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Allenby and Wright stave off Essex

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Jim Allenby’s first hundred of the season and a fighting half-century from Ben Wright ensured that Glamorgan came away with a draw from their LV=County Championship battle with Essex at Colchester.

The game ended with the visitors on 260 for six in their second innings, an overall lead of 178 after Essex had looked the likely winners 75 minutes into the opening session.

After resuming on 16 without loss, the visitors slumped to 63 for four as Harbhajan Singh claimed three wickets.

The India off-spinner had Will Bragg caught behind by James Foster in his first over and, in his next, got rid of first-innings centurion Stewart Walters, the wicketkeeper again holding on.

Jim Allenby

Coming in at 63 for four, Jim Allenby struck an unbeaten century to help Glamorgan secure a draw against promotion-chasing Essex

Harbhajan also trapped Nick James lbw for 32, while Graham Napier bowled Australian Marcus North off an inside edge.

Yet from the precarious position that Glamorgan found themselves in, Wright and Allenby pointed the way to safety with a partnership embracing tenacity and concentration.

They defied a succession of bowling changes for well over three hours to deny Essex the victory they required to give themselves a realistic chance of getting into the promotion race.

Captain Foster consistently juggled his six-man bowling attack but the fifth-wicket pair were able to survive for 53 overs on a pitch, which despite the early flurry of wickets, generally favoured the batsmen.

Wright was first to his fifty containing just from 115 balls, while the more aggressive Allenby followed him to that landmark in 87 deliveries with the help of six fours and one maximum.

The pair added 180, which signalled a record fifth-wicket stand for a visiting side at Castle Park, before they were separated. Wright's fine effort was ended by seamer Charl Willoughby for 83 as Harbhajan accepted a slip catch with the total on 243.

Willoughby got rid of Graham Wagg immediately afterwards but long before then, Glamorgan had completed their mission of saving the game and the captains shook hands on a draw.

Allenby finished on 103 not out, an effort lasting four and a quarter hours containing 11 fours and two sixes, as the visitors were left to settle for nine points to Essex's 10.

Harbhajan toiled away for 30 overs to claim his three wickets at a cost of 62 runs and emerge with match figures of 7-153.

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