Glamorgan grateful for bad light

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Seamer Charl Willoughby took 4-33 but Essex had to settle for a draw on the final day of their LV= County Championship Division Two clash against Glamorgan at the SWALEC Stadium.

The visitors had set the hosts 239 in 50 overs and, at one stage, Glamorgan had crumbled to 37 for four, only to be rescued by captain Mark Wallace, who batted for 25.2 overs prior to bad light ensuring proceedings ended early.

When play was abandoned, Glamorgan were 99 for five; Essex took eight points from the match and the hosts six.

Essex looked well on the way to victory when Willoughby took two wickets in as many balls to reduce Glamorgan to six for two within the first four overs.

Nick James got a leading edge to cover point and Will Bragg was strangled down the leg side, while Stewart Walters only just survived the hat-trick ball. By tea, Glamorgan had reached 14 for two with 43 overs remaining.

Willoughby’s first ball after the interval accounted for Walters, who played on. Ben Wright then went the same way to David Masters as Glamorgan found themselves in serious trouble.

Charl Willoughby

Seamer Charl Willoughby's 4-33 had Glamorgan struggling, but bad light helped them secure a draw at the SWALEC Stadium

The fifth-wicket partnership of Gareth Rees and Wallace kept Essex at bay for 19 overs before Willoughby broke through again to have Rees caught at second slip.

Wallace, though, held firm with an unbeaten 26 to see the match out.

Wickets had tumbled at the start of the day too. The first 25 minutes of the morning were action packed as Essex slipped to 11 for three.

Resuming on five without loss, a lead of 77, they lost Billy Godleman to the fourth ball of the day. He was caught behind chasing a wide one from Graham Wagg, who took a sharp catch at third slip to account for first-innings centurion Alviro Petersen off Huw Waters.

Wagg was in the action again to bowl Alastair Cook, and Ravi Bopara was castled by Will Owen via an inside edge before Mark Pettini gloved Waters to short-leg.

Westley and Greg Smith stabilised the innings to take Essex to lunch at 112 for five, an overall lead of 184. But Westley, who went to his half-century from 77 balls, then pulled Waters straight to mid-on.

It ended a 79-run partnership with Smith, who was out two overs later; he was caught at square-leg off Waters.

Waters also removed David Masters, but there was a blow for Glamorgan when Wagg injured his ankle fielding off his own bowling; he was carried off and could not have batted.

With Moises Henriques already off the field with a side strain, Glamorgan only had nine fully-fit batsmen for their chase.

Tymal Mills was caught at second slip by substitute fielder Jim Allenby, leaving Waters with figures of 5-47. Willoughby faced just the one ball before Essex skipper James Foster declared.

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