Worcestershire defeat promotion rivals Glamorgan by 80 runs with day to spare
Worcestershire strengthened their grip on second place in Division Two of the County Championship as they defeated promotion rivals Glamorgan by 80 runs at New Road.
Their fifth victory of the campaign was wrapped up with more than a day to spare as their opponents suffered a first Championship setback of the summer.
Netherlands international Logan van Beek completed an excellent all-round display with another four wickets to take his tally to eight in the match after his first-innings half-century.
But once again all members of their four-pronged seam attack bowled with discipline on a wicket which still offered sufficient encouragement.
Club captain Brett D’Oliveira’s first-innings knock of 74 not out was also a crucial contribution and they were able to survive a second-innings collapse of nine wickets for 64 runs to collect 20 points from the game.
Billy Root batted with composure and authority in both innings for Glamorgan and his 84 not out on Tuesday was a superb effort in challenging conditions for batting, but no-one could provide substantial support.
Jamie McIlroy demonstrated his potential with the ball but the loss of Timm van der Gugten from their attack after the opening day with a hamstring injury was a major setback.
Worcestershire are now 31 points ahead of Glamorgan in the battle for the second promotion spot, behind Durham, who are their next opponents in two weeks’ time at New Road.
But Leicestershire are emerging as their biggest challengers after their win over Gloucestershire left them 24 points behind but with a game in hand.
Worcestershire resumed on 127 for eight and McIlroy claimed one of the last two wickets to complete his first five-for in first-class cricket.
D’Oliveira (11) was caught low down at second slip cutting at James Harris and then last man Dillon Pennington (two) fell to a one-handed return catch by McIlroy.
He finished with the excellent figures of 15.5-3-34-5 as the innings was wrapped up in 6.5 overs for the addition of 18 runs.
Pennington and Joe Leach shared the new ball and the latter quickly claimed his 44th wicket of the season when Ed Byrom was lbw to a delivery swinging into him before he could trouble the scorers.
Former Worcestershire academy player Zain-Ul-Hassan was put down at mid-wicket off Van Beek but it did not prove a costly miss as three wickets fell for seven runs.
Colin Ingram (14) drove at the Netherlands international and, for the second time in the game, perished to Jake Libby at third slip. Ul-Hassan (seven) played down the wrong line and was bowled by on-loan Essex all-rounder Ben Allison from a ball angled in.
It became 37 for four when Kiran Carlson went lbw to Van Beek for a duck to another delivery swinging into his pads.
Much responsibility now rested on the shoulders of Sam Northeast and Root and they added 48 in 11 overs as Leach and Pennington returned for a post-lunch burst.
Leach made the crucial breakthrough when Northeast (30) was pouched down low down at first slip by Adam Hose.
He waited to check with the square-leg umpire that the ball had carried before departing.
Root played with plenty of aggression and completed a 53-ball half-century when he square-drove Van Beek for his 10th boundary.
But Allison came back into the attack and accounted for Chris Cooke (12), who looked to work the ball on the leg side but only edged to Libby diving forward from third slip to take the catch.
Ben Kellaway collected a pair when he tried in vain to kick a delivery from Van Beek away from his stumps after it had spun back and James Harris (14) drove hard at Pennington and fell to a sharp catch by Jack Haynes at second slip.
Worcestershire moved to within one wicket of victory when Hose snaffled Van der Gugten (one) at first slip off the persevering Leach.
It was all over when Van Beek bowled McIlroy (two) to leave Root undefeated for the second time in the match.
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