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August 18, 2012
Glamorgan 438 (Walters 159) and 263 for 6 (Allenby 103*, Wright 83) drew with Essex 520 for 9 dec. (Westley 185, Shah 138, Croft 5-135)
Jim Allenby's first hundred of the season and a fighting half-century from Ben Wright ensured that Glamorgan came away with a draw from their County Championship battle with Essex at Colchester.
The game ended with the visitors on 260 for 6 in their second innings, an overall lead of 178 after Essex had looked the likely winners 75 minutes into the opening session. After resuming on 16 without loss, the visitors slumped to 63 for 4 as Harbhajan Singh claimed three wickets.
In the India offspinner's opening over, he had Will Bragg caught behind by James Foster pushing forward and, in his next, got rid of first-innings centurion Stewart Walters, the wicketkeeper again holding on. Harbhajan also trapped Nick James lbw for 32 in between paceman Graham Napier bowling Australian Marcus North off an inside edge.
But from the precarious position that Glamorgan found themselves in, Wright and Allenby pointed the way to safety with a partnership embracing tenacity and concentration. They defied a succession of bowling changes for well over three hours to deny Essex the victory they required to give themselves a realistic chance of getting into the promotion race.
Captain Foster consistently juggled his six-man bowling attack but the fifth-wicket pair were able to survive for 53 overs on a pitch, which despite the early flurry of wickets, generally favoured the batsmen.
Wright was first to his fifty containing just four boundaries from 115 balls, while the more aggressive Allenby followed him to that landmark in 87 deliveries with the help of six fours and one maximum. The pair were to add 180, which signalled a record fifth-wicket stand for a visiting side at Castle Park before they were separated. Wright's fine effort was ended by seamer Charl Willoughby for 83 as Harbhajan accepted a slip catch with the total on 243.
Willoughby got rid of Graham Wagg immediately afterwards but long before then, Glamorgan had completed their mission of saving the game and the captains shook hands on a draw. Allenby finished on 103 not out, an effort lasting four and a quarter hours containing 11 fours and two sixes, as the visitors were left to settle for nine points to Essex's 10.
Harbhajan toiled away for 30 overs to claim his three wickets at a cost of 62 runs and emerge with match figures of 7 for 153.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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