Glamorgan outgunned by Middlesex in Blast clash
Thilan Walallawita and Joe Cracknell took the headlines as Middlesex made it three wins from three in the Vitality Blast with a four-wicket win over Glamorgan at Radlett.
Left-arm spinner Walallawita, 23, returned career-best figures of three for 18 as the visitors were bowled out for 168 off the last ball of their innings.
Toby Roland-Jones cleaned up the tail with four for 22, with Marnus Labuschagne top-scoring for Glamorgan with 38.
Cracknell, 22, then underlined his burgeoning reputation in this format with a blistering 47, while Max Holden contributed a rapid 41 as Middlesex, minus Eoin Morgan, who limped off injured while the hosts were in the field, chased down the target with something to spare.
Prem Sisodiya was the pick of the Glamorgan attack with two for 26.
David Lloyd began in the grand manner, sending a drag-down from Chris Green into the car park, but his innings was short and sweet as Roland-Jones bowled him around his legs in the next over.
Fellow opener Sam Northeast also departed early to a delivery from Martin Andersson which bounced on him and he could only steer to point.
It proved the last success for some while as Labuschagne and Kiran Carlson added 55 in quick time – the Australia international especially savage on Blake Cullen, striking him for four successive boundaries before launching Green over mid-wicket for six.
Luke Hollman ended the fun when Labuschagne skied him to backward point and Carlson followed shortly afterwards.
Walallawita then took over with three wickets in two overs. Wicketkeeper Chris Cooke fell to a brilliant catch by Holden, Dan Douthwaite was pinned in front, and when Michael Neser was bowled, Glamorgan were 122 for seven.
James Weighell gave the visitors something to defend with three huge sixes in a whirlwind 30, before he was one of three victims in Roland-Jones’ final over.
Stephen Eskinazi and Holden began the chase in explosive fashion, with Holden the chief aggressor.
The left-hander hit the first ball of the innings from the in-form Michael Hogan over square leg for six before drilling Neser back over his head for another maximum.
Eskinazi also cleared the ropes as the pair raced to 62 for no loss in the powerplay.
It was the spinners who fought back, Sisodiya bowling Holden before Andrew Salter got Eskinazi to play too soon and chip a return catch.
Hollman’s promotion up the order backfired when he became Sisodiya’s second victim and when John Simpson fell to the returning Hogan, 48 were still needed.
Cracknell stood firm, though, endangering many windscreens in the car park with one of four huge sixes in his 27-ball stay.
He was bowled by Labuschagne trying to raise 50 in the grand manner with eight needed and Andersson fell to a blinding catch in the deep by Hogan before the hosts got home with an over to spare.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.