Glamorgan steady after Hankins shines
Glamorgan 82 for 1 trail Gloucestershire 262 (Hankins 56, van der Gugten 3-49) by 180 runs
Glamorgan captain Jacques Rudolph led the way in the final session on day one of the County Championship game against Gloucestershire in Bristol, to leave the Welsh county in a position of relative strength.
The former South Africa Test batsman survived the early loss of opening partner Mark Wallace to help Glamorgan to 82 for 1 at the close, in reply to Gloucestershire's 262 all out. With Rudolph 33 not out and Will Bragg unbeaten on 45, the visitors looked well set to not only consolidate their work on Sunday, but push for a first victory of the new season.
The day was not so rewarding for Gloucestershire who, batting first under a near cloudless sky, soon found themselves in trouble. Openers Chris Dent and Cameron Bancroft departed for 6 and 5 respectively, as Glamorgan left-armer Graham Wagg made early inroads.
Graeme van Buuren, on his first start for the county since arriving last month, played one or two shots of real quality, but eventually flashed at one too many and was caught, at the second attempt, by Chris Cooke at third slip.
By lunch, Wagg, Timm van der Gugten and Harry Podmore had left the hosts struggling on 98 for 5, with captain Gareth Roderick and Hamish Marshall departing too. Roderick was snapped up in the gully by Andrew Salter for 12 before Marshall was trapped lbw by the impressive Wagg.
The innings required a steady hand and that, somewhat surprisingly, came from the former Millfield School batsman, George Hankins. The 19-year-old came to the crease at 69 for 4 and batted without fear. After losing sixth-wicket partner Kieran Noema-Barnett, who was run out for a single shortly after lunch, he added 42 for the seventh wicket with the rather fortuitous Jack Taylor.
Taylor, who was dropped at first slip before scoring by Bragg, was given another chance off the very next ball when Cooke spilt a straightforward catch, off Podmore, at third slip. Thereafter, he struck 24 in quick time, before being trapped lbw by Michael Hogan.
Hankins continued to dominate the bowling and duly reached his maiden first-class half-century off 55 balls. Six runs later, he was bowled by Van Der Gugten, having struck 10 boundaries in his 74-ball stay at the crease.
Glamorgan would have been excused for thinking the hard work had been done, as Hankins left to a standing ovation. Unfortunately Craig Miles and David Payne had other ideas and without ever looking in trouble, the pair added 90 for the ninth wicket. Payne eventually perished, for 39, as did Yorkshire loanee Josh Shaw, for 1. Miles was unbeaten on 49 as Gloucestershire were finally bowled out in the 68th over.
Glamorgan made a terrible start when Wallace gifted debutant Van Buuren a catch, off Miles, in the second over of the innings. But Bragg joined Rudolph at the crease and the left-handed pair provided an even keel in the 25 overs remaining.