Glamorgan v Essex, LV= Championship, Division Two, Cardiff, 3rd day May 20, 2015

All-round Wagg inspires positive Glamorgan

ECB/PA

Essex 221 (Wagg 5-54) and 51 for 2 need 313 more runs to beat Glamorgan 314 and 270 (Wallace 79)
Scorecard

Graham Wagg played a key role with bat and ball on an action-packed day © Getty Images

Glamorgan will go into Thursday's final day of their LV= County Championship match against Essex in a strong position as they seek their first Division Two win of the season.

After batting with positive intent in Wednesday's afternoon session, they were able to set Essex the formidable target of 364 to win, and then reduce the visitors to 51 for 2 by the close.

If Glamorgan do win the game, they will be indebted to some outstanding performances, notably from Graham Wagg, who took four for seven with 15 balls to bring Essex's first innings to an end, finishing with figures of 5 for 54. Having resumed on 183 for 4, Essex were all out for 221 as they suffered something of a collapse.

Glamorgan did not look like they would be able to capitalise as they slumped to 78 for 5 themselves, with David Masters and Jamie Porter able to exploit a pitch of variable bounce, but Wagg and Mark Wallace counter-attacked effectively and took the game away from Essex with a rapid partnership of 98 in just 15.4 overs. It ended when Wagg was out for 43, bowled by Graham Napier.

Wallace pulled Napier into the member's enclosure for six and struck nine other boundaries before he was out for an entertaining 79 off 87 balls. Glamorgan batted so positively throughout the afternoon session that they scored 200 from 35.3 overs - a run rate of five and a half an over.

Nick Browne and Jaik Mickleburgh began cautiously in pursuit of the victory target, and it was again Wagg who made the initial breakthrough when he trapped Browne leg before. Mickleburgh should have also departed in the next over but a straightforward chance to first slip was put down.

However, he did not last long. With five overs remaining, Mickleburgh slightly overbalanced pushing forward to Andrew Salter's offspin and was smartly stumped down the leg side by Wallace.

Eighteen wickets fell in an entertaining day's play, putting Glamorgan in charge, and Wallace is confident they can finish the job.

"The pitch is a bit up and down,'' he said. "We found that when we were batting, and although there were periods when the ball did nothing you knew there was a chance of a lifter at any time. Graham Wagg and I decided to be positive in our partnership and it paid off.''

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