Category Archives: Gareth Rees

Glamorgan – The 12 Innings Of Christmas (2011, Pt.8)

Gareth Rees, 101 (vs Essex)
Clydesdale Bank 40 | Ford County Ground, Chelmsford | 20
July 2011

Gareth Rees: Huw Evans Picture Agency

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…

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Glamorgan – The 12 Innings Of Christmas (2011, Pt.4)

Gareth Rees, 110 (vs Lancashire)
Clydesdale Bank 40 | Old Trafford, Manchester | 08 May
2011

Gareth Rees

The second 50 came up like 'Reesed' lightning.

Much has been said, and perhaps more could be added, about personnel changes made following the 2010 season. It was made explicitly clear that Glamorgan had up their game in terms of limited overs cricket, not that it mitigates the public fall-out after Jamie Dalrymple was removed as captain.

Three games into the Clydesdale Bank 40 campaign, and nothing seemed to have changed. Two defeats and a no result – had it all been it worth it? Probably not, it seemed. Before despondency fully took control, however, a win was found! And Gareth Rees had a lot to do with setting the Dragons on that victorious course…

Glamorgan won the toss and elected to bat at Old Trafford against Lancashire, a side who included some Ashes hero called James Anderson in the line-up. It did little to stir Rees, however. A 78-run stand with Alviro Petersen settled Glammy, before the Swansea southpaw powered on through to the end of the 40 overs.

The first 50 came off 64 deliveries, but the second took just 32 more. Three sixes catapulted the strike rate up on his way to what was an imperious ton. It was just the second time that Rees had managed a century in one-day cricket, but it was a valuable one, it was an assured one and, crucially, it was a match-winning one.

Glamorgan – The 12 Innings Of Christmas (2011, Pt.3)

Gareth Rees, 89, and Mike Powell, 65 (vs Surrey)
LV County Championship Div.2 | The Swalec Stadium, Cardiff |

23 April 2011

Huw Evans Picture Agency

No way past Gareth Rees for Surrey

More often than not, 395 all out is an imposing enough first innings total in the County Championship. Not today it wasn’t. Glamorgan found themselves following on after Surrey’s 575/7d. If I had some of that ruthless endeavour shown by the visitors, I’d be winning big in an internet casino right about now.

Like blackjack, cricket has that element of being able to fine-tune when to twist and when to stick. Zander de Bruyn and the returning Tom Maynard went with the former and were rewarded with uncompromising hundreds. Chris Schofield went close with a brisk 99 and the Dragons were right up against it.

Mark Wallace top scored with 55 in Glamorgan’s first innings but it would need something more substantial from someone second time around to save the game. After a solid start, Petersen and Bragg fell in quick succession and it was then left to Gareth Rees and Mike Powell to repel Surrey’s victory charge on the day four.

Rees stayed in the middle for more than four hours; Powell for two-and-a-half. It took the sting out of the game, consumed more than 40 overs and led Glammy to safety with a partnership of 129 runs. It was hardly record-breaking stuff, but the best cricket is sometimes seen when played under the most testing of times.

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?)

Diary of a Glamorgan Fan (Aged 25 11/12) – #12

And now the end is near…

Pink

Pink - just like the ball

Quicker than you could say “was summer really just that one weekend in April”, the 2011 cricket season is drawing to a close. The County Championship marks the end of Glamorgan’s campaign at Canterbury this week – and “disappointing” would probably be the word best associated with it.

With neither Kent nor the Dragons playing for anything except pride, the game at the St Lawrence Cricket Ground has an end-of-term feel about it. Remember those last days when you could bring in a game to play with your friends? Well, someone’s brought in a pink ball…

The floodlights will go on when necessary tonight as play continues well into the night at Canterbury, with play starting at 2pm each day. It will be an interesting experiment, that’s for sure. The prospect of only needing to take half a day off to see a County Championship game might help swell attendances, after all.

In the limited overs formats of the game, batting second under the lights is rarely seen as something to be encouraged by (unless you’re playing a Glamorgan team that has underscored first again). But I am intrigued to see how the batsmen look to approach their innings at 19:30, when there’s still 90 minutes left in the day.

But I suppose that’s the point. To see what the pink ball does under lights and to see whether you can realistically expect teams to play four-day/five-day matches in twilight conditions.  It certainly changes perceptions of the traditional “lunch” and “tea” breaks. And what of the “nightwatchman” now…

Kent win the toss and bat first. Here begins the great Pink experiment…

Diary of a Glamorgan Fan (Aged 25 1/2) #7

Rain and Swan

Insert your own Graeme Swann joke

7 is, as you have probably noticed, the number of this instalment. It didn’t occur to me when I came to muse on the last… ELEVEN DAYS?! How tardy. Yet that isn’t why this reminisci-rant being brought to you by the figure 7. It is, rather, the number of overs before the end of play that I left the Test match.

This was Saturday, I should point out. Not Monday. I’m not so foolish as to leave when Sri Lanka were on the verge of an epic collapse and one that would grant a disbelieving home “crowd” the sight of an England win. However, I am certainly feeling foolish for rushing to buy my tickets six months ago.

Having forgone the opportunity to see Stevenage win promotion to League One at Old Trafford, a morning spent underneath the SWALEC’s grandstand wasn’t exactly an effective use of my time – there’s only so much you can do with a 4/6 card. And I couldn’t lay my hands on an npower hand. But I did get a flag. Hmm.

Better people than me (i.e. Michael Atherton) have since suggested that perhaps drizzle needn’t cause play to be postponed, so no point indulging in that further. But after the action commenced, the wicket of James Anderson was all that was offered before Alistair Cook and Jonathan Trott completed their centuries.

Leaving early was no real matter of debate. The Champions League final was on the horizon. And there was a space in Dempsey’s waiting. That choice then took me on a collision path with The Two Chucks. I’m not sure if my theory on where ‘lamb shank’ originated was requested, but I offered it anyway. They took it.

That all said (I am a frightful cynic on occasion), I hope that when Cardiff stages its next Test match, the ECB have the good grace to award a June/July fixture. I can vouch for the ‘Diff’s weather at that time of year. And getting to South Wales from London costs me less than a ticket from Stevenage to London. British Rail.

And what of the mighty Glamorgan Dragons. Well, it took them half a century to win at Lord’s. Now they have two in two seasons. It was a crushing one too. Nine wickets, with Gareth Rees failing to stick around in the game’s death throes. But the damage was done in the first innings as Middlesex wilted to 150 all out.

James Harris was a driving force, trapping the England captain in front and with a delivery that screamed “PICK ME, PICK ME, PICK ME (in future, at least)”. In response, Ben Wright’s ton anchored a mahoooooosive 522. The hosts rallied on their second outing, but left Glamorgan only needing 20-odd.

Moving across London to the Kia Picanto, another full haul of batting points saw the Dragons pile on 419 – Alviro Petersen bagging a double hundred and Michael Powell left agonisingly short on 99 after he chopped on to Jordan. The hosts saw off the threat of a follow-on, but were still eventually bundled out for 284.

Rain interrupted proceedings somewhat, but not enough to prevent Gareth Rees getting in on the century action in the 259-4 that the Dragons declared on to try and force a result. It wasn’t forthcoming though. Surrey’s openers put on 150 and made it through to the close of play with the loss of just one wicket. Momentum.

Momentum indeed. It appears to have turned on Glamorgan. Northamptonshire were unfazed in their first innings of the third LVCC2 match of the last couple of weeks. Injuries are piling up and the Dragons current three-man pace attack are all of ’88 vintage – one year before Robert Croft made his first class debut.

That’s no excuse for today’s implosion though. What’s 28 short of 100? A dismal failure. The steady hands of Jim Allenby were most definitely missing today as a Glamorgan batsman came, saw, got out. Ten times. Some things you can rely on – the Dragons are always capable of a collapse; Cardiff is always capable of rain…

Diary of a Glamorgan Fan (Aged 25 1/2) #6

Open Top Bus Cardff

Three wins on the trot is reason enoughfor a Glamorgan open top bus ride

40 overs. It’s a format of the game that Glammy have become strangely good at in the past two weeks. And when I say good, I mean alright. After all, it’s foolish to get carried away by wins over Gloucestershire and Lancashire. And let’s throw in the abandoned game with Essex for good measure.

Now third in the Group C table, it’s a position that only Blue can empathise with after shooting to the top of the Eurovision pile after Bulgaria awarded DOOOZE POINTS in the second round of voting. More importantly, the Unicorns have to do some to show up the Dragons this season. Don’t rule it out yet. Counting chickens and all that.

In between the gladiatorial triumphs against Essex and Gloucestershire, matters in the County Championship took precedence. And the Dragons are… third. This is consistency on a level that no-one anticipated. It follows the crushing defeat of a Kent team who haven’t managed a win since 1968. Tough times for Rob Key.

In downing the Spitfires (geddit?), Glamorgan racked up the first maximum haul of batting points since the halcyon days about this time last year when there were two back-to-back innings successes. Nothing breeds satisfaction quite like a huge innings victory. Even if Kent got within eight runs of forcing a 4th innings.

So, who were the stand out players alongside Jim Allenby in the past few games? Well, Gareth Rees anchored the win against Gloucestershire with an unbeaten 50 and Dean Cosker was the main protagonist in bundling them out for after James Harris bowled nice and tightly at the top of the innings.

For Gloucestershire, there is consolation in that they wouldn’t have had to pay to get over the bridge on their way home. It will have saved them from having to get their tails out from between their legs. I heard that Kent are still scarred from the bashing that Harris and Mark Wallace gave ’em mind.

Next up it is an extended stay in London. Someone better tell the lads that Buck House is orf the schedule as Queenie has gone overseas. But what is important is coming away from Lord’s and the Oval with wins in the LVCC and the CB40. And if Jim Allenby could put Gareth ‘Henning’ Berg in his place, t’would be good…