Wallace keeps Glamorgan afloat
Mark Wallace’s highest score of the season put the brakes on Northamptonshire’s LV County Championship promotion charge on day one at Wantage Road.
The Glamorgan wicketkeeper-batsman made a gutsy 72 to help his side to 286 for nine after they had slipped to three for two and 55 for four.
Johan van der Wath picked up four wickets for the hosts but Wallace ensured the spoils were shared when bad light brought a premature end to the day’s play.
Glamorgan skipper David Hemp won the toss and chose to bat but watched on in horror as his side made a dreadful start.
Richard Grant was run out for two by Jason Brown after a mix-up with Gareth Rees when attempting a third run.
And Hemp was soon back in the pavilion himself, bowled by van der Wath for a four-ball duck.
The ship was steadied by Michael Powell and Rees, who added 50 for the third wicket before Powell fell to Andrew Hall for 32.
Hall soon had a second wicket when he found Jamie Dalrymple’s edge and Niall O’Brien claimed the catch behind the stumps.
But Rees and Wallace dug in to take Glamorgan through the lunch, and Rees brought up a 93-ball half-century shortly after the interval with a boundary through point off Lance Klusener.
They had added 71 for the fifth wicket when van der Wath broke Rees’ resistance by bowling him for 53.
Alex Wharf joined Wallace at the crease and they picked up the scoring rate with a series of lusty blows.
Wallace brought up his third fifty of the season, off 78 balls, with three successive fours off David Lucas, but England spinner Monty Panesar ended their enterprising 76-run stand when he bowled Wharf for 36.
It took a moment of magic from Hall to send Wallace on his way as the former South Africa all-rounder hung on to a stunning catch at first slip off Panesar.
The runs dried up after tea as veteran all-rounder Robert Croft and Jason Gillespie struggled to cope with Panesar’s threat.
David Sales dropped Gillespie on 12 off van der Wath and the Australian rubbed salt in the wounds by hitting the next two balls for four.
The partnership had progressed to 60 before van der Wath grabbed two wickets in the 82nd over.
Sales held on to a sharp chance in the slips to end Croft’s innings on 42 and Dean Cosker fell in similar fashion as Hall took another good catch at first slip.
Adam Shantry joined Gillespie for six balls but when bad light was offered Glamorgan gratefully accepted the early finish.