Charl Willoughby almost gives Essex unlikely win over Glamorgan
21:26 05 May 2012
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County Championship Division 2: Essex (eight points) drew with Glamorgan (six points)
Essex seamer Charl Willoughby took four for 33 but his side had to settle for a draw on the final day of their County Championship clash against Glamorgan at Cardiff.
Essex had set the Welsh club 239 to win in 50 overs and the home side crumbled to 37 for four before Glamorgan were rescued by captain Mark Wallace, who batted for 25.2 overs, and bad light which forced the players off with eight overs remaining.
When play was abandoned Glamorgan were 99 for five. Essex took eight points and Glamorgan six.
It was not a memorable game for England duo Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara who scored nine and five, and nought and 10 respectively.
Essex looked well on the way to victory when Willoughby took two wickets in two balls as Glamorgan were reduced to six for two within the first four overs.
Nick James got a leading edge to cover point and Will Bragg was strangled down the leg-side. The hat-trick ball nearly bowled Stewart Walters.
By tea Glamorgan had reached 14 for two with 43 overs remaining.
Willoughby’s first ball after the interval accounted for Walters who played on and Ben Wright went the same way to David Masters as Glamorgan found themselves in serious trouble.
The fifth-wicket partnership of Gareth Rees and Wallace kept Essex at bay for 19 overs before Willoughby broke through again to have Rees caught at second slip.
But Wallace held firm with an unbeaten 26 to see the match out.
Wickets had tumbled at the start of the day too. The first 25 minutes this morning was action packed as Essex were reduced to 11 for three after the opening five overs.
Resuming on five for nought, a lead of 77, Essex lost Billy Godleman to the fourth ball of the day. He was caught behind chasing a wide one from Graham Wagg, who took a sharp catch at third slip to account for first innings centurion Alviro Petersen off Huw Waters.
Wagg was in the action again to bowl Cook before Bopara was bowled by Will Owen via an inside edge, before Mark Pettini gloved Waters to short leg.
Westley and Greg Smith stabilised the innings to take Essex to lunch at 112 for five, an overall lead of 184. But Westley, who went to 50 from 77 balls, then pulled Waters straight to mid-on.
It ended a 79-run partnership with Smith, who was out two overs later caught at square leg off Waters, who also removed David Masters.
There was a blow for Glamorgan when Wagg injured his ankle fielding off his own bowling. He was carried off and could not have batted.
With Moises Henriques already off the field with a side strain Glamorgan only had nine full fit batsmen for their chase.
Tymal Mills was caught at second slip by substitute fielder Jim Allenby, leaving Waters with figures of five for 47. Willoughby faced just the one ball before Essex skipper James Foster declared for the second time in the match.