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Michael Thornely remained unbeaten in the Second XI Friendly and Rob Sayer took four wickets at Cardiff CC but Glamorgan landed an impressive four-wicket victory.
Although the sun was up bright and early for the 10.30am start, the morning was somewhat cooler than the previous two days, heralding the advent of autumn.
County resumed on 122-4, with overnight pair Thornley and Aadil Ali at the crease. County batted for a further 20 overs taking the score to 227-4, before declaring, Thornely finishing on a majestic 124 not out.
His second hundred of the match came after 11.2 overs of the morning, from 148 balls (10x4, 1x5, 1x6). His innings spanned 171 balls, and he added another two fours after reaching his century.
Ali went on to make a composed 53 not out from 81 balls, his 50 coming from 79 deliveries (4x4, 2x6). In the 19th over of the morning, Ali deposited spinner Nick James for two consecutive maximums, immediately followed by a four.
Thornley and Ali had shared a partnership of 115 when the declaration came. Andrew Salter was the pick of the Glamorgan bowlers in taking 4-92 from 26 overs; he took six of the seven Leicestershire wickets to fall during the match.
Glamorgan were set 359 to win from a minimum of 77 overs, which was a declaration in the best interests of cricket, and a gesture to keep the game alive.
Glamorgan made a brisk start against the pace of Nathan Buck and Dominic Reed, and went into lunch on 49-0 from 8 overs. The first wicket fell in the 11th over with the score on 51 when Tom Lancefield (24) was stumped by Lewis Hill off Andy Clarke.
Anurin Donald ducked a few bouncers from Johannes Bothma whilst adding 79 for the second wicket with Nick James. James was put down at short cover off Sayer when on 40, in the 22nd over, a chance that County would live to regret.
Donald (35) eventually went caught by Clarke at deep mid-wicket off Sayer. David Lloyd (17) soon followed, caught by Thornely low down at mid off, again off Sayer.
The 4th wicket partnership proved a stumbling block. James and Salter added 97 before Salter (60) was adjudged lbw to Sayer, just before the final hour. Glamorgan needed 108 off a minimum of 16 overs.
Jeremy Lawlor (5) soon went caught by Neil Pinner, at '45' off Sayer. Enter the pyrotechnics of Jack Murphy. Murphy bludgeoned 41 from 24 deliveries, dominating a sixth-wicket stand of 49 for the 6th wicket with James.
The hard-hitting batsman was then caught by Bothma in the deep off of Sayer, Glamorgan, needing 45 from a minimum of 7.2 overs, got over the line with 10 balls remaining.
James finished unbeaten on 129, his hundred coming from 171 balls (13x4), and his stay at the crease taking in 201 balls. Gary Knight, 20 not out from 16 balls, hit the winning runs. Sayer, who has impressed since coming into the side, finished with excellent match figures of 7-175.
So the flickering embers of the 2nd X1 season went out, until they are reignited in April 2014. Bowling figures returned were: Buck 12.2-0-65-1, Reed 7-0-53-0, Clarke 9-2-30-1, Sayer 28-2-134-4, Bothma 10-1-29-0, Pinner 7-0-29-0.
Although County lost by four wickets, the winner was the game of cricket. After three days of action, the result was not known until the penultimate over of those available. At the end of the game a number of spectators said to me what an absorbing day’s play it had been.
Special mention must be made of 'Marathon Man' Michael Thornely who was on the field of play for the entire match. He amassed 271 runs without being dismissed and faced 489 balls over his two innings - a fantastic effort. As the team were leaving for home, Thornely was spotted trying to fit the Cardiff wicket into the boot of his car!
Well that completes my ramblings for this season. A big thanks to the hospitality of those who hosted the Second XI in 2013, including Hinckley Town CC, who kindly hosted a Championship game and two full days of t20 action.
Thanks also to Market Harborough CC, Kibworth CC, Lutterworth CC, Leicester Ivanhoe CC, Ratcliffe College, Ashby Hastings CC, and, of course, Grace Road. Also thanks to all of the away grounds that we visited in 2013.
Thanks to everyone who has taken time to read my observations over the past four months. It’s been an enjoyable summer, the application and commitment of the coaches has been first class, and the dedication of the players cannot be faulted. Also sincere thanks to Dan Nice for fielding all of my reports. Happy Christmas everyone!