Category Archives: Stewart Walters

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.

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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: 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?)

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) #3

Bricklayer

Huw Waters has an unorthodox approach to taking guard. But it seems to work for him...

65 – It would have been easy to go with 123 as the latest magic number, given the amount of times that Tom Maynard plunged a dagger through my heart with that inevitable century-on-first- return-to-former-county-that-shafted-his-father-last-winter. But let’s be positive with the magic number – yes, that’s right: Michael Powell is up and running!

Yep, that’s right. This latest magic number is the number of runs that Mikey P hit in Glamorgan’s follow-on. After Surrey piled on the runs in the first innings, on a pitch that appeared to favour those who got themselves in, my fear levels reached highs normally associated with there being a wasp being in the room.

The Dragons were all out without avoiding the follow on, but there were one/two and maybe even three high points of that 395. The First: Surrey weren’t all out – the accumulation of batting bonus points helped supplement the first instance of the season where a full haul of bowling bonus points was not attained. Whoop!

The Second: Huw Waters invoked the spirit of Chelmsford 2007 after coming in as night-watchman. A carefully constructed 54 off 1,185,956 deliveries meant the visitors were kept at bay as Mark Wallace, Graham Wagg and James Harris came in to add valuable runs in the unseasonal Cardiff heat.

And the Third? Hmmm… might have been pushing that one.

Still 180 adrift when embarking the follow on is never a position that Glamorgan supporters sit well with. Especially being one game after a first morning collapse against Gloucestershire. But Gareth Rees and Powell himself lumped on the runs in an otherwise unremarkable batting card… the draw leaves the Dragons third.

If we could leave it there, I’d be a much more satisfied man with matters. But the Clydesdale 40 started this weekend. SIGH. The first limited overs collapse of the summer didn’t take long in coming, but the Dragons managed to drag their score towards the 200 mark thanks largely to Stewart Walters’ 79.

The next highest score was Ben Wright on 25. Just to give you an example of that gulf in class. Anchored by Alex Gidman’s 60-odd, Gloucestershire saw off a small wobble to come home by three wickets with 15 balls remaining. The rationale for making those sweeping personnel changes already being undermined there…

Next up for the Dragons is a four-day game at Chelmsford versus a team who has already gifted Middlesex a win this year… how hard can it possibly be? Especially when we’ve got Huw Waters. Although Glamorgan are yet to win this season with Jim Allenby absent. Oh my. So many variables. My brain hurts…

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

John Lewis, Cardiff

Cardiff already has one John Lewis, thanks...

1 is the next exciting magic number in a series that scarcely deserves mention. It could well be the number of batsmen that Gloucestershire were deficient, after a broken finger kept Chris Dent from taking guard in either innings. But it isn’t. It is actually in honour of that first batting bonus point of the year. We’re away…

The 189-run victory, which gets this summer’s County Championship campaign up and running, was as imperious as it was remarkable. For Glamorgan have an irritating tendency to flirt with the hopelessly inept at times. Times like the first day, when Jim Allenby’s wicket left the scoreboard showing a bemused 54/6.

Ben Wright earned his cap in this game and responded by rebuilding Glammy’s shattered innings with 83. Together with Graham Wagg – who half-tonned it up, the pair helped the hosts creep over the bonus point threshold. Given the speed at which the changing room door was revolving earlier in the day, I’ll take that.

I certainly wouldn’t swap it for Gloucestershire’s card, after both James Harris and Adam Shantry helping themselves to wickets – the former taking five. Oh. I forgot to mention St Jim of the Taff End also marked his return with the wicket of Gidman. The title stays, even if he bowled at the Cathedral Road End…

And this is where the frustration surfaces. With a slender lead of 14, Glamorgan then found their batting form. Gareth Rees finally clocking up a 50, and a hearty 63 from Allenby. I can’t help but feel there may be a little seed of doubt over the place of Michael Powell, with 37 runs at 9.25 so far this season. Walters awaits?

After declaring on 370/9, Gloucestershire were slow and steady in pursuit of the victory target. Slow and steady to the point where one random glance at Cricinfo found that the visitors had gone at 0.9 in the previous 10 overs. On what I’d vote to be a most tranquil Sunday, this win didn’t appear obvious in mid-afternoon.

I flounced to the PS3. My frustrations taken out on trying to combat Monaco in a Lotus F1 car. Three re-starts later (and a first place), I returned to Cricinfo. 177/7 were Gloucestershire. And Shantry was on a hattrick. How could I have missed a rare moment when even Alviro was in the wickets? How was I to know…?

With Gloucestershire being a man light, I was able to rest a little easier – safe that a victory was coming. Hallelujah! Messrs Harris and Shantry eventually shared 6 wickets equally between them. Shantry has come back with a vengeance after his injury woes. James Harris has come back from the West Indies…

The opening two games have provided a fair share of frustration that could last a season, albeit expected. But is second innings performances as served up against Gloucestershire that demonstrate ability and temperament in Glammy’s batting. Why it has to wait until days three or four to come to fore, I don’t know.

But it comes in good time. The next opponents at the SWALEC are Surrey. And with that comes the return of T. Maynard. Hmm, that might just be interesting.