Natwest T20 Blast: Glamorgan v Middlesex

This evening sees the last set of group matches in this summer’s Natwest T20 Blast. Weather permitting, I’ll be at the SSE Swalec Stadium at 7pm to Glamorgan play Middlesex. Glamorgan are currently top of the South Group, with only two teams (Hampshire and Surrey) able to catch them:

This means that Glamorgan have already qualified for the Quarter Finals to take place next week. If they finish in one of the top two places they will have a home tie against the third or fourth club from the North (or, more properly, Midlands) group. If they finish third they will play away against whichever Midlands team finishes second in that group.

Hampshire are also guaranteed a Quarter Final place but there are many possibilities for the other two slots: only Gloucestershire, who played their final game last night, are definitely eliminated.

Normally, a home Quarter Final tie would regarded as a `reward’ for doing well in the group, but this season Glamorgan haven’t won any of their home games (either losing them or having them rained off). They might do better to lose tonight and play their next match somewhere else! However, if they beat Middlesex (or if tonight’s game is rained off) I’ll have another match in this competition to watch at Sophia Gardens. After that, proper cricket resumes in the form of championship matches against Sussex (at Colwyn Bay) and in Cardiff against Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire.

I have to say that I find the format of the Natwest T20 Blast group matches a bit strange. It would make sense for each of the 9 teams in each division to play each of the others home and away. That would mean 16 matches per side altogether. In fact each team plays only 14 matches: each plays six teams home and away and two teams only once. Presumably that is to avoid fixture congestion, but the group games are spread over a six week period, so I would have thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to fit another couple of games in.

This morning the Cardiff weather pulled out all the stops. I woke up to bright sunshine, then a few minutes later the rain was lashing down. Then we had thunder and lightning, with rain and hail, followed by more sunshine. It’s also been rather windy. It’s anyone’s guess what will happen this evening, but I’ve paid for my season ticket so I’ll try to make the best of it!

I’ll update this post with pictures of the action. If there is any!

UPDATE. Play was scheduled to start at 7pm. This was the scene at 7.02. 

Still raining. Toss delayed until further notice.

UPDATE to the UPDATE: After a pitch inspection at 8pm we finally got going at 8.20, with 14 overs a side. There were a couple of short interruptions when the rain started again, but the game was completed.

Glamorgan won the toss and decided to field. Middlesex got off to a terrible start and were at one point 7 for 3, and then 24 for 5. They recovered somewhat but could only reach 99 for 8 off their 14 overs. 

Despite a wobble in the middle when they lost 3 quick wickets, including the talismanic Ingram, Glamorgan reached the required round hundred comfortably to win by 7 wickets. 

Their reward is a home tie against Leicestershire next Wednesday evening. I hope the weather is a bit better then!

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12 Responses to “Natwest T20 Blast: Glamorgan v Middlesex”

  1. Simon Kemp Says:

    Congratulations Glamorgan, seemed a comfortable win tonight!
    While on holiday in the UK I only went to one game at Cardiff, 3rd Aug v Gloucs, when Glamorgan bowled well to restrict Gloucs to 150-9. The rain got heavy at the start of the Glam innings but the umpires arried on until 5 overs were bowled to make a result of it.
    Glam were level on Duckworth/Lewis until Rudolph was bowled off the last ball of the 5th over, having been trying to nudge a single for 5 balls. That was a rather unlucky defeat, in fact Hampshire were the only team to beat Glamorgan over a full game.
    I also saw the Glamorgan away games at Arundel, Bristol, and the Oval, all on glorious sunny days, good team performances with everyone contributing sometime (I’m not sure Ingram’s got a 50 for 10 games, so it’s not just him any more). So it wasn’t a bad summer for cricket, though I’d have liked to watch a day of 4-day cricket somewhere (I did see day 3 of the Old Trafford Test, with Moeen Ali’s attacking innings).

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      So did I! And I look forward to 4-day cricket resuming at Old Trafford once the T20 stuff is complete. Although I must say that county championship matches look bare in a Test arena and are nicer at smaller grounds.

      • Simon Kemp Says:

        You were at day 3 of Old Trafford Anton? Quite an observing days play, with a great counterattack my Moeen at the end. Though I was probably the only person there to head over to Blackpool for a Skids concert after play finished….And yes, Cardiff isn’t great too for 4-day games, although the elevated seating at one end gives fine views behind the bowler, and you can enjoy the personal space.

      • Simon Kemp Says:

        absorbing not observing…..Freudian slip there

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Yes I was at Day 3. I spent much of my gap year (which was not a full year as I took Oxbridge entrance exams before Christmas in the year I sat A-levels) at Old Trafford.

        Re concerts after cricket, did you know that the derelict B&Q next to Old Trafford cricket ground was once the Manchester Hardrock, the country’s first dedicated rock concert venue? I saw Focus there one happy evening in the mid-70s after a day at the cricket.

    • telescoper Says:

      Frankly, Middlesex were poor last night. They had a chance of a QF place had they won but they were never really up for it. It was very good bowling by Glamorgan early on, though.

  2. Simon Kemp Says:

    Oh and I did think they’d change the format of the T20 this year so that everyone plays everyone home and away in each group, but I suppose they were making such a point about reducing the number of 4-day games they didn’t want to be seen increasing the load anywhere else. What’s even odder is that it’s always the same two teams that you only play one game against, at least it is for Glamorgan and I assume it is for everyone else. Glam play Kent and Middlesex only once each year, alternating home and away every year. I suppose this does keep the number of home and away games against each team equal over time, but I’d prefer they mixed it up a bit.

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      To do with distance?

      • telescoper Says:

        Well even with the current schedule, Glamorgan had to play a home game on a Saturday night followed by a 2.30 start on the following day against Essex in Chelmsford.

      • Simon Kemp Says:

        Well they are among the furthest sides from Glamorgan, but Surrey, Sussex and Essex are also a long trip along the M4 and/or M25

  3. telescoper Says:

    Sadly, Glamorgan legend Don Shepherd passed away yesterday having celebrated his 90th birthday just a week ago. I expect there will be a minute’s silence on Wednesday in his memory.

    • Simon Kemp Says:

      He was at the game in Cardiff on 3 August, in a parade of members of the 1969 championship-winning team before the game started, and was interviewed along with captain Tony Lewis.

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