Allenby keeps Glamorgan's hopes alive
Glamorgan 198 and 156 for 8 v Middlesex 181
James Allenby's all-round contribution gave Division Two leaders Glamorgan a chance of winning a match with Middlesex they looked almost certain to lose at one stage as 16 wickets fell on the second day at Cardiff.
Allenby's 58 not out helped Glamorgan to recover from 34 for 4 in their second innings after they had taken a slender 17-run first-innings lead despite 99 from Middlesex's Scott Newman. Glamorgan ended the day on 156 for 8, giving them an overall lead of 173. Allenby's batting effort followed up his 3 for 43 in Middlesex's 181 all out in 60.3 overs.
After an hour's delay for rain at the start of day, Middlesex resumed their first innings on 68 for 2 - a deficit of 130. They lost wickets regularly and slipped to 124 for 5. From the Cathedral Road end James Harris removed Dawid Malan, who played on, and Neil Dexter, caught low down at first slip, in the space of six balls.
And from the first ball after lunch Gareth Berg was run out at the non-striker's end after a direct hit by Dean Cosker from gully. The second half of the afternoon session produced a clatter of wickets, starting with Middlesex losing their last five wickets for just seven runs to go from 174 for 5 to 181 all out.
The Middlesex slide began when Newman was dismissed one run short of three figures. Having been given lives on 12 and 84, Cosker clung on to a one-handed catch in the gully off Allenby. From then the last four wickets went in the space of 38 balls. Allenby had Shaun Udal snaffled at second slip by Tom Maynard before the spinners mopped up the tail.
Tim Murtagh was caught at slip by Allenby off Robert Croft and Cosker trapped both Tom Smith and Pedro Collins in front with consecutive balls.
But at the start of the second innings Glamorgan were in trouble themselves and were soon 16 for 3. Murtagh removed Gareth Rees and Croft, standing in at number three for Jamie Dalrymple, and Mark Cosgrove was bowled by Collins.
And in the over before tea Ben Wright chopped on to his stumps to give Murtagh his third scalp. In the evening session Allenby and Tom Maynard launched a valuable recovery, putting on 64 in 20 overs. Maynard struck Toby Roland-Jones for three consecutive fours.
But when Dexter removed Maynard, caught at slip by Malan via a glove, Glamorgan proceeded to lose four quick wickets as they went from 99 for 4 to 120 for 8 with Mark Wallace, Harris and Cosker all going cheaply.
That heralded the arrival of captain Dalrymple at number 10, batting despite breaking his right thumb in the first innings. Before the close Allenby went to his half-century from 89 balls, with Dalrymple reaching 17 not out.