Croft turns back the years

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Veteran off-spinner Robert Croft took four wickets in the space of 23 balls as Glamorgan beat Gloucestershire by 26 runs on an enthralling final day of their LV= County Championship Division Two match at Swansea.

Glamorgan had set Gloucestershire a fairly generous 248 to win in a minimum of 81 overs and, while seventh-wicket pair Jack Taylor and Ian Cockbain were together, a victory for the visitors still looked possible.

However, with Gloucestershire on 195 for six, 42-year-old Croft - possibly playing his last championship game at his home ground - turned the match Glamorgan's way by removing the two dangermen and mopping up the tail.

He followed up figures of 4-51 in the first innings with 4-53, giving Glamorgan 20 points from the match and moving them from bottom to seventh. Sixth-placed Gloucestershire took just three.

Spin also worked for Glamorgan at the start of the innings. The introduction of Dean Cosker as early as the fifth over earned them a breakthrough, with Chris Dent caught at short-leg.

Robert Croft

At the age of 42 Robert Croft took eight match wickets on his home ground as Glamorgan beat Gloucestershire by 26 runs at Swansea

Gloucestershire lost two wickets in the first over after lunch. Rob Nicol went third ball, edging a catch low down to Stewart Walters at second slip off Jim Allenby, and Alex Gidman edged an Allenby out-swinger behind.

The reintroduction of Cosker produced another wicket when Hamish Marshall recklessly holed out at long-on to leave his side 48 for four.

However, Glamorgan were frustrated for 19 overs while Dan Housego and Cockbain added 68 before Marcus North entered the attack with his off-breaks and had Housego well stumped by Mark Wallace.

Gloucestershire went into tea requiring a further 138 to win from 38 overs, but Glamorgan struggled to get another breakthrough in the overs immediately after the break.

However, John Glover produced a fine catch at long-on to remove Benny Howell off North. It left Gloucestershire 141 for six, requiring a further 107 to win in 24 overs.

The innings was given some impetus as 17 came off an over from North, with Taylor striking him for a six and two fours. Taylor struck his maiden first-class half-century from only 31 balls with two sixes and six fours.

However, the complexion of the match suddenly changed as Croft took 3-6 in 11 deliveries - two in the space of four deliveries.

Cockbain, on 55 guided a turning ball straight to Stewart Walters at leg slip and the veteran spinner struck again to claim the wicket of Richard Coughtrie, who was brilliantly caught at the second attempt by Gareth Rees.

In his next over Croft bowled Jack Taylor for a 45-ball 63 to leave Gloucestershire 210 for nine.

The final wicket came at 5:30pm when Ian Saxelby drove Croft straight to midwicket.

Earlier, in between a break for rain, Glamorgan batted on for a further 4.3 overs and with some positive intent from Mark Wallace and Ben Wright added 38 before the declaration came on 204 for seven.

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