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Morgan's nightwatchman ton lifts Glamorgan off bottom

Glamorgan 280 (Root 98, Wallace 67*, Leach 5-106) and 278 for 5 (Morgan 103*, Donald 57) beat Worcestershire 163 (Hogan 4-44) and 393 (Clarke 98, Fell 65, Leach 65, Wagg 5-90) by five wickets
Scorecard

A record-breaking performance by Owen Morgan helped Glamorgan pull away from the bottom of the Division Two table by beating Worcestershire by five wickets in the Specsavers County Championship at New Road.

Morgan, the 22-year-old Swansea-born allrounder, became the first Glamorgan nightwatchman to make a century, reaching an unbeaten 103 with a boundary from the last shot of the match. The county's previous highest score in this role was 84 by Colin Metson against Kent at Maidstone in 1991.

Morgan is a middle-order player in second-team cricket and here, in only his fourth Championship appearance, he looked a more-than-accomplished batsman in facing 242 balls over five hours and 37 minutes.

Compact and disciplined but not without fluency, especially in his off-side strokes, he hit 13 fours and kept a level head as Glamorgan tiptoed towards their target of 277. Their second win of the summer was completed with almost 18 overs to spare.

"Not in wildest imagination did I think I'd be there at the end," Morgan said. "My main target was to stay there for the first hour but from there thankfully I managed to bat the whole day and get the side over the line.

"Not until Aneurin Donald came in at the end did I think I'd see it through. He started whacking a few and got the total down. The winning line came in sight quite quickly.

"Thankfully I managed to get the four and the hundred and the win at the same time. A lot of patience was needed on that wicket. It was definitely like a war of attrition. Bowling straight made scoring really hard and you had to capitalise on the bad ball when it came."

In taking a conservative approach on a flat pitch, they added only 69 for the loss of Jacques Rudolph before lunch but perked with Will Bragg's positive contribution of 46 in a stand of 88 with Morgan.

Bragg missed a second half-century of the match when Ben Cox reacted swiftly for a leg-side stumping off Charlie Morris and just for moment doubts were raised when David Lloyd was lbw, playing no shot in the next over from Joe Leach.

However, order was quickly restored as Aneurin Donald scored 57 from 61 balls until Cox held a comfortable catch from a top-edged pull off a slower delivery from Leach. Donald was good entertainment value with nine fours and a six in putting on 99 with Morgan.

Vice-captain Leach had an excellent match for the home side with eight wickets and 108 runs for once out but his efforts were all in vain as Worcestershire's promotion hopes took a serious knock with a second successive defeat.

Their hopes of silverware may now rest on the Royal London Cup quarter-final against Somerset at Taunton on Wednesday.

Glamorgan's challenge for honours ended with last week's quarter-final defeat by Yorkshire in the NatWest T20 Blast but their response here could not be faulted.

Taking a lead of 117 on first innings, they were knocked back as Worcestershire applied some pressure by making 393 in their second attempt and then taking one wicket before the close on the third evening.

Glamorgan began the final day at 16 for 1 and while they were a shade over-cautious at times, the one real scare came when Morgan, on 10, edged a ball from Jack Shantry between first and second slips.

After sharing in a partnership of 59 in 32 overs, Rudolph pushed a catch to extra cover off the legspinner, Brett D'Oliveira, but the game slipped away from Worcestershire thanks to Morgan's impressive innings and late fireworks from Donald, who cracked four consecutive boundaries in Shantry's first over with the new ball.

Taken all-round, the match was a good advert for Championship cricket. After 15 wickets had fallen on the first day, batsmen gradually took charge until a result was achieved in the final hour.