Wednesday, 10 September 2014
Glamorgan v Derbyshire day 2
"Puj" as he is known to the players (I'd have quite liked "Chet" in honour of the great Chet Atkins, but...) struggled against some means protagonists of the moving ball, as he was ever likely to do. He's here to learn and an atmosphere conducive to swing was exactly what Messrs Hogan, Wagg and Allenby would have wanted.
None of our batsmen came to terms with the moving ball, although Gareth Cross got a season's best 30 in quick time. At 153-9 we were in danger of being out of touch, before Wayne White (pictured) and Mark Footitt added an aggressive fifty for the last wicket. White's 38 came from just 22 balls and wrested the initiative from the home side. We were 79 behind on first innings, but it could have been much worse.
When the home side made a brisk start to their second innings, we looked in trouble again, but the introduction of the pacy White to the attack brought two wickets in two balls. Just before the close, his reintroduction to the attack brought the wickets of both set batsmen to leave the game intriguingly poised.
White is a good cricketer and I would be delighted to get his services for a few seasons. He'll not always score runs and take wickets - who does? - but he presents a danger with bat and ball that offers potent possibilities.
All the bowlers did a steady job and special mention must be made of Alex Hughes, who kept things tight at one end and got the important wicket of Bragg. The lad is a good cricketer and I look forward to seeing the results of a winter of hard work in the nets and gym.
224 runs ahead, Glamorgan must be slight favourites and batting first in this game could turn out to be the deciding factor, but we're not out of this yet. Much will depend on how quickly we can remove the Welsh tail tomorrow and, with less favourable bowling conditions and greater resolve from the batsmen, we could feasibly chase a total under 300.
With a favourable forecast, there is a certain result in this game.
It could still go either way.
Postcript - there's an excellent piece on Pujara on Cricinfo today. Well worth a read.