Glamorgan v Essex, Cardiff, 1st day August 2, 2011

Petersen century makes Foster pay

Glamorgan 313 for 3 v Essex

A century from skipper Alviro Petersen helped Glamorgan dominate the first day of their County Championship Division Two match against Essex at Cardiff.

Petersen scored 133 out of Glamorgan's 313 for 3 after his opposite number James Foster won the toss and decided to put Glamorgan in to bat.

The decision was understandable in the overcast and humid morning conditions but Glamorgan could not have expected the opening session to run as smoothly as it did, with Petersen and Gareth Rees reaching lunch with ease at 101 for no loss.

Despite winning their last three games and bowling Leicestershire out for 34 last Friday, when David Masters recorded figures of eight for 10 at Garon Park in Southend-on-Sea, Essex failed to produce one chance before lunch.

Masters and Maurice Chambers did beat the bat a couple of times in their second spells but it was very much Glamorgan's morning. The opening pair easily surpassed their previous best opening partnership of 68 against Gloucestershire in May.

And their dominance continued with both batsmen completing their half-centuries in the over after lunch. Rees' came up from 94 balls with six fours and Petersen reached his from 101 balls with seven boundaries.

Glamorgan looked certain break their first-wicket record against Essex - Steve James and Hugh Morris' 199 at Chelmsford in 1996 - but Rees fell victim to the leg-spinner Tom Craddock. Rees was caught behind attempting a scoop shot to leave the home side 184 for one in the 57th over.

That was just after Petersen reached his second century for Glamorgan - his first in Wales - from 182 balls with 14 fours. The home side continued to dominate and reached tea at 217 for one from 64 overs. To Essex's credit, the bowlers did not let Glamorgan score at a fast rate with Masters and Craddock keeping the runs down.

But it was Chambers who got the second breakthrough after tea when Petersen feathered one behind. He went for 133 from 228 balls to leave Glamorgan 251 for two in the 76th over.

Michael Powell and Will Bragg looked as if they had negotiated the threat of the second new ball but only three overs from the close, Bragg went leg before attempting to turn a ball from Masters into the legside. That forced Glamorgan into employing a nightwatchman - Will Owen, who survived until the close.