Glamorgan's change of fortunes offers promotion hopes

By Nick WebbBBC Sport Wales
Graham Wagg
Graham Wagg hit 94 in Glamorgan's first innings against Leicestershire

Glamorgan maintained their promotion challenge in Division Two of the County Championship with a 137 run win over Leicestershire at the Swalec Stadium.

It means the Welsh County remain unbeaten in four-day cricket this season, and lie third in the table - 11 points behind second-placed Surrey with a game in hand.

The last time Glamorgan won four consecutive County Championship matches was in 2004.

Coincidentally, that run also culminated in a win over Leicestershire in Cardiff.

So what has brought about the change in Glamorgan's form?

The fight in the dog

Head coach Toby Radford, who succeeded Matthew Mott in 2013, promises there is "more to come" from his side.

Glamorgan hard work paying off – Croft

"It's all been about fight, we've been on the ropes many times but we don't know how to lose," said Radford, whose team has won four and drawn four at the halfway point of the season.

"We're on a terrific run but I know there's more to come because I'm sure at some point the top order (batting) is going to fire and when it does, it'll get even better."

Now and then

Wicketkeeper Mark Wallace is the only member of the current Glamorgan team who played in the winning streak of 2004, when Leicestershire were beaten by 404 runs.

"We haven't had this sort of success for a long time in championship cricket and the great thing about the season as a whole and these four victories is that everyone's contributed in some way," he said.

"It's been far from plain sailing, some real ups and downs and there've been positions in every match when we could have ended up losing. But four wins and four draws sets us up great for the second half of the season."

Glamorgan's 2015 winning run
Essex (H) - won by 89 runs. Northants (H) - won by 10 wickets. Surrey (A) - won by 7 wickets. Leicestershire (H) - won by 137 runs.

"I can remember the final win (of that sequence) against Leicestershire with one of my pals Jonny Hughes getting his maiden first-class hundred and Matt Maynard getting one of his many hundreds.

"The parallels would be great if we can have a season like we did in 2004 when we got promotion and won a one-day competition.

"There were some fantastic players like Robert Croft, Adrian Dale, Matthew Maynard but also some younger players like Dave Harrison and myself."

The only way is up

Glamorgan's target is promotion back to the top flight for the first time since 2005.

Wallace acknowledges it is still a tough challenge in spite of Glamorgan's fine form.

"With two going up, it's a very competitive second division and it's a very high standard to get yourself promoted," he added.

Glamorgan's 2004 winning run
Durham (A) - won by 201 runs. Derbyshire (A) won by 128 runs. Somerset (H) - won by 7 wickets. Leicestershire (H) - won by 409 runs

"But you get a lot of points from winning games and we've been putting ourselves in a position to do that with a side of people who can win games for you."

Captain Jacques Rudolph said it was important to maintain pressure on the teams above them in the table.

"It's very good for us to get the win in this game to stay close to Surrey," said the South African.

"We've got to keep doing what we've been doing and with a few more wins under our belt, who knows where we might end up?"

What's next?

Glamorgan now face a run of T20 Blast matches with Surrey at home, Somerset away on Sunday 28th June and Hampshire away on Friday 3rd of July.

They return to Championship cricket against Derbyshire at Chesterfield on Monday 6th July.

What happened to the class of 2004?

Still around

Mark Wallace - Wicketkeeper played in the victory against Leicestershire

Dean Cosker - Bowler was 12th man this time

Mike Powell
Mike Powell left Glamorgan for Kent in 2012

Robert Croft and David Harrison - both now on the county's coaching staff

Alex Wharf - played for England in 2004, Wharf is now a first-class umpire

Matthew Maynard - now Somerset director of cricket after spell in charge of Glamorgan.

Mike Powell - after spell with Kent, now Glamorgan T20 matchday host and BBC Radio pundit

Johnny Hughes - captain of Pontypridd CC and works in plumbing trade

Down Under

David Hemp - running women's cricket in Victoria, Australia

Michael Kasprowicz - director of Cricket Australia, works on Australian/Indian business links.

Matt Elliott - also back in Australia, played in Phillip Hughes' Memorial match in 2015

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