Frustration for Glamorgan as Wiaan Mulder scores second consecutive century
Wiaan Mulder’s second consecutive century helped Leicestershire enjoy the best of the opening day as they seek to dent Glamorgan’s promotion ambitions in Division Two of the LV= Insurance County Championship.
The South African all-rounder followed his unbeaten 235 in Leicestershire’s club-record 756 for four against Sussex at Hove last week with 147 not out as the Foxes – still seeking a first win of the season – closed on 387 for five.
Half-centuries from Louis Kimber, Lewis Hill and Harry Swindells backed up Mulder’s efforts against a Glamorgan attack that were unable to build any sustained pressure and leaked too many easy runs.
Crucially, the visitors missed a big chance when Mulder was dropped on 17 by wicketkeeper Chris Cooke, later giving him another life on 128.
After Callum Parkinson unsurprisingly chose to bat first on winning the toss, Leicestershire had been 128 for one at lunch.
There was enough grass left on the pitch to give it a green tinge but it posed no hazard to the batter and openers Kimber and Rishi Patel were able to progress comfortably at four runs an over from the outset before new-ball bowlers Michael Neser and Michael Hogan took their first breathers of the day.
David Lloyd made an almost immediate breakthrough when he replaced Neser at the Bennett End, inducing an edge to second slip from Patel that suggested there was some swing to be exploited in humid conditions, although it was the only time in the morning it would prove an effective weapon.
Kimber had been promoted to opener in place of Hassan Azad, who has four fifties and a hundred to his name this season but was left out after a first-ball duck at Hove, where Kimber posted his maiden first-class century.
Kimber completed his half-century with a six over midwicket off Andrew Salter’s off-spin before swing came into play again after lunch as Hogan, also from the Bennett End, employed consecutive balls to remove Kimber and Colin Ackermann, the latter following his career-best 277 not out at Hove with a first-baller.
The deliveries that did the damage were almost identical, moving late to find a thin edge, with Cooke taking two regulation catches.
Mulder survived the hat-trick ball but should have fallen to the Australian on 17 a couple of overs later, Cooke blotting his copybook by putting one down as he threw himself in front of first slip.
Hill helped Mulder maintain the momentum, passing fifty from 63 balls, but after the fourth-wicket pair had added 78, Hill was deceived by some extra bounce as he stepped back to cut Salter, falling caught behind off a thin top edge.
A bonus wicket in the last over before tea, when Joey Evison, the on-loan Nottinghamshire player, obligingly hit a first-ball full-toss from leg-spinner Colin Ingram straight to the fielder at deep midwicket, encouraged Glamorgan but again they failed to swing the momentum back their way.
Mulder, who had been strong on both sides of the wicket as he mixed skill with power, completed his century from 117 balls when he hit Salter over the fielder at mid-on for his 16th boundary.
Hogan, not for the first time the pick of the Glamorgan bowlers in his final season, was unlucky again when Kiran Carlson failed to hold on to a low chance at cover from Mulder soon after the second new ball was taken.
As it was, Swindells became the fourth Leicestershire batter to pass fifty and his sixth-wicket partnership with Mulder will resume at 137 on day two.
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