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Paul Edwards at Cardiff
September 11, 2012
Glamorgan 334 for 8 (Allenby 100*, Walters 63, Bragg 59, Tredwell 3-61) v Kent
Send for Tredders sounds rather like a school story from the 1920s, evoking a vanished world of bounders, beatings and dorm feasts after lights-out. Yet if Kent manage to achieve promotion to Division One of the County Championship, the words may come to be seen as the rallying cry that helped them over the line.
Last week James Tredwell was drafted into the Kent team in the middle of their vital game against leaders Derbyshire after playing for England in a one-day international the previous evening. His only obvious contribution to Kent's eventual win was to take a couple of slip catches - but the Peakites' protests were long and strident.
Tredwell's work on the first day of Kent's equally important game against Glamorgan at Cardiff was much more obvious, and this time nobody doubted its legitimacy. His final figures of 3 for 61 from 27 overs represented another fine day's work by a spinner much of whose winter may be spent on the subcontinent.
But Tredwell's efforts were countered by those of Jim Allenby, whose side is battling to avoid Division Two's wooden spoon. Coming to the wicket in mid-afternoon, Allenby hit his first ball, which was bowled by the off-spinner, straight for four and in the last over of the day he hoisted Tredwell over long-on for six to bring up a century that also contained 13 boundaries.
The Glamorgan No 6 had batted aggressively - he faced only 132 balls in his 100 not out - but he had played in an orthodox and sensible fashion quite at variance with the technique of his some of his colleagues. By the close, tailender John Glover had helped Allenby add 82 for the ninth wicket and Glamorgan had taken back the initiative on a day which had mixed the excellent with the execrable. Victory must seem a somewhat distant goal for Rob Key's men at the minute.
Yet at one stage it seemed that Allenby's straight, strong hitting would hardly be needed, so great had been the mastery of the Glamorgan top order over the wayward Kent seamers.
Key had been forced to bring Tredwell into the attack in the 20th over of the innings when the home side were 96 for 1, not so surprising on a very flat wicket perhaps, but the pitch Keith Exton has prepared for this game is well-grassed and bouncy. It is far from a seamer's heaven but it is not one on which bowlers of the stamp of Mark Davies and Charlie Shreck should be going for five an over.
Nevertheless, Glamorgan's Will Bragg and Nick James gorged themselves on a diet of half volleys to the extent that 50 came up off only 53 balls. Darren Stevens's removal of James, wafting outside the off stump, offered some respite but it had not staunched the flow of runs in the first innings of a game Kent may need to win if they are to mix it with English cricket's elite next season.
Tredwell's introduction had an immediate impact. His first three overs were maidens and in his fifth he had Bragg lbw for 59 attempting an expansive sweep square of the wicket. At lunch Glamorgan were 133 for 2 but Tredwell had barely begun his work. Bowling unchanged from the River End throughout the afternoon session, he took the wickets of both David Lloyd, who collected his third duck in his third first-class innings, and Mark Wallace, who was embarrassingly bowled for 16 attempting to hit the twirler over the top against the spin.
Tredwell's accuracy added to the pressure on Glamorgan's batsmen and helped to take wickets at the other end. After helping Bragg build foundations for a total well in excess of 350, Stewart Walters hooked Shreck to long leg where Mike Powell took a good running catch. The same bowler somehow induced Ben Wright to attempt a crass and crooked drive which only inside-edged the ball to Geraint Jones behind the stumps. Glamorgan were 243 for 6 at tea; some of their batting had voyaged to the depths of the dire.
The evening session was briefly punctuated by Matt Coles taking two wickets in successive overs, the second of them that of Robert Croft, whose penultimate first- class innings lasted just six balls. The 42-year-old had been greeted with a bouncer from Coles and edged it high over slip for a single. One off the mark, it wasn't. Croft's sixth ball was also a bouncer and he gloved it to Jones. Professional cricket remains a hard school, which is just how Croft likes it and just what he will miss like hell come next April.
More significantly in the context of the match, however, the final session saw Allenby score 59 runs in a manner both controlled and relatively untroubled, even against the new ball. And the sight of Tredwell bowling the final over of the day to the Glamorgan all-rounder was only appropriate: it brought together two fine professionals whose efforts had made the day memorable
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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