Category Archives: Players

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.12)

Stewart Walters, 147 (vs Kent)
LV County Championship Div.2| St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury | 13-14 September
2011

Stewart Walters - by Sarah Ansell

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.

Merry Christmas.

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.10)

Chris Cooke, 75 (vs Nottinghamshire)
Clydesdale Bank 40 | Trent Bridge, Nottingham | 12 August
2011

Chris Cooke

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…

Glamorgan – The 12 Innings Of Christmas (2011, Pt.9)

Stewart Walters, 102 (vs Northamptonshire)
LV County Championship Div.2 | St Helen’s, Swansea | 30
July 2011

Stewart Walters

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.

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…

Glamorgan – The 12 Innings Of Christmas (2011, Pt.7)

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.