Glamorgan 118 for 5 (Bradd 75*) trail Worcestershire 163 (Leach 43, Whiteley 40, Hogan 4-44) by 45 runs
A sparkling half-century by Will Bragg steadied Glamorgan as 15 wickets went down on the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship meeting with promotion contenders Worcestershire at New Road.
The hard-hitting left hander ended a recent run of single-figure scores by making 75 not out as the Welsh county reached 118 for 5 after dismissing the home side for 163 by tea.
On a cloudy, sultry morning, Jacques Rudolph backed his seamers by choosing to bowl first and they were soon on a roll as Worcestershire collapsed to 37 for 5. A subsequent partnership of 66 by Ross Whiteley (40) and Joe Leach (43) seemed to be no more than damage limitation but grew in value when Glamorgan began to lose wickets.
Worcestershire's director of cricket, Steve Rhodes, has targeted three wins in the last five matches to put his team in "a really good position" in the promotion race. So far this one has been tougher than may have been anticipated against a side who were propping up the Division Two table.
Bragg suggested that swing played a large part. "The pitch is quite slow, slower than normal, but the ball was swinging nicely for our bowlers once the lacquer had gone off it after 10 overs. It was the same when they bowled but we could have been in a stronger position but for a couple of sloppy shots."
Rhodes also played down too many pitch discussions. "At 37 for five we were in all sorts of trouble and it was not necessarily down to the pitch. We played a few shots we'd like to rewind and play again but the way we fought back was good. It was a wholehearted effort by the bowlers."
Swing was Glamorgan's big asset, as Brett D'Oliveira discovered when he was bowled, playing no shot, in teenager Lukas Carey's second over. This was a big comedown for the opener after making a career-best 202 not out when the teams met at Cardiff in May.
Wicketkeeper Mark Wallace was one who benefited from the movement, whether in the air or off the pitch. He took three catches in the morning and two more later.
Graham Wagg bowled an excellent spell with the new ball, taking the outside edge to dismiss Daryl Mitchell in his fifth over, and Michael Hogan started with two wickets without conceding a run in 10 deliveries.
Tom Fell (16) drove to cover, where Wagg held a smart catch, and Tom Kohler-Cadmore was quickly added to Wallace's list of victims. It was five down when Joe Clarke followed a ball from Craig Meschede but Ben Cox held up the Welsh charge for a while until he was caught at first slip off Wagg after lunch.
Glamorgan were only checked when Whiteley played responsibly for more than two hours and found buccaneering support from Leach. Whiteley was eventually caught at mid-on when cramped up by a ball from Meschede and Hogan (four for 44) landed a double blow in the space of three balls.
Ed Barnard was caught by Wallace and Leach drove hard to Meschede at mid-on. The last pair hung around for half-an-hour before Wallace had the final word when holding Jack Shantry's edge off Carey.
With the sun shining, Glamorgan's reply began badly with Nick Selman bowled, second ball, by Leach but Bragg got things moving with four boundaries in an over from Barnard.
Rudolph helped put on 54 until driving a ball from Charlie Morris to mid-off and Bragg completed 50 from 54 balls before David Lloyd was taken at second slip off Shantry.
Further wickets saw Aneurin Donald playing on to Leach and Meschede pulling Barnard to mid-on.
WORCS vs Glamorgan
Specsavers County Championship Division Two
England Domestic Season