Timm van der Gugten shines as Glamorgan claim upper hand against Gloucestershire
Glamorgan took control on a rain-hit opening day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match against Gloucestershire with their bowlers holding sway in Cardiff.
Having won the toss, Glamorgan sent Gloucestershire into bat and bowled them out for 165 with Timm van der Gugten claimed impressive figures of five for 26 off 17 overs.
Opener Marcus Harris was the standout performer for the visitors, making 59 from 129 balls, but Gloucestershire’s middle-order were ripped apart by Van der Gugten and it needed a stand of 46 between eighth-wicket pair Zafar Gohar and Tom Price to get their side past 150.
Glamorgan were left with just one over to face before the close, with Van der Gugten promoted to open. He successfully carried out his nightwatch duties as Glamorgan ended the day on four without loss.
Play began on time in the morning but just four balls had been bowled before a heavy burst of rain brought proceedings to a rapid halt. That relatively brief shower led to an early lunch being taken after the hover cover broke down in the middle of the outfield.
After a long delay, the cover was removed and play resumed, but there were only a further 14 balls before another rain shower took the players off the field once again.
With the hover cover out of action the ground staff were left with sheets to cover the pitch which only further hampered clean up efforts.
When play did finally get going again it was a watchful start from Gloucestershire who were happy to see off the excellent new-ball spells of Harry Podmore and Van der Gugten.
However, Glamorgan made the breakthrough in the ninth over when Chris Dent, having made just three runs from 30 balls, edged one to Chris Cooke off the bowling of Podmore.
It was not until the 19th over that the first boundary arrived. When the first four was struck two more followed closely afterward as James Bracey started to put some pressure back on the Glamorgan bowlers with three boundaries from one James Harris over.
A stand of 66 between Bracey and Harris was broken in the last over before the tea interval when Bracey poked at a ball outside his off stump from David Lloyd and feathered an edge through to Cooke.
The reintroduction of Van der Gugten after the tea break brought four more wickets, as Miles Hammond, Graeme van Buuren, Ollie Price and Jack Taylor all fell lbw for a combined contribution of four runs.
As the wickets fell regularly it was Gloucestershire’s Australian import Harris, who only arrived in the UK this week having competed in the Sheffield Shield final at the end of last month, who held things together.
It was a patient innings against a ball that was swinging and seaming, his first boundary coming from the 92nd ball he faced. He had reached 59 when he was the seventh wicket to fall, a full delivery from Harris swinging in and bowling him.
At that point, Gloucestershire had slumped from 71 for one to 108 for seven, and although Gohar and Price staged a recovery of sorts, Glamorgan will be happy with their day’s work.
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