Jamie McIlroy sparks Glamorgan fightback at Worcestershire
Left armer Jamie McIlroy led a powerful Glamorgan fightback with the ball to loosen Worcestershire’s grip on the LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two encounter at New Road.
McIlroy returned career best figures of four wickets for 27 runs to revive his side’s hopes in the top-three encounter, in which 18 wickets fell on the second day.
Worcestershire will resume on Tuesday with a lead of 241 on a wicket still offering assistance and encouragement to the seamers – but the game is much more in the balance than when they had reached 81 for one second time around.
Worcestershire had obtained a first innings lead of 114 after bowling out unbeaten Glamorgan in just 48 overs.
Logan van Beek followed up Sunday’s half-century with four for 43 and Dillon Pennington continued his recent good form in red ball cricket with another three wickets.
Jake Libby and Azhar Ali consolidated the hosts’ position during the early part of their second innings against an attack missing seamer Timm van der Gugten, who had a hamstring injury.
But their depleted resources stuck to their task during a marathon 50 over final session and, most notably, McIlroy. He picked up the first four wickets and ended the day with 12-3-27-4.
Glamorgan resumed on three for nought on a blistering hot day and Worcestershire’s leading wicket-taker Joe Leach taking his tally to 43 by accounting for Ed Byrom, with the second ball of the morning, and former Worcestershire Academy player Zain ul Hassan.
Dillon Pennington got in on the act as nightwatchman James Harris went lbw to a delivery angled in to leave Glamorgan on 27 for three.
Sam Northeast survived a straightforward chance at midwicket but added only two more before he prodded at a delivery from Pennington and was caught at third slip.
Van Beek picked up his maiden Championship wicket for Worcestershire as Colin Ingram drove hard at the Dutch international and Libby again made no mistake.
Kiran Carlson experienced a difficult time, surviving two hard chances and being hit on the helmet by a short ball from Pennington.
But the first over after lunch brought about his downfall as he took one hand off the bat and slapped on-loan Essex seamer Ben Allison to cover.
Chris Cooke and Billy Root added 62 in 14 overs before the last four wickets fell for 21 runs.
Van Beek had Cooke caught behind off an away-swinger and in his next over Ben Kellaway perished at second slip.
Van der Gugten, who needed a runner, departed in the same manner off Pennington before McIlroy was yorked by van Beek to wrap up the innings.
When Worcestershire batted, Gareth Roderick was caught by wicketkeeper Cooke off the first ball of the innings from McIlroy.
Libby and Azhar joined forces to see off the new ball but McIlroy returned to the attack to pick up three wickets in the space of 13 balls to spark a substantial collapse.
Azhar (39) provided Cooke with another scalp after attempting to cut, ending a stand of 81 with Libby.
The left armer had more joy when Libby (40) was undone by a ball of extra bounce which he nicked to first slip, before Jack Haynes drove McIlroy to second slip.
Adam Hose shouldered arms and was bowled by Harris, ul Hassan trapped Kashif Ali lbw and then castled van Beek, before Harris saw off Allison.
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