young Glamorgan all-rounder his first wicket on his championship debut.
Law, who was summoned from an England under-19 trial at Ramsbottom after Steve James has left for Lord's, then opened with Adrian Dale.
After Dale was out in the ninth over, Law and Michael Powell added 40 before Powell gloved Vince Wells down the leg side and two balls later Maynard was leg before on the front foot.
Law, however, remained untroubled and the 19-year-old right-hander from Llanelli - yet another former Welsh Schools player to come through the ranks - can take credit from the way he coped with Leicestershire's new ball attack of Lewis and Alan Mullally.
Darren Maddy who, despite his impressive form in one-day cricket this season, has struggled in the championship, remained undeated after Wells and Ian Sutcliffe departed in the space of four balls.
Day 4: Lewis and Mullally get into the swing
By Edward Bevan at Cardiff
GLAMORGAN'S weak hold on their county championship title was loosened further by Leicestershire at Sophia Gardens yesterday.
Asked to score 285 runs off a minimum of 84 overs, Glamorgan at no stage looked like winning. They capitulated in the afternoon session when they lost four wickets in 11 overs and lost by 104 runs with 30 overs remaining.
After the start was delayed by 45 minutes, the target was, on the surface, a generous one, but Glamorgan were weakened by the absence of England internationals Steve James and Robert Croft and the weather favoured the swing bowlers.
Wayne Law, a 19-year-old batsman from Llanelli making his championship debut, was not overawed, and, after an undefeated first innings, struck Alan Mullally for three boundaries in his first two overs.
It was the only aggression Glamorgan were to show. Chris Lewis had Adrian Dale beautifully caught low down to his left by Phil Simmons at first slip and in the following over, Darren Maddy held on to an equally good catch to get rid of Law off Mullally.
Mike Powell was then caught behind off Lewis and at 32 for three, Glamorgan required substantial contributions from Matthew Maynard and Tony Cottey, their most experienced batsmen. But both struggled initially against the accuracy and movement of Mullally and Lewis.
Mullally, who did not play any cricket last winter, has shortened his run-up and his controlled approached has paid dividends this season, as his 26 wickets before this game at an average 17 runs apiece testify.
Glamorgan had a stroke of fortune just before lunch when Cottey edged Vince Wells to the wicketkeeper Paul Nixon, who appeared to have held the catch only to lose the ball as he made contact with the ground.
Maynard, who missed a month at the start of the season, has struggled for runs following his second-ball duck in the first innings. He took 24 balls and 20 minutes to score his first runs yesterday.
A back-foot punch through the covers off Lewis was vintage Maynard, but there was little on offer from the seamers, who kept probing away on or around off stump.
The dark clouds gave way to a sunny afternoon and, as the ball got softer and the threat of excessive swing diminished, the fourth-wicket pair started to prosper, albeit without much confidence.
Maynard's luck at last appeared to have turned but, after Glamorgan had reached 100, he was run out in unfortunate circumstances for the second consecutive match.
Against Worcestershire last week, Maynard was run out backing up, undone by a deflected drive. Yesterday, Cottey hit Mullally to cover, called his captain for a run but as they met each other half-way down the wicket, they watched Ben Smith hit the stumps despite throwing off balance.
Maynard had been playing himself back to form, but his tentativeness betrayed the lack of confidence which comes with an average of 14. No matter what his form, Glamorgan's faint hopes of victory disappeared along with their captain up the pavilion steps.
Cottey did not last much longer. Unsettled in his part in Maynard's downfall, he mistimed a pull off a Mullally long hop and planted the ball to the hands of John Dakin at long leg.
Leicestershire's sense of urgency increased as the wind picked up and Mullally bowled with considerable fire. Lewis adopted attacking fields but the runs came at a trickle; the early rate of six an over more than halved.
Adrian Shaw, whose run in the first team is under threat from Ismail Dawood, perished when Lewis turned to spin for the first time.
Shaw pushed uncertainly forward in the left-armer Matthew Brimson's second over and was caught at silly mid-off by Iain Sutcliffe to leave Glamorgan in desperate trouble at 119 for six.
Butcher perished at the same score, but there was little he could do against a ball from Lewis which cut back at him and kept low, trapping him leg before.
Brimson, obtaining considerable turn, soon disposed of the tail, taking four for four as Glamorgan's last seven wickets tumbled for just 44 runs in 20 overs.