Foxes battle through tough first day

DAY 1 | Glamorgan CCC 300 for four v Leicestershire CCC             

SCORECARD | Available from Cricinfo HERE

REACTION | Head Coach Paul Nixon spoke to BBC Radio Leicester's Richard Rae at stumps on day. Click HERE to listen.

REPORT | Ben Mike took a brace of wickets but the first day of the Specsavers County Championship game at Sophia Gardens proved to be tough going for the Leicestershire CCC attack.

Glamorgan CCC will resume on 300 for four after two batsmen scored 66, there were four partnerships of 50 or more, and three batting points gained with 19.4 overs left to gain the maximum. 

The other wickets were taken by Chris Wright and Gavin Griffiths as the Foxes battled hard throughout the day to collect a bowling point.

Leicestershire CCC travelled to Cardiff for their final away fixture of the 2019 Specsavers County Championship campaign, as hosts Glamorgan CCC were looking to get their promotion push back on track following their defeat to Worcestershire CCC.

Head Coach Paul Nixon named three changes to his squad with Harry Dearden, Mike and Griffiths coming in for Neil Dexter, Alex Evans and Callum Parkinson.

The toss was uncontested by the Foxes following inspection of the wicket, and assessment of the conditions which made for a green track and a muggy day by the River Taff.

County’s opening attack of Wright and Griffiths started off well in bowling friendly conditions with both seamers beating the bat and asking questions of Nick Selman and Kraigg Brathwaite.

It took until the 23rd over before County made the breakthrough, with Mike claiming the first wicket of the game. Will Davis assisted Mike with a superb diving one-handed catch low to his right in the covers to end Selman's stay at 36.

The home side then made it through to the lunch interval without the loss of another wicket, progressing to 82 for one.

The second session of the day belonged to the hosts as Brathwaite and David Lloyd, who hit the first maximum by clearing the leg-side boundary, established another steady alliance.

Brathwaite, who averages 39 in first-class cricket, will be remembered for the 134 and 95 he scored against England for the West Indies at Headingley two years ago, continued to play watchfully and was at the crease for three hours and 40 minutes for his 44 before he was trapped leg before by Gavin Griffiths.

The County bowlers had bowled well throughout the day despite having only two wickets to their name and had limited the Glamorgan CCC line-up to few scoring opportunities.

Lloyd brought up the first half-century of the match from 117 balls containing six boundaries and a maximum, and tea was taken with the score at 189 for two.

It did not take long since the start of the third session before the Foxes claimed their third wicket of the game, as Wright picked up his first, bowling Lloyd with one that nipped back for 66.

Though, the Foxes could not capitalise on the breakthrough early in the final session as Samit Patel then took the initiative for Glamorgan CCC and accelerated the score with the second half-century of the game (68b, 8x4).

A quick shower then passed over Sophia Gardens, prompting the umpires to take the players off the pitch. Once they were back on, Mark Cosgrove got the bowling back underway, and no overs were lost due to the stoppage.

Leicestershire CCC opted not to take the new ball as they entered the 81st over, and the call paid dividends after Mike enticed Patel (66) into looping his bouncer straight into the safe hands of Colin Ackermann at square-leg.

A fifth half-century partnership was in sight with Billy Root and Chris Cooke sharing 45 for the fifth wicket, and when play ended due to bad light with 5.4 overs remaining, Glamorgan CCC would have been satisfied with their day’s work.

However, Leicestershire CCC had just taken the new ball, so will be looking to make early inroads on day two.

FIGURES (1st inns) | Wright 20-7-45-1, Griffiths 19.2-7-43-1, Davis 20-6-58-0, Mike 17-4-68-2, Ackermann 8-1-39-0, Rhodes 1-0-3-0, Cosgrove 5-1-16-0.

TEAM | Horton (capt), Ackermann, Azad, Cosgrove, Davis, Dearden, Griffiths, Mike, Rhodes, Swindells (wk), Wright.

Glamorgan CCC | Cooke (capt & wk), Selman, Brathwaite, Cullen, Lloyd, Root, Patel, Salter, Smith, Carey, Hogan.

IMAGES | Thanks to John Mallet of Outside Off for providing the images throughout the game.