June 8, 2000

97 all out: Windies face Welsh humiliation

Another dreadful batting performance from the West Indies will see them looking down the barrel of a possible, but by no means certain, defeat against Glamorgan. The WIndies were skittled for 97 on a turning pitch, leaving Glamorgan 134 runs to win the match tomorrow.

Hansie Cronje believes he was led by Satan when he accepted money from an Indian bookmaker. Quite what Brian Lara is being led by at the moment is much more puzzling. Lara appeared to have left his white stick and guide dog at home yesterday, beginning his knock with a perfectly timed cover drive. He sauntered down the wicket and over the top, two flashes of genius, but this was not the Lara we have got to know. He laboured somewhat over his 11 runs, lasting out 32 balls, before Croft nabbed him for the second time in the game, padding up to a ball which, on reflection, would have probably passed by the off-stump.

Lara may have been unfortunate, but the rest of the West Indians were lazy, a poor attempt to combat a difficult pitch. Sherwin Campbell was well caught by Wharf, from his own bowling, after the right-hander mis-judged a pull, the ball not coming quickly onto the bat. Hinds miscued a slash, caught at mid-on. Chris Gayle was trapped plumb in front by Wharf, his bat some way behind his pad, a poor judgement.

With Lara gone, the score was 20-4, and some direct action was needed. It came, albeit too briefly, in the form of Ridley Jacobs, who crashed six boundaries in his 43. Adams long vigil was ended by Wharf, who also picked up the wicket of Nagamootoo, for a less than elegant duck. The end came fairly swiftly, despite some clean hitting from McLean. Wayne Phillip was well held at silly point, a reaction catch from Mike Powell, who had replaced Wayne Law close in on the offside. Whilst Powell looked ready for a catch, Law cowered comically every time the striker raised his blade. With Parkin and Croft picking up three a piece and Wharf four, it was a fine performance by Glamorgan.

The Welshmen too batted dreadfully earlier in the day. The pitches at Sophia Gardens turn square, but there was no excuse for night-watchman Dean Cosker's dismissal, bowled off stump, leaving one from McLean. The only real resistance came from James, who battled for 39. Today looks set to be an interesting one, particularly as the ball is likely to be in the hands of leg-spinner Nagamootoo - who claimed four victims in Glamorgans first effort - very early on.