12:19 AM IST
ECB Reporters Network
Northamptonshire 82 for 1 trail Glamorgan 259 (Taylor 106) by 177 runs
It was a tale of two debutants for Glamorgan on the opening day at Wantage Road as they made 259 after being asked to bat before Northamptonshire replied with 82 for 1.
The first debut of Joe Cooke, who was dropped first ball and made 18, ran with the theme of Glamorgan’s struggle with the bat this season as his side slumped to 135 for 9. The second, from Callum Taylor, was an extraordinary 106 with 11 fours and six sixes to put the visitors in the match.
Cooke, a 23-year-old who developed through the Hertfordshire age groups, played four first-class matches for Durham MCCU. But his debut innings in the professional ranks should have ended immediately as he was dropped first ball by Emilio Gay at third slip.
On 18, Cooke was lbw to a full Jack White inswinger and soon after lunch, Glamorgan were about to be fired out for a fourth time in five completed innings this season. But then Glamorgan’s second debutant changed the day in eye-popping fashion.
Taylor, a 22-year-old from Newport, played four T20s last season. So for him it was perhaps a comfortable change of tempo. He was 27 from 46 balls when the ninth wicket fell. He then swung another 79 runs in only 48 balls.
He cleared his front leg to hoist Brett Hutton over square leg, then took the same bowler back over his head. Simon Kerrigan, the left-arm spinner playing his first professional match since 2017, was smashed over long-on and Blessing Muzarabani heaved over midwicket and then scooped beyond backward square-leg.
He aimed leg side again to swing Muzarabani over the hoardings and reach three-figures in 88 balls. He skipped up the wicket and leapt with delight.
Michael Hogan joined the fun with three sixes of his own and the pair smashed 124 in 68 balls for a 10th-wicket record partnership for Glamorgan against Northamptonshire.
Hogan timed two perfect lofted drives against Jack White down the ground and a mighty strike off Muzarabani that found the gardens of the Wantage Road houses.
It was a remarkable turnaround but not entirely unexpected. Three times in the last four innings, Northamptonshire have been on the verge of dismissing the opposition cheaply only to see the innings go spiralling away from them under a barrage of hitting.
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And so it followed once again as the home attack had no answer when the batsmen switched to all-out attack and the chance to immediately take hold of the game was lost.
Because until Taylor’s tonking, it was an excellent day for home side, who once again made a host of changes with their focus on the T20 Blast that begins on Thursday.
Brett Hutton was making his seasonal reappearance after playing a crucial role in last season’s promotion campaign and he took four afternoon wickets.
He got one to straighten on Billy Root from round the wicket who edged to first slip for 16. Chris Cooke was too slow to defend a full ball that shaped back and was bowled for 2. Kieran Bull was caught behind pushing forward before Marchant de Lange slashed a wider ball to first slip where Saif Zaib held a sharp chance.
But then Taylor played with glorious abandon to turn the day Glamorgan’s way.
Northamptonshire have also endured trouble with the bat this season but made a solid reply. They lost Gay caught and bowled to a top edge trying to pull de Lange but Ben Curran and Charlie Thurston, both of whom have shown promise in their limited experience, shared a half-century stand at over four-an-over to the close.
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