Stewart Walters, 147 (vs Kent)
LV County Championship Div.2| St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury | 13-14 September 2011
Walters by a Kentish night - (c) Sarah Ansell
After 11 shining examples of the Dragons’ batting prowess in 2011 – not easy to find either – we are at the last one. The faithful mistress that is chronological order has dictated that it will be Stewart Walters who takes us into the Christmas festivities. It even comes with a pink ball to boot; a bauble being flayed around if you will.
The inaugural day/night County Championship game was contested between two sides that had long since given up hope of promotion. Kent opted to bat first and posted a modest 237 – in reply, affairs were evenly poised with the visitors 121/3. For the Dragons, it needed someone to take things by the scruff of the neck.
Enter Stewart Walters. A delicately constructed innings brought up his first 50 in 85 deliveries. It took more than 100 additional deliveries to work his way to a ton and drive Glamorgan forward, with the Victorian untroubled by the pink ball, the autumn sunset on day two or the Spitfires’ attack.
Walters would be called upon again following an obstinate Kent second innings. With Alviro Petersen fluent in his determination to bring up the winning runs, a small cameo was afforded to Walters. A run-a-ball 19 ensured he was present as the Dragons made their target, and ensured a triumphant end to a ‘meh’ season.
Alviro Petersen, 144 (vs Lancashire)
Clydesdale Bank 40 | Penrhyn Avenue, Colwyn Bay | 21 August 2011
Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. By S Baldrick.
Christmas now looms ever larger on the horizon and it is appropriate that, as we get within touching distance, that we once again remember one of captain Alviro Petersen’s finest hours for the Dragons during the 2011 summer. And not for the first time, it’s Lancashire in the Clydesdale Bank 40 that have to suffer.
First it was a Gareth Rees ton, this time it was the skipper. Incidentally, the left hander from Swansea was 24 runs away from making it a double whammy for the visitors. But if he had made it to three figures for a second time against the Lightning, it would have still paled into comparison with Petersen’s.
On the North Wales riviera, the South African was in mercurial form. He wasn’t hanging about for the first 50, with 36 deliveries all that was required. The next one took 40 balls as he clearly took things easier. The final haul was 144 from an enjoyable 89, with 10 maximums and nine fours used in the onslaught.
It was a 33-over game due to the conditions. But that didn’t stop Glamorgan in their glorious rout of 328 runs at nearly 10 an over. Lancashire, in reply, weren’t exactly tardy but were well beaten after Cosker accounted for Steven Croft. He was doing his best to emulate Alviro’s rampage, but it was someone else’s day…
Chris Cooke, 75 (vs Nottinghamshire)
Clydesdale Bank 40 | Trent Bridge, Nottingham | 12 August 2011
There was a ball. It has gone.
After some quite breathtaking displays in the Friends Life T20, it was a question of when, not if, Chris Cooke would have the chance to show what he is capable of when he isn’t needed to hit out or get out. A bad situation at Trent Bridge, but still the South African underlined his vast potential with this knock.
The hosts vindicated their decision to send the Dragons into bat first. Cooke was called upon as early as 16th over, with the visitors teetering yet again on 64/5. It was fortunate that any chance of qualifying for the next phase had pretty much evaporated before hand (and then returned to Trent Bridge as rainclouds – metaphoric).
So. What do you do when you’re five down with not much on the board and up against it? You knuckle down, give the ball a thwack and get on your bike. The half-century came up at a run a ball, before Cooke stepped up a gear. He wasn’t blessed with too much support, however, and was out for 75 off 62 balls.
Glamorgan lost by three wickets with 11 balls remaining. Cooke was the man to make the score competitive; 198 not a blinder, but better than it could’ve been. And what of the Gauteng boy? Well, another good season in 2012 could put him on England’s one-day radar. It’s not inconceivable – he has the right accent…
Stewart Walters, 102 (vs Northamptonshire)
LV County Championship Div.2 | St Helen’s, Swansea | 30 July 2011
Walters helped keep Northants at bay
We had started to see a lot more of Stewart Walters during the second half of the 2011 season, following his move from Surrey at the end of the previous year. The first glimpses of his ability came in one-dayers, but soon he forced a way into the County Championship reckoning and worked hard to stay there.
Innings like this one helped, mind you. Glamorgan had been timid first time out, posting a mediocre 252, before promotion-seeking Northants walloped 552 in an extremely heavy-handed reply at Swansea. So, with 300 needed just to make the visitors bat again, the question was whether the Dragons would sink or swim.
Coming out all guns blazing, there were contributions from Petersen, Bragg and Powell. But it was Walters who was alone in making three figures and did so with great patience and skill. The first half-century came at less than a run every two balls; the second coming in an unexpected quick-fire 45 deliveries on day four.
By the time he lost his wicket, Glamorgan were 47 runs ahead and Northants had eventually left themselves chasing 149 off 23 overs in the dying Swansea light (a little Dylan Thomas reference there). OK, they came unnervingly close, but tight bowling ensured Walters’ and Glammy’s second innings efforts were rewarded.
Gareth Rees, 101 (vs Essex)
Clydesdale Bank 40 | Ford County Ground, Chelmsford | 20 July 2011
The only way is Re-essex
We’d already seen Gareth Rees record a century in the Clydesdale Bank 40 more than two months before this game at the Ford County Ground in Chelmsford. An opportunity, too, to flex the proverbial muscles on Sky Sports. Not that it is often easy viewing when the Dragons are beamed into the nation’s living rooms.
From a Glamorgan perspective, frustration was guaranteed as rain was never far away. The visitors lost the toss and were invited to bat, making a steady start. An effervescent 38 from Alviro Petersen ended after 10.2 overs, but his partner Rees continued on his way; untroubled, uncompromised and undaunted.
But for Stewart Walters’ 48 from 46 deliveries, there wasn’t much to shout about from Rees’ partners throughout the Glamorgan innings. But the southpaw was in the middle of a solid shift that saw 50s come up in 61 and 38 balls respectively. It came to an end after 37.2 overs, and the curtailed innings not long after.
Rain limited it to a 38-over match and Rees had done the job of a classic opener; keeping the innings tethered at one end where it threatened to blow away at the other. Essex weren’t hanging around in their reply but were two wickets down at the reappearance of rain after 6.2 overs. No result, no fair…
Jim Allenby, 113, and Mark Wallace, 104 (vs Derbyshire)
LV County Championship Div.2 | County Ground, Derby | 12 July 2011
Stand-and-deliver for the sixth wicket
I’m still not sure how Glamorgan contrived to lose this one by such a heavy margin, especially after a first innings lead of 86 runs. A lot that went on had the head-scratching in full flow. For Derbyshire to reach 360 after being inserted on day one was mainly due to Jonathan Clare’s 130 from number nine!
If Glamorgan were demoralised by the lower order onslaught, it was apparent. It was difficult to see how the Dragons would post anything challenging following a woeful slump to 69/5. The much-needed backbone was provided by Jim Allenby and Mark Wallace, however, and the counter-offensive was on!
Wallace, in particular, wasn’t hanging around. His half-century came up first off a mere 55 deliveries. Allenby was much more patient, waiting for 93 balls before raising his bat. It was the latter who was to reach his ton first, as the partnership racked up a mammoth 217 to put the Dragons into the ascendancy on day two.
But. There is no happy ending here. A promising start for the bowlers was rather nipped in the bud by Chesney Hughes, and runs came all down the order. It left the visitors needing more than 350 for victory; a dismal 167 all out not really the ideal shift. Allenby and Wallace’s partnership was in vain, but it was ruddy good.
Alviro Petersen, 72 (vs Middlesex)
Friends Life T20 | The Swalec Stadium, Cardiff | 03 June 2011
Cooke and Petersen lit up the game (ARF!)
As we have already seen, it’s not the first time skipper Alviro Petersen has stolen the show with the bat. This time it is away from the County Championship and in the first Friends Life T20 game of the season. Not even the lights going out could take the shine off this little cameo from the South African.
These days, the Dragons beating Middlesex isn’t much of a surprise. After seeing off the Panthers in a four-day game already, the addition of Mark Cosgrove to the team for this fixture strengthened Glammy’s hold over the London-based side. It was another toss won by the hosts, and into bat they went.
It had been hoped Cossie would be the marauder-in-chief for Glamorgan. But his start failed to materialise into a substantial score, and it was down to his opening partner Petersen to move the innings along. Jim Allenby and Graham Wagg gave fine support as the captain stormed his way to 72 off 48 deliveries.
The only danger of the captain being upstaged was when Chris Cooke raced to an amazingly quick 22 off six balls. Had Cooke stayed for the last three deliveries of the innings, who knows if we’d be discussing another South African here. Either way, Glamorgan won the game – eventually – and that’s all that matters, OK?