Monthly Archives: July 2011

Diary of a Glamorgan Fan (Aged 25 3/4) #10

T20 - not a success for Glamorgan this year

1 more game to go until the marathon Friends Life T20 group stage ends and the Glamorgan Dragons are left to mull another failed bid to reach the Finals Day jamboree. Six matches squeezed into the last 10 days; most of them producing the same, consistent outcome: “… beat Glamorgan by …”

And so it was to be: Surrey (1 July, 18 runs); Kent (3 July, five wickets); Somerset (5 July, five wickets); Sussex (7 July, four wickets); Essex (8 July, five wickets) – I see a pattern. There was cause for cheer with the 10-wicket win against Gloucestershire Gladiators. In fact, it wasn’t a win – it was a ruddy great mauling.

I won’t even start to indulge in Arul Suppiah’s world record haul of six wickets at the expense of five runs for Somerset. Nor Tim Southee’s hattrick for Essex…

Washing machine innit

Suppiah had the Dragons in a spin (ARF!)

I make it that six out of the nine T20 defeats this season have followed a pattern; one that was alluded to above. It has three elements: Dragons bat first and post a score probably 20 runs below par (ish); bowlers put in brave effort to defend that low target; opponents eventually go on to win the game in the final over.

If I were a braver soul with my money, I might have considered seeing what odds I’d get for that against Gloucestershire on 15 July. Mind you, after making a hash of the last encounter, I’m wondering whether I should expect the Dragons to do a win thing on Friday. Either way, Saturday is the start of the rest of the season.

Not for the first time, I write amid the Dragons’ best efforts to naff it up against a team that took the wooden spoon last year – Derbyshire. Before the game started, Glamorgan sat in fourth on the brink of triple figures in the points column. But it is looking like a battle for the last of two promotion spots in the four-day game.

The last couple of seasons have been nail-biters to the end, specifically to do with the search for promotion to Division One of the County Championship. But there is a part of me that fears this campaign might peter out into mediocrity before we reach that point – or is this just a natural sentiment for a Glamorgan fan?

Entering a crucial period for the Dragons, the second half of July will allow us to know if promotion is still a possibility in the County Championship and whether qualification from the Clydesdale 40 Group Stage is achievable. The issue is that I’m not sure if my glass half full, half empty, or filled with an end-of-barrel lager.

ADDENDUM: It seems that I had got ahead of myself and not put faith in Mark Wallace and Lord Jim of Allenby to turn things around against Derbyshire. The prospect of a first innings lead was a small one… but it is a “funny ol’ game” and other assorted clichés badda bing badda boom.

At this time, all three outcomes are possible and it seems likely that there will be a winner. Stopping the hosts getting much of a lead now is imperative.

Diary of a Glamorgan Fan (Aged 25 5/8) #9 – Woe Edition

Golf Swing

Swing. Miss. Bowled.

17 hours (roughly) between the end of Sunday’s Twenty20 match with Somerset down at Taunton, and the start of the County Championship fixture versus Derbyshire. An example of ECB scheduling at its most frantic and neither of the outcomes have been to the liking of the Glamorgan Dragons.

Aware of the fact that Derbyshire also had Twenty20 duties on Sunday too, it’s a point that extends across the county spectrum and not one fuelled by frustration. OK, so it is a little bit, but where is the sense in wedging a four-day game into the Twenty20-dominated schedule during June and July.

If the ECB wants to flog the Twenty20 beast to death, continue with a two-month group stage if needs must. But is there not a concern that interrupting that with a four-day game during that period – and in such a short turnaround – will have the consequence that players aren’t easily managing the transition between formats?

I only make the point based on one or two (maybe more, that’s how exciting it is) sentiments emanating from the SWALEC over the past couple of days. I am sure, as sure as I can be (not much), that poor shot selection cropped up on a couple of occasions when describing Glamorgan wickets against Derbyshire.

Now, I can’t be there and not for the want of trying. The work of Gareth Griffiths (@gazg2000) and Edward Bevan (@EdBevanCricket) – sterling efforts all round – keep me up to speed. And by putting 2 and 2 together to get 5, I could question the sanity of interspersing Twenty20 games with County Championship ones.

And to lose to Derbyshire with a flimsy batting performance doesn’t fill one with too much happiness. They screwed up the promotion charge on the final day last year, and they might have torpedoed this year’s one ‘n all. All I want to do now is make loud, vowel-based wailing noises and bang the table like a small child.

It came after a topsy-turvy run of fortune in the Friends Life T20, but I won’t spend too much time indulging in the competition as it bores me rigid now. After a flying Alviro Petersen helped the Dragons edge to victory against Sussex, it was a rather futile effort trying to defend 166 at Taunton that came next.

T20 Highlight Of The Week: A Man Falls Over

I’ve bored myself just talking about it. And the Rubicon Moments of the Week or whatever-you-call-it video on YouTube/Facebook seems to struggle to find items of note from the recent T20 games. This week sees a Glammy shot going for four… only included ‘cos a middle-aged man fell over the fence.

But to end on a lighter note, Cardiff has been stripped of the right to host the Test match between England and West Indies next summer because of the club’s late payment of a staging fee for last month’s rain-drowned Test match versus Sri Lanka. I wonder which ground named Lord’s will get to host it instead…

ECB chief executive David Collier said: “This decision has been taken… with a view to assisting the club in developing a sustainable long-term business plan for staging international cricket.” There are alarm bells and they are going off. I can’t tell if it’s a drill or the real thing.

Glammy chief executive Alan Hamer came back with: “The ECB have agreed to extend the deadline for Glamorgan Cricket to meet the financial terms of the match agreement.” As long as the repayment period isn’t as long as the time it’ll take me to pay off my student loan, perhaps things aren’t so bad after all.

Anyway, the Test is out to tender again. ECB continues to persist with the rather ridiculous policy of getting clubs to bid against each other until the wealthy ones win and the not-so-wealthy ones reach for a HUUUUUUUGE red felt-tip pen to fill in their financial reports for the year. Don’t ever say cricket isn’t progressive.