Improving county keep hopes alive in chase for semi spot
WHATEVER happens in their YB40 group finale at Headingley today, Glamorgan will feel they have taken rapid strides in the one-day game this season.
The Welsh county faced Yorkshire in the final match of their Group C campaign still very much in the fight for a rare knockout semi-final appearance.
If they can beat an under-strength Vikings today, it all comes down to run-rate — which took a significant boost on the back of yesterday's ridiculously comfortable 68-run victory over Leicestershire.
And even though top spot depends on what happens between Somerset and Gloucestershire at Bristol, Glamorgan could still sneak through to the last four as the best runners-up from the three groups.
Having narrowly missed out on the T20 knockout stages, Glamorgan have been a much-improved outfit in their old 1993 colours this summer.
And a Lord's farewell for departing head coach Matthew Mott was still very much alive as Glamorgan headed to Leeds last night.
Having been beaten by Gloucestershire in their last one-day fixture, Glamorgan arrived in Swansea knowing it was win at all costs for their hopes in this 40-over competition.
But after flaying Leicestershire's attack to all corners of St Helen's, there were to be no nervy moments for the players or another decent crowd at the famous old ground.
Mark Wallace set out Glamorgan's stall, taking his side out of the blocks in style with a 40-ball half century at the top of the innings. When he fell, bowled by Ben Raine, it was Chris Cooke who took up the baton along with Gareth Rees, who was more measured for his 45.
Cooke finished with an accomplished 85 to underline his emergence as a one-day player of real threat, but it was 40-year-old Murray Goodwin who stole the show.
The former Zimbawe Test star hit a four and two sixes in the first six balls he faced and went to smash a terrific 48 off just 19 balls — missing out on a deserved half century and the joint quickest for Glamorgan in the competition when he was caught on the mid-wicket boundary.
With Leicestershire's bowlers and fielders suffering amid the onslaught, Glamorgan went on to pass 300.
And the Foxes didn't come remotely close to challenging that.
They weren't helped when their big-hitting opener Josh Cobb fell in the second over, caught behind off Jim Allenby. But after fellow opener Greg Smith also fell cheaply they proceeded to treat the remainder of the contest as a net session.
At the halfway mark they were on just 68-4 with Allenby and Andrew Salter, who has enjoyed a fine week in Swansea, picking up further scalps.
Michael Thornley hit 68 before being caught by Cooke to give Hogan his second wicket, then Eoin O'Brien's 123-ball vigil for 92 was ended by Allenby (3-37) in the 47th over. Tom Wells gave a brief taste of what might have been with some lusty late hitting, but by then, many had headed home.