Glamorgan top-order batsmen must 'stand strong' says Rudolph

By Nick WebbBBC Sport Wales
Glamorgan's Graham Wagg took two of the three Gloucestershire wickets to fall in their second innings
Glamorgan's Graham Wagg took two of the three Gloucestershire wickets to fall in their second innings

Captain Jacques Rudolph says his top-order batsmen will have to "stand strong" after Glamorgan suffered a third consecutive Championship defeat.

Visitors Gloucestershire eased home by seven wickets with half a day to spare at St Helen's, Swansea.

"We've still got a few games left, we've got to turn the momentum round," Rudolph said.

"We've lost three now but we won four before that, so it's important for us as a unit to stand strong."

Gloucestershire reached their target of 108 thanks to Chris Dent's 65 not out, despite a testing spell from Graham Wagg who took two of the three wickets to fall - conceding just eight runs from his six overs.

Glamorgan now face an England and Wales Cricket Board hearing to decide the penalty for the dangerous Swalec Stadium pitch, which saw their One-Day Cup match against Hampshire on 2 August abandoned.

The Welsh county also have to solve the top-order batting problems, which again saw the lower order contribute more than the specialist batsmen in both innings.

Small squad

Rudolph knows there are few high-scoring alternatives available from the second XI, as the county employ a relatively small professional squad.

"That's unfortunately the nature of the beast... I want the second-team batters to know that to play first-team cricket they have to knock the door down and unfortunately there's no-one doing that," Rudolph said.

"We've got a small squad but we've won four in a row with a small squad. You've got to get some resistance going.

"But we can't turn to the depth of our squad, so the people that are involved need to stand up and show strong character."

Andrew Salter
Spin bowler Andrew Salter top-scored for Glamorgan in their first innings against Gloucestershire with 73

Wagg is hopeful that Glamorgan can get back to winning ways: "Four wins (in a row), three losses (in a row) - we can't let ourselves get too down.

"We've been playing some fantastic cricket, unfortunately we've been on a bad run, we need to work harder to put that right and we'll be back in (for practice) Thursday and Friday."

By then Glamorgan will know the pitch sanctions to be imposed by the ECB, with the county facing either losing their chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the One-Day Cup this year, or again starting next year's campaign with a negative points tally.

Rudolph has concerns about that possible outcome: "I think it would be a bit unfair to punish the players harshly, the guys have given it their all.

"To punish the team for that is potentially not a good thing. But if we are still in with a shout of making the quarter-final, then you can only assume it would be better to do it next year."

Meanwhile, after Glamorgan's annual visit to the historic St Helen's ground, the Balconiers supporters' group is confident the fixture will continue.

"We look forward to giving Glamorgan a sizeable and significant donation this year," said Balconiers chairman John Williams.

"There are numbers of people who tell you how much they enjoy coming here and the local business people are fantastic and very loyal.

"You look out from the hospitality suites when the sun is shining and you would think you are in Barbados!"