Wickets tumble in chaotic county clash

04 July 2017

A remarkable opening day of Championship match sees 25 wickets fall and five batsmen dismissed twice

County Championship Division 2,


It's the kind of day batsmen have nightmares about, but neither Glamorgan nor Gloucestershire have blamed the Cheltenham pitch for an astonishing day that saw 25 wickets tumble.

Spectators at the picturesque College Ground, hosting its annual cricket festival, saw no shortage of action on the opening day of the Division Two County Championship clash.

After Australian-born Glamorgan opener Nick Selman was run-out in first over of the match, the visitors were skittled for 117 in just 32.1 overs after being sent in.

Western Australian opener Cameron Bancroft edged behind on the first ball of Gloucestershire's reply as they too struggled to find a method on the spicy track.

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The hosts collapsed to 8-91 before their tail helped eke out a slender first-innings lead as they were bowled out for 141 in the final session.

With 17 overs still to bowl, five Glamorgan batsmen trudged back to the dressing room for a second time in the day as Gloucestershire reduced them to 5-59 at stumps.

It was the highest number of wickets to fall in a single day of a Championship match in more than a decade. The Test record presently sits at 27, a mark set nearly 130 years ago when bowlers ran rampant on the second day of the Lord's Test in the 1888 Ashes.

The 23 wickets taken on day two of the 2011 Cape Town Test between South Africa and Australia – when Michael Clarke's men were rolled for just 47 in their second dig – remains the most to fall in a single day of Test cricket this century.

Glamorgan fast bowler Timm van der Gugten, a former NSW and Tasmania Sheffield Shield player, admitted Monday was one of the most surprising days of cricket he's played in. 

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"It was an interesting day, I don't think I've been involved in one quite like that before, but wickets seemed to fall consistently and it didn't seem to stop," the Sydney-born quick, who claimed three first-innings scalps before performing nightwatchman duties, told the BBC.

"It was one of those wickets where you didn't feel you were ever in, hopefully we can put on a bit of a partnership with 'Salts' (Andrew Salter) and I, and get a bit of a lead., then we've still got some recognised batters in Chris Cooke and Graham Wagg.

"It's actually a nice-looking wicket, it's a strange one where one might nip back or bounce a bit more, or stay a little low, it's got a bit of everything in it."

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Gloucestershire coach Richard Dawson refused to blame the surface for the extraordinary succession of wickets, and instead suggested batsmen had failed to come to grips with some high-class seam bowling.

"We are not going to use the pitch as an excuse for our batting," Dawson said. "The players need to look at themselves and be honest about what caused them to get out.

"There is no suggestion that the wicket will be reported. Some of the bowling from both sides was excellent and we will reflect on how we went about our batting overnight.

"We know it's a fast-moving game at Cheltenham and we've chatted about whether (in our innings) we played what happened in the first (Glamorgan) innings, rather than what was in front of us.

"But we come back in a position where the last hour of bowling has helped us out, and the lead that Kieran (Noema-Barnett), Craig (Miles) and David Payne got us has helped as well."

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It was a very different story further east at Beckenham, where Kent lost just one wicket on the first day of their Championship clash with Northamptonshire, racking up 434 runs in the process.

Opener Sean Dickson (210 not out) and first-drop Joe Denly (149 not out) put on an unbroken 305 runs for the second wicket, the highest partnership ever at the southeast London venue.

Dickson and Denly will resume day two 63 runs shy of Kent's all-time highest first-class stand of 368, set by Sri Lanka great Aravinda da Silva and Graham Cowdrey in 1995.

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