De Lange puts Glamorgan in a spin
Northamptonshire 111 for 1 (Wakely 54*) beat Glamorgan 110 for 9 (de Lange 3-15, Middlebrook 3-16) by 9 wickets
Northamptonshire celebrated their first win of this season's Friends Life t20 after coasting to a nine-wicket victory over Glamorgan in Cardiff. Northamptonshire, bottom of the Midlands, Wales and West Group, dominated with ball and bat against a disappointing Glamorgan side who now have it all to do to qualify for this year's knockout stages.
It was Northamptonshire's slow bowlers who laid the foundations for victory with Con de Lange, 3 for 15, and James Middlebrook, 3 for 16, limiting their hosts 110 for 9 off their 20 overs. And that target was always going to be within the sights of the visitors with skipper Alex Wakely making batting look far easier as he hit a superbly crafted 54 not out to see his side home in just 13.1 overs.
After being put into bat, Glamorgan struggled from the outset on a slowish Cardiff track. Marcus North was the first to perish, clean bowled for 1 giving himself room trying to drive David Willey.
With only 17 runs coming off the first four overs, skipper Jim Allenby tried to break free of the shackles with successive boundaries off Willey, but the respite was shortlived. The captain was bowled by Lee Daggett for 20, then Australian opener Shaun Marsh holed out for 16, chipping left-arm spinner De Lange into the safe hands of Cameron White at long on.
The home side were in desperate need of a partnership, but their big-name top order failed to deliver. Martin van Jaarsveld pulled a long hop from De Lange straight down the throat of Kyle Coetzer at deep mid-wicket, which prompted a middle-order collapse that saw the hosts lose three wickets for just one run.
Mark Wallace was undone by a beauty from Middlebrook, Chris Cooke inexplicably danced down the track the next ball and was clean bowled, then James Harris also trudged back to the pavilion without troubling the scorers, trapped leg before by the impressive De Lange.
That left Glamorgan tottering on 70 for 7 with still more than seven overs remaining and in danger of recording their lowest-ever score in the competition - 94 for 9 against Essex in 2010. That looked possible when Middlebrook claimed his third wicket by having Robert Croft stumped by David Murphy, but Stewart Walters - with an unbeaten 34 and Dean Cosker (13) put on 33 for the ninth wicket to take the home side past the 100-mark.
Needing quick wickets, the home bowlers, like their batsmen, failed to fire. Harris went for 19 off his first over with the hard-hitting Willey finding the boundary at will. But he went for a 17-ball 24, going for one shot too many and being caught by Marsh off the bowling of Allenby, but Northamptonshire were by then well on their way.
Wakely duly picked up the baton, playing a brilliant innings for his side. He took a particular liking to Croft, reverse sweeping the veteran off-spinner with consummate ease. His half century came up off just 37 balls and contained seven fours. Coetzer provided able support and the pair reached their target with 6.5 overs to spare with Coetzer finishing the match in style with a six over mid-wicket off Cosker.