Natwest T20 Blast Quarter Final: Glamorgan v Leicestershire 

Last night I went to the Natwest T20 Blast Quarter Final match between Glamorgan and Leicestershire at the SSE Swalec Stadium in Cardiff. By beating Middlesex last week, Glamorgan finished top of the `South’ Group hence the home tie against Leicestershire who finished fourth in the North Midlands Group. In contrast to most of the rest of the competition, we had good weather: there was a bit of cloud, but it was warm and as we settled into our seats we were confident of a full match.

The game was preceded by a moving tribute to the late Don Shepherd, who died last week shortly after celebrating his 90th birthday. It’s a shame he wasn’t around to experience what turned out to be a fine evening for Glamorgan cricket.

Leicestershire won the toss and decided to bat first. They got off to a flying start and although Cameron Delport and Luke Ronchi were both clean bowled by excellent deliveries (the former a superb yorker from Marchant De Lange), Leicestershire emerged from the six overs of Powerplay on 57 for 2. A big score looked likely.

The trajectory of the match thereafter was defined by a really excellent bowling and fielding display from Glamorgan, to such an extent that the next ten overs for Leicestershire produced just 43 runs for the loss of seven wickets. Their last wicket fell in the last over, by which time they had accumulated only 123 runs.

The pick of the Glamorgan bowlers was Craig Meschede who bowled at a sharpish fast-medium, but with the wicket-keeper standing up to the stumps to frustrate the batsmen who clearly wanted to come down the wicket to make use of the short straight boundaries. He also bowled a considerable number of slower balls and cutters, but despite these variations he kept to a very accurate line. He finished with figures of 3 for 17 off his four overs, which is really excellent for this format. At the other end for much of the time, Colin Ingram bowled his leg breaks with similar accuracy and got quite a few to turn; he took the wicket of Wells with one that turned enough to take the leading edge, resulting in a simple caught-and-bowled. Ingram finished with 1-19; both he and Meschede bowled 12 dot balls in their four-over spells. All this was backed up by sharp fielding and good catching.

The target of 124 never looked like being enough, although there was nervousness around the ground when Aneurin Donald holed out to mid off early on after which Glamorgan’s batsmen took some time to get the scoreboard moving. But that was just Rudolph and Ingram being sensible. They had no need to rush with such a modest score to chase. Suddenly Ingram sprang into life and took the bull by the horns. The scoring accelerated with a flurry of boundaries, the tension melted away and the Glamorgan supporters starting singing. In all, Ingram clubbed five huge sixes including one that went so high I lost it in the floodlights and feared it might land on my head. It actually landed in the crowd a few yards away but didn’t cause any injury. Ingram is an impressive player when he gets doing – he hits the ball very hard but it looks so effortless, and he’s as skilled with the rapier as with the bludgeon: many deft flicks and cuts were included in his innings.

Ingram was in no mood to hang about once he’d got his eye in. At the end of the 13th over, Glamorgan were 104 for 1. The next five balls went for 6-6-4-2-4 and that was that. Glamorgan finished 126 for 1, winning by nine wickets. Ingram finished on 70 not out having overtaken Jacques Rudolph and left him stranded four short of a fifty. Together with his excellent bowling, his batting amply justified the Man of the Match award. It had been a one-sided contest, but in a way that I found entirely satisfactory. Well played Glamorgan, and commiserations to the Leicestershire fans who played their part in creating a great atmosphere at Sophia Gardens.

So there we are. For the first time since 2004, Glamorgan have qualified for the semi-finals of the Twenty20 competition, where they join Hampshire (who thrashed Derbyshire on Tuesday night); the two remaining quarter-finals are played tonight and tomorrow. Both semi-finals and the final are played on Saturday September 2nd at Edgbaston. David Miller, who had flown back for this match having played in South Africa the day before, was scheduled to bat at No. 4 last night but wasn’t needed. He may well get a game on Finals Day!

UPDATE: Here’s a short video of the highlights of the match! De Lange’s brilliant yorker is about 19s in…

9 Responses to “Natwest T20 Blast Quarter Final: Glamorgan v Leicestershire ”

  1. Miss Lemon Says:

    I have one Lamb working on finals day and at least one Lamb viewing at the Warwickshire Bears Midlands location

    • telescoper Says:

      I originally thought they only decided the venue for the final when all teams were decided, so that it would be guaranteed to be a neutral venue. However, Warwickshire can still qualify if they beat Surrey, so they will have home advantage on Finals day.

      Which Lamb is going to be watching?

  2. Anton Garrett Says:

    Glamorgan looking good for the trophy!

  3. Simon Kemp Says:

    A convincing win, though Notts will be hard to beat and Hampshire have already beaten Glamorgan twice in the competition this year, so I hope we get the winner of the last QF in the semi-final!

    I went to Glamorgan’s previous visit to Finals Day in 2004, also at Edgbaston. Coincidentally that is the only day I ever spoke to Don Shepherd, as he was signing copies of his autobiography that day, as was the then recently-retired Steve James, so I got the signatures of both of them. I never saw Don as a player as I started watching Glamorgan in 1975, but he did have a great voice for the radio.

    Unfortunately the commute from Mexico is too great for me to make it this year, though I know David Miller didn’t use that excuse (Is he Glamorgan’s only overseas player never to face a ball in a home match?).

    One thing that has impressed me with following Glamorgan’s T20 season is that Rudolph always varies the order and time of the bowlers coming on, i.e. he’s clearly not following pre-set plans for who bowls which over.

    • telescoper Says:

      Yes, Hampshire are the bogey team for Glamorgan, but there’s hope because they are inconsistent It’s true that they racked up 249 in their QF to win easily, but they were all out for 91 in their last group game.

      Nottinghamshire look strong, and did head their group but they’re not invincible either. Somerset’s total of 151 looked like an easy target, last night but Notts didn’t exactly walk that match.

      Twenty20 is quite unpredictable because batsmen take so many chances and things can change so quickly if a few wickets fall, or someone hits a few sixes.

      Glamorgan must go into Finals day believing they can win, which I think is true: if they bowl well and bat well they’ve got at least as good a chance as any of the final four.

    • telescoper Says:

      ps. The Bookies have Surrey as clear favourites for the 4th SF place

  4. Simon Kemp Says:

    I’ll take that! I don’t mind Warwickshire/Birmingham. Surrey would have been OK too, Glamorgan have a good T20 record against them in recent years, and won an exciting game against them at The Oval a few weeks ago, which I attended, by 6 runs (Tom Curran had to hit a six off the last ball to tie the scores). There’s quite a Test Match feel to the Oval on home T20 days as it was virtually full, though people seem to spend even more of their time walking back and forth to the bar and less time actually sitting on their seats than they do at Test Matches.
    Meanwhile I wouldn’t mind being at the pretty ground at Colwyn Bay this week watching the latest 4-day game, but it didn’t fit in with my holiday schedule this year (and hasn’t since 2010). Though some Glamorgan players also preferred to rest rather than travel up north…

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