Graeme van Buuren leads Gloucestershire comeback to secure Glamorgan draw
A Graeme van Buuren hundred led a brilliant Gloucestershire comeback in their County Championship match against Glamorgan in Cardiff to secure a very creditable draw.
Having trailed by 239 runs on first innings, Gloucestershire made 569 for seven in their second to set Glamorgan 331 to win.
Three early wickets gave Gloucestershire a slim chance of pulling off the unlikeliest of wins, but a solid stand between Billy Root and Eddie Byrom saw the home side to safety at 110 for three.
The pitch in Cardiff continued to improve for the batters as the match wore on with all the bowlers struggling to slow the scoring or claim wickets.
The draw gives Glamorgan 12 points and Gloucestershire eight from this first-round match.
Having started the day at 373 for five, Gloucestershire still had work to do to make the game safe.
Van Buuren resumed on 36 not out and brilliantly held things together on his way to his fifth first-class hundred for Gloucestershire.
With support from Ollie Price, Zafar Gohar, Jack Taylor and Tom Price, Van Buuren guided his team well past 500.
That took Gloucestershire into a position where the draw was the most likely result and they had a chance, albeit a remote one, of pulling off a remarkable comeback win.
The real attacking intent came from Tom Price, who backed up his excellent bowling performance in Glamorgan’s first innings with a 60-ball fifty.
Given how the pitch just got better for batting as the match progressed, Gloucestershire were perhaps understandably cautious with their declaration. When it did come they had set Glamorgan 331 runs to win in 46 overs.
With the required rate starting at above seven runs an over it was always going to be a tough ask for Glamorgan to chase this down, but captain David Lloyd certainly showed some intent when he opened their second innings.
He had made it to six from five balls when he scooped a ball into the leg side off Tom Price that was caught on the deep square leg boundary by Marcus Harris.
Looking to attack against the high-class spin of Zafar was more difficult.
The slow left-armer was once again given the new ball and he rewarded his captain with the wicket of Colin Ingram when he bowled him between bat and pad. That left Glamorgan at 35 for two with 38 overs left to be bowled.
When Kiran Carlson poked at a ball from Price that was well taken on the second attempt by Jack Taylor at first slip, it left Glamorgan 38 for three at the tea break.
With Gloucestershire now the team most likely to secure victory they were impressive in the final session.
Zafar was the most consistent threat while Marchant de Lange was also beating the bat regularly, but the pitch won out in the end with the two teams shaking hands for the draw with nine overs left unbowled.
Glamorgan have a two-week wait until their next match against Durham, with Gloucestershire set to take on Yorkshire in Bristol on Thursday.
Both teams will feel they have a lot of positives to take away from this game, especially given how the weather hampered pre-season preparations.
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