O’Brien ends long wait
Niall O’Brien struck his first century of the season as Northamptonshire had the better of the first day in their LV= County Championship Division Two clash with Glamorgan at the SWALEC Stadium.
The Irishman ended on 114 not out with Northamptonshire 241 for four; Alex Wakely also chipped in with 75, sharing in a 154-run partnership for the third wicket with his centurion team-mate.
After Andrew Hall won the toss, Northants’ top-order made rather pedestrian progress as they reached 58 for two from 31 overs at lunch on a slow wicket.
James Harris, who has been offered a contract by Nottinghamshire, got the first breakthrough by bowling Stephen Peters via an inside edge.
After replacing Harris at the Cathedral Road end, Graham Wagg, from round the wicket, had David Sales caught behind attempting an expansive shot outside the off stump.
The introduction of left-arm spinner Dean Cosker saw a massive reduction in the run-rate as he recorded pre-lunch figures of 10-7-10-0, opening with five maidens.
O’Brien rarely came out of his shell on a dead surface and went into lunch with 23 from 99 balls.
The scoring rate improved after lunch as O’Brien reached his fourth championship half-century of the season from 143 balls with four fours.
The left-hander was given a life on 51 when he was dropped at fine-leg by Huw Waters from a hook off Wagg.
Cosker, having been relatively economical, was hit for a straight six by Wakely - who survived a couple of confident leg-before appeals.
O'Brien and Wakely brought up their century partnership in 39 overs, reaching tea on 147 for two.
That became 150 in the evening session, just before Jim Allenby claimed the first bonus point of the contest by bowling Wakely for 75.
Rob Newton, fresh from scoring back-to-back centuries against Derbyshire, was trapped leg before by Harris for only three, after which O’Brien reached three figures.