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Nottinghamshire v Glamorgan at Nottingham

Reports from The Electronic Telegraph

26-29 June 1998

Day 1: No play due to rain.

Day 2: Careless Notts left to mop up

By Neil Hallam

``SEVEN million quid on a new stand and only five bob on equipment to cover the pitch. And a Test ground too. Makes no sense at all.'' So said one disgruntled Glamorgan fan as Nottinghamshire's groundstaff laboured with low-tech squeegee rollers beneath the high-rise splendours of the new 7.25 million Trent Bridge cricket centre to mop up a saturated square yesterday.

Glamorgan had to sit out a glorious morning while Notts coped with the consequences of sending some of their covers to Worksop for a second-team fixture the previous day. It is one of the oddities of an increasingly commercial game that so little resources are devoted to countering bad weather.

Result: a first-day wash-out and another 45 overs lost before the match got under way at 2.30pm. Another 34 minutes, in which Glamorgan reached 45 for one from 8.5 overs after winning the toss, and it was all over for the day as a torrential downpair turned the part of the square beyond the covers to liquid mud.

Day 3: James knuckles down to domestic chores

By Charles Randall at Trent Bridge

Third day of four: Glamorgan (351-8 dec) lead Notts (31-2 dec) by 320 runs

THE mobile phone rang while Steve James was driving to Trent Bridge yesterday morning and that was when the Glamorgan opener heard the bad news from David Graveney, chairman of England's selectors.

When James arrived at the ground, knowing he had been dropped after one Test, he received a fax from Mike Atherton, his friend and former colleague at Cambridge University, urging him to keep his form going and not to become disillusioned. James did indeed keep his prime form going by adding exactly 100 to his overnight score. This was his third championship hundred of the season, though Nottinghamshire did him the favour of spurning two good chances off Chris Tolley's bowling.

Glamorgan were spurred by James's excellence to maximum batting points, with Robert Croft making 63 not out down the order, assisted by that sound cricketer Darren Thomas.

Matthew Maynard's intention to forfeit Glamorgan's second innings will set up an interesting target for today, though their bowling lacks the potency of last year's title summer in the absence of Waqar Younis, who is seeing a specialist tomorrow for his troublesome elbow.

James, with his knack of scoring briskly without lofting the ball or taking obvious risks, worked the ball away over the soggy outfield with confidence and skill, his fifty taking only 66 balls.

His upper-order colleagues made hard work of support roles, however. Three were dismissed in the final over before a break - Adrian Dale off the last ball the previous day, Tony Cottey off the last ball before lunch yesterday and Gary Butcher before tea.

Nottinghamshire's battery of medium-pace seamers bowled tidily on a slow, responsive pitch, but Chris Read should have held James on 62, a straightforward chance behind the wicket, and Graeme Archer dropped him at slip when 75.

After almost two days lost to rain James would not have had time to threaten his career-best 235 two years ago, also against Nottinghamshire, though he easily lived up to his opinion that he was playing as well as last season.

Only Justin Langer, Middlesex's Australian, has made more championship runs than James's 854, which have put him well on the way to a third successive golden summer for Glamorgan and, it seems, for nobody else.

Day 4: Teamwork tells for Glamorgan

By Charles Randall at Trent Bridge

Glamorgan (351-8 dec & forfeit) bt Notts (31-2 dec & 274) by 46 runs

GLAMORGAN, as champions, moved up from an uncomfortably low placing in the table with a teamwork victory over Nottinghamshire, the bottom county, at Trent Bridge yesterday.

Glamorgan, upwardly mobile at last after their only previous win more than two months ago, could even make it two successes in a row this week when they face severely depleted Surrey at Swansea tomorrow.

Graeme Archer propped up Nottinghamshire's fragile batting with 107, gushing with firm drives that should blot out the memory of his miserable season last year, but the upper order failed.

Nottinghamshire were given all day, a minimum 96 overs, to make 321 on a sound pitch, which was an offer they could hardly refuse and never did before the end came with eight overs remaining.

Jason Gallian, a form horse, fell lbw playing no stroke in Steve Watkin's testing new-ball spell, and Paul Johnson skied a pull off Owen Parkin after making 40 off 35 balls. These were the two most important wickets, and two good catches by Tony Cottey, plus his one-stump hit from cover, hastened the decline.

Notts hardly missed Paul Strang, their Zimbabwe leg-spinner, who had been ordered to take a short break from cricket. Run-making remained the team's burden, despite Archer's 178-ball hundred, which he reached with the last man, a crocked Andy Oram, at the crease.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
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Date-stamped : 30 Jun1998 - 06:15