Category Archives: Alviro Petersen

2012 – Year of the Glamorgan Dragon?

Chinese Dragon

Multiple batsmen are now permitted in CB 40 games following the Morgan Review

It is the Year of the Dragon. Not my words, but those of the Chinese and I would strongly advise arguing against them – the phrase “you and whose army” comes to mind. Ancient astrologers may not have given much thought to county cricket in the Shēngxiào (or Chinese Zodiac), but let’s clutch at a few straws here, eh?

Firstly, we need to be comfortable with an inescapable and rather crushing fact – Glamorgan have never “won” anything in past Years of the Dragon; not in terms of the current three formats. Mind you, Twenty20 was but a glint in the eye of an ECB official during the last Year of the Dragon (2000). The lack of precedent, thus, allows for your own interpretation.

With that reality check out of the way, we move on and look for omens – positive ones of course. Notable events from 12 years ago centre on Colwyn Bay, with 309 not out propelling Steve James to the top of the club’s individual batting records. We’ll come back to 2012’s batting prospects in a bit as I’m not done yet.

In compiling that triple-ton at the expense of Sussex, a 374-run partnership with Matthew Elliott also become a record-breaker. And with the help of the duo, 718 for the loss of three wickets (declared) was etched into the record books as a new highest team total. I told you there was something in this…

There is certainly a common theme if you look hard enough. Another Year of the Dragon was 1928, in which D.Davies and J.J.Hills shared a 202 stand – eighth in the list of the club’s highest – against Sussex at Eastbourne in 1928. It seems that the Sharks might be grateful for giving the Dragons a wide berth this year.

But, as promised, we come back to 2012’s batting prospects. Glammy won’t be in a position to call on Marcus North for the first month of the season as he and his wife are expecting a second child. Nor will Alviro Petersen be bringing his 1,000 first-class runs back to the SWALEC after committing to South Africa.

Ah. Hopes of 800-1 declared in the season opener at Grace Road now fade a tad.

It appears a temporary solution is being sought to cover North’s absence, but the news that Alviro won’t be returning has opened up a gap at the top of the order. I don’t think Matthew Mott was too pleased to hear about the decision either, with his descriptive term of ” incredibly disappointed” rarely used to positive effect.

Who do Glamorgan turn to? Unless there’s a surprise up Mr Metson’s sleeve, you would think little wrong of calling Mark Cosgrove and asking if he fancies taking some Division Two bowlers to the proverbial cleaners this season. But then it will also rather depend on whether Cossie is inclined to give up his Australian dream.

The southpaw’s boisterous approach to opening the batting would certainly offer a boost to his colleague, while meeting the Chinese characteristics of the Dragon. I’ve not given up this contrived trail just yet. If the Mayans and Nostradamus can be interpreted to justify the price of cheese, I’ll find Glammy glory in the zodiac.

After all, we don’t yet know how the Shēngxiào reacts to Twenty20 cricket, and it is Cardiff that hosts Finals Day this year. You never know…

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Glamorgan – The 12 Innings Of Christmas (2011, Pt.11)

Alviro Petersen, 144 (vs Lancashire)
Clydesdale Bank 40 | Penrhyn Avenue, Colwyn Bay | 21 August
2011

Alviro Petersen at Colwyn Bay

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…

Glamorgan – The 12 Innings Of Christmas (2011, Pt.6)

Alviro Petersen, 72 (vs Middlesex)
Friends Life T20 | The Swalec Stadium, Cardiff |
03 June 2011

Huw Evans Agency

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?

Glamorgan – The 12 Innings Of Christmas (2011, Pt.5)

Alviro Petersen, 210 (vs Surrey)
LV County Championship Div.2 | The Kia Oval, London |
24-25 May 2011

Alviro Petersen at the Oval

Alviro finds life easy at the Kia Oval

For part five, it’s back to the skipper and it’s once again at the expense of Surrey. A month after the reverse fixture in Cardiff, the prospect of following on was not an issue on this occasion, with Glamorgan winning the toss and electing to bat at the Kia Oval. When in Rome, dear boy, when in Rome…

And what we have here is arguably the juiciest innings of the season for Glammy, with Alviro Petersen putting in a fine shift. It had started rather strangely; Alviro had done little when Gareth Rees was out for 25 off 21 deliveries; the score 28/1. Then, with Will Bragg and Mike Powell, the skipper’s tally began to climb.

A 225-run partnership for the third wicket with the latter, who was later bowled for an agonising 99, was pretty much evenly shared. A 17-run partnership for the fourth wicket was all Petersen’s doing, with Ben Wright lasting 23 balls before he returned to the hutch without scoring. It is unclear if a cup of tea awaited him.

Where Zander de Bruyn and Tom Maynard had failed to push on the Swalec just a few weeks before, Petersen took his innings into a second day before departing. In the second innings, Glammy declared on 259/4 in a bid to force a win, but the skipper did not come out to bat – and still came away as the match’s top scorer.

Glamorgan – The 12 Innings Of Christmas (2011, Pt.1)

Alviro Petersen, 91 (vs Leicestershire)
LV County Championship Div.2 | Grace Road, Leicester | 9 April 2011

Alviro Petersen

Petersen hit the ground running in April

It seems weird to suggest that one of my stand-out innings with the bat this year, from a Glamorgan perspective, should come from a pretty listless defeat at Grace Road. There’s no particular glory in being skittled for 148 in the first innings and going on to lose by 89 runs, but there was one show of stoicism.

Leicestershire were all out for a modest 238 but it wasn’t an opportunity that the Dragons capitalised on. No-one seemed particularly capable of sticking around – wickets tumbled regularly around new skipper and debutant Alviro Petersen. It’s not the situation he perhaps envisaged in his first County Championship match.

Undeterred, the South African slogged it out where others didn’t, in part due to a Matthew Hoggard hattrick. More than 220 minutes and 165 deliveries yielded an imperious (given the card) 91 before being the last man out. If you need the extra context, Ben Wright and Robert Croft were the next highest scorers on 11.

The hosts were five wickets down for 78 by the end of a second day on which they had batted twice. The 149-run partnership between Will Jefferson and Jigar Naik ultimately did for Glamorgan in this game, but not before Petersen had shown a glimpse of the aptitude that would reap a further 978 first-class runs in 2011.

Glamorgan: All Quiet on the Western Avenue

The SWALEC in the snow

Think Bjork. Shhhh.

‘Twas the month before Christmas,
all through the SWALEC;

Something was stirring,
becoming a wreck;

The skipper was hung out
to dry without care;

By the next season,
who still will be there…?’

It’s quite remarkable how some things can change from one year to the next. There are those among us who would argue that ‘no news is good news’, and for Glamorgan, I am quite content to go along with that. It’s now a little over 12 months since the ousting of Jamie Dalrymple as the Dragons’ skipper, and to say it upset the balance would be putting it mildly.

It started a chain of sweeping discontent that led to the departures of coach Matthew Maynard and president Peter Walker, as well as Tom Maynard albeit a bit later down the line. A regime change instigated by chairman Paul Russell; he’s no longer there either, although on an unrelated note, it must be said. The tranquillity of this year’s close season, therefore, is somewhat welcome if you pardon gross understatement.

There have been player movements, but not on such a seismic and destructive scale as once seen. Rather than wallowing in the ‘outs’, Glamorgan now talk of the ‘ins’ and the ‘staying-puts’. Stewart Walters has signed on for an extra year, having showed decent touch with the bat during the second half of the ’10 season. Jim Allenby too, and I don’t really care if he’s been given the T20 captaincy as a sweetener if it means he stays.

And the ‘ins’? Firstly, there is Simon Jones – an older and wiser bowler from his travels around Worcestershire and Hampshire. Opponents won’t like dealing with his 90mph rockets, but that’s not Glamorgan’s problem. Together with Graham Wagg, Jones will be the invaluable source of experience and knowledge for Glammy’s relatively young pace attack spearheaded by James Harris (massively thankful he’s still at the county, by the way).

Marcus North

Sixth county

Marcus North is another recruit, having signed a two-year deal to be the county’s international player. I’m not North’s biggest fan; indeed, I viewed his selection during the 2009 Ashes as a massive positive… for England. But this is county cricket, not one of the oldest international rivalries which transcends life and death. And on that basis, North will be at worst, just fine.

Regrettably there have been departures. My long-time batting hero Michael Powell has moved onto pastures new with Kent, and not without something of a parting shot. Meanwhile, Alviro Petersen leaves after one year and hands over the captaincy to Mark Wallace. If that was too straightforward for you, there’s a murmur that Alviro could come back in as a Kolpak player next summer. Those 2,000 runs would do nicely, that’s for sure.

So. Glamorgan is rather lacking in the soap drama-esque controversy and subterfuge that seemed to shepherd the county towards the end of 2010. Not one player has signed and then decided to retire, and wholesale changes have been left to another Division Two county. It’s been relative stability all the way for the Dragons this winter (so far, don’t want to pre-empt anything here) and it’s good.

I couldn’t tell you how I think Glamorgan will do next season – there’s a reason I don’t bet on sport these days. But Matthew Mott now has freedom to mould the squad as he would want with the benefit of a full pre-season, as opposed to the full solitary day he had last season. OK. It was an exaggeration, but still. Mott delivered the Pura Cup in his first full season with New South Wales Blues in Australia – you see why the Glammy hierarchy moved to sign him?

And now perhaps there is a chance that history might repeat itself, albeit in a different country, using different players, with a different team. The Friends Life T20 Finals Day is being held in Cardiff next summer, and it would be nice if Glamorgan involve themselves in a greater capacity than simply laying on drinks and hospitality for four other visiting counties. I’ll take promotion to Division One of the County Championship, personally…

RS Thomas once wrote: “There is no present in Wales, and no future; There is only the past” — It’s about time Glamorgan shrugged off any lingering turmoil, grasp the daffodil by the neck, and use this winter of quiet content as the platform to start writing the latest chapter of the club’s history. Anything’s possible if you wish hard enough…

Originally posted on Clear Cricket

Diary of a Glamorgan Fan (Aged 25 353/365) – End of Term

Sixpence None The Richer

Sixth Place None The Richer

Promotion to Division One? A first County Championship title since 1934? No… the ultimate accolade won on the last day of the 2011 season went to Glamorgan, defeating Kent in the Canterbury twilight with a pink ball. There are no trophies, but the honour of finishing sixth in Division Two. You can’t buy that kinda glory…

It concluded a disappointing campaign on a high note, that much is true. Gareth Griffiths has already provided a very astute post mortem for Wales on Sunday – the link can be found here. And naturally, the first thought that springs to mind is whether the winter upheaval was worth the public fall-out.

Glamorgan finish the season and start the pre-season break, effectively, with just one of the senior personnel still in his original role – chief executive Alan Hamer. Captain, coach, president and chairman have all altered in the past year, with the latter arguably being the odd one out and not related to the others.

Middlesex LVCC2 Champions

Congratulations to Middlesex CCC

For two successive seasons, Glamorgan narrowly missed out on promotion to the first division of the LV County Championship. Any ambition of “third time lucky” was unceremoniously neutered more than a month before the last day. It was the ungratifying price to pay for the changes designed to improve the Dragons’ limited overs form.

There was a little encouragement in the CB40, with an increase in the number of games won. But only slightly, with a defeat to the Unicorns and another unhappy showing in the Friends Life T20 making you ask if Glamorgan had only served to throw the baby out with the bathwater as the club’s landscape changed last year?

Where did it go wrong?

Before the season, I was concerned there wouldn’t be enough quality with the bat and that runs would not be easily acquired – due mainly to Mark Cosgrove being ousted as overseas player. However, I was much more confident about the ability of the bowlers to take 20 wickets in a four-day context.

Well, the final table makes me look a bit of a chump there. Glamorgan scored the third highest tally of batting points (44, behind Northants and Middlesex), while only bottom side Leicestershire scored less bowling points. I’m not sure that I’m altogether in the wrong though…

Will Owen

Hover Bowling. Not such a success.

Glamorgan’s bowling attack was beset by injuries throughout the campaign. Not just front-line bowlers like James Harris and Graham Wagg (particularly early in the season), but able deputies such as Jim Allenby. And not forgetting that Adam Shantry and David Harrison both called time on their careers in 2011.

Dean Cosker fell one wicket short of 50 for the season, but times must have been tough if Gareth Rees was seen to open the bowling during the Friends Life T20.

With the bat, three scored more than 1,000 runs: skipper Alviro Petersen, young ‘un William Bragg and captain-elect Mark Wallace. Stewart Walters was the only to average more than 50, but he featured in half the number of innings than each of the three to pass 1,000. Gareth Rees was next nearest to 1,000 with 954 runs.

Statistically, the batting in County Championship games was fairly good, but the totals scored in limited overs games wasn’t quite enough on many occasions. The result would be, aside from a defeat, the wonder of what might had been if 10/20 more had been scored. (See also: Hampshire away, Friends Life T20)

Anyway, we’re seven months away from the start of the 2012 season and it’s time in which Matthew Mott can firmly shape the team in his image – you might call it an improvement on the limited time he had before the 2011 season. And already there have been announcements regarding personnel.

Marcus North comes in on a two-year deal, while a number of players have been retained. Nick James and Stewart Walters are two that can surely count on more game time next season after impressing in the opportunities that came their way – particularly during the latter stages of the 2011 campaign.

Simon Jones has been touted for a return, with his loan spell earlier this summer showing that the paceman still had much to offer the Dragons. Particularly when you consider how experience can rub off on the new generation of seamers. Mark Cosgrove’s return for the T20s wouldn’t go amiss either.

Welsh Dragon

Walking out to bat...

He’d be playing for a newly-branded team, however, with Glamorgan Dragons to make way for the Welsh Dragons. Cricketing gods reacted to this change of name by requiring the Dragons to beat 2011’s CB40 champions, runners-up and one of the two other semi-finalists to qualify from the group stage of next year’s event.

Not that I probably have much cause for complaint. I’m not Welsh – those of you who are might like the change. But if we’re talking name changes, why not chase some insurance sponsorship and change the four-day name to Gla-morethan? I jest, of course… and a rose by another name still smells like a daffodil, right?

I mean, I still call it Sophia Gardens… (who doesn’t?)