Rudolph leads Glamorgan reply
Glamorgan 222 for 6 (Rudolph 88) trail Worcestershire 352 (Kohler-Cadmore 85) by 130 runs
A limping Jacques Rudolph missed a third consecutive Championship century in Glamorgan's battle to hold off Worcestershire in a gripping Division Two clash at New Road. Facing the home side's total of 352 - after a career-best 85 by 19-year-old Tom Kohler-Cadmore - Rudolph became a victim of his incapacity when he was run out for 88 as the Welsh county closed day two on 222 for 6, still 130 behind.
Having batted without fault for four hours, mostly with Tom Lancefield acting as his runner, the South African played a ball from Joe Leach to midwicket and saw Lancefield beaten by Saeed Ajmal's direct throw to the bowler's end.
After scores of 103 against Kent and 139 against Gloucestershire, Rudolph continued his rich vein of form despite obvious discomfort after he was hit on the calf by a fielder's return throw when he was on 19 in the 16th over. This meant an early recall to the middle for Lancefield after he had been dismissed, edging to third slip off Charlie Morris, in the second over of the innings.
Glamorgan got over this setback thanks to a watchful partnership of 75 in 33 overs by Rudolph and Will Bragg, but the tempo of the game - and perhaps the balance as well - altered as soon as Worcestershire teamed up Ajmal and Moeen Ali.
The first pair of Test spinners to bowl in tandem for the club in Championship cricket in nine years, they set a new challenge for Glamorgan after a watchful but largely trouble-free start against the seamers. Suddenly the pitch presented problems as the bounce became lower.
The England selectors, in particular, would have been pleased to see Moeen given a spell of 15-2-37-1 after bowling only 78.5 overs in five previous Championship appearances this season. Initially he was unlucky, Ben Cox missing a stumping chance from Bragg, and instead it was Ajmal who dislodged a batsmen who has more than inconvenienced Worcestershire this year.
At Cardiff in May Bragg batted for most of the last day to save his side from defeat with an unbeaten 91 in 343 minutes, and here Worcestershire were held up for more than two hours before he was caught by Daryl Mitchell at second slip for 28.
Rudolph's experience saw him through a testing period, but successive partners were given out lbw, Ben Wright falling to Moeen, first ball after tea, and Chris Cooke, a second victim for Ajmal. Jim Allenby, taking 14 from an Ajmal over, forced Worcestershire to change their plan of attack, but after making 34 out of 51 the allrounder was yorked by Joe Leach. Mark Wallace later saw his side past Rudolph's mishap with an unbeaten 33.
In the morning Worcestershire's talented young team completed their recovery from 39 for 3 on the first day by adding 86 from the last five wickets.
Michael Hogan (4 for 73) removed nightwatchman Jack Shantry with a fine catch by Lancefield at fine leg and Allenby shifted Cox and Leach after they had also got to 17. Kohler-Cadmore added 25 but needed treatment for a hip injury before he was lbw to Ruaidhri Smith after hitting a six and 10 fours in more than four hours. The innings finally closed with a first wicket for spin, Ajmal falling lbw 14 to Dean Cosker after hitting two boundaries.