Cooke heroics trump Stevens ton
Glamorgan 321 for 7 (Ingram 109, Cooke 94*, Bragg 59, Coles 3-53) beat Kent 317 for 7 (Stevens 110, Northeast 74, Billings 56) by three wickets
Glamorgan were indebted to a brilliant unbeaten 94 from Chris Cooke as they chased down a target of 318 to beat Kent by three wickets in a thrilling Royal London Cup match in Cardiff. Cooke struck eight fours and four sixes in his 54-ball innings as Glamorgan, who required 103 runs off the last eight overs, secured victory with two balls to spare.
Cooke did have a life, though, caught on 52 after sending an Ivan Thomas delivery high into the sky, only to earn a reprieve with the Kent seamer having overstepped. The South Africa-born batsman made the most of that no-ball to lead Glamorgan to their opening win in the competition after seeing their first match against Nottinghamshire rained off.
Kent's impressive total of 317 for 7 was built on Darren Stevens' blistering 110 from only 64 balls, his ton coming after Sam Northeast and Sam Billings had laid the foundations with a partnership of 104 in 18 overs for the third wicket.
Prior to Cooke's late onslaught, his countryman Colin Ingram helped keep Glamorgan in touch with 109 off 106 balls, but after his dismissal with the score on 197 it looked as though the visitors had gained the upper hand. Cooke had other ideas, however, and aided by David Lloyd (21 off 11 balls) he guided Glamorgan over the winning line.
Earlier, Glamorgan's bowlers had done well to restrict Kent to 219 for 5 with less than 10 overs remaining after captain Northeast and England international Billings had set a promising platform. But Stevens ensured the visitors would post a total in excess of 300 as he accelerated over the closing overs before finishing with six sixes and nine fours.
He was eventually caught on the long-on boundary by Dean Cosker off Michael Hogan in the final over, with the Australian then dismissing Fabian Cowdrey in a similar manner before Matt Coles avoided the hat-trick.
Cosker was the pick of the Glamorgan attack, but the home team surprisingly left out Andrew Salter, their promising offspinner. Instead they opted to give Ingram and Jacques Rudolph three overs which cost 27 runs, while their cause was not helped by some sloppy fielding.
Long-serving wicketkeeper Mark Wallace, however, will remember holding an edge from Alex Blake to record his 1000th dismissal for Glamorgan in all cricket - a career that started against Somerset in a Championship game 16 years ago.
Glamorgan soon lost Rudolph in the third over, but the left-handed combination of Will Bragg and Ingram counter-attacked with a flurry of boundaries, with Thomas struck for 15 in his first over before he was taken off .
Ingram soon reached fifty from 47 balls with the 100-run partnership reached in the 21st over. Bragg, in his first one-day game of the season, also brought up his half-century, and after 25 overs Glamorgan were 121 for 1 - nine runs behind Kent at the halfway stage.
The partnership of 136 was eventually ended when Bragg drove a low full toss back to Thomas. Aneurin Donald was sent in with licence to attack but the 18-year-old, after striking two fours, was caught at short fine leg for 12.
Glamorgan's progress was restricted by accurate bowling - especially from Stevens - but Ingram reached his first century in any competition for Glamorgan to keep them ticking over. However, after scoring 109, he was brilliantly caught by Billings leaping to his left behind the wicket.
When the players returned after a shower Glamorgan needed 95 from 46 balls and Cooke gave his team hope with fifty from 36 balls. There was still plenty to do, but Cooke played superbly to take his team to victory.
"When we came out after the rain, we had the advantage of a wet ball," Cooke said. "It was especially difficult for the offspinner James Tredwell. This will give us a great deal of confidence for the next two games - against Essex on Friday and Hampshire on Saturday.''