Bears facing a tight final day
Usman Khawaja’s debut century for Glamorgan set up a fascinating final day in their County Championship Division Two match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Khawaja’s classy 125 – his 23rd First Class ton – lifted Glamorgan to 323 all out, setting the home side a victory target of 294.
Warwickshire closed the third day on 25 without loss, leaving both teams with everything to play for on the last day.
The home side have their sights set on a fourth successive championship win to reinforce their place at the top, while Glamorgan are scenting their first championship victory over Warwickshire since 1993. In an excellent match which has ebbed and flowed throughout, Australia Test batsman Khawaja, on his first appearance for the Welsh county, and Chris Cooke, in his first as captain, added 115 to tilt the match their team’s way before Warwickshire hit back to take the last five wicket for 39 runs.
Glamorgan resumed on the third morning on 55 without loss and soon lost Nick Selman, who chipped Keith Barker to midwicket on 42, and Connor Brown, who edged Chris Wright behind.
Jack Murphy dug deep for 25 before he was yorked by Henry Brookes and the young seamer also ended the stubborn resistance of Owen Morgan, who fell lbw for nine.
Khawaja and Cooke applied themselves skilfully for 28 overs, with the former lifting Jeetan Patel for a straight six before falling lbw, trapped on the back foot to the spinner.
Warwickshire struck twice with the new ball straight after tea when Cooke edged Brookes to wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose for 59 and David Lloyd fell lbw to Barker.
Ruaidhri Smith clubbed four useful fours then edged Wright to Dominic Sibley at second slip.
Andrew Salter became the ninth Glamorgan wicket in the match to fall lbw when he missed a straight one from Patel before Lukas Carey edged Wright to Sibley.
That left Warwickshire with 13 overs to bat in the day and Will Rhodes and Sibley came through unscathed to lay a sound platform for the final-day chase, when another 269 will be required by the hosts.
“I felt pretty good today,” said Khawaja. “The ball was reversing the whole time and spinning a little bit too so it was nice to score some runs.
“I was still a little bit jet-lagged in the first innings and hadn’t played a lot of cricket, to be honest, and probably had had one hit in the nets in about two or three months before that innings.
“But I had a couple of hits after that and started to feel a bit better. I was a bit short on match practice so it was nice to get some time in the middle today.
“We got the target close to 300 which won’t be easy to chase. It’s one of those wickets where if you get a partnership going you can be tough to get out but it can be a bit of a grind.
“Hopefully if we bowl well enough tomorrow we will keep grinding them and restricting them, bowl 10 good balls and win the game.”
Warwickshire bowler Chris Wright said: “The wicket is possibly improving as the game goes along and that is reflected in the scores, so hopefully we can chase the target down.
“Credit to Khawaja, he came out aggressively and played well but we stuck at it and got our rewards.”