Darren Thomas powered Glamorgan to a spectacular five-wicket victory in their opening Twenty20 Cup contest.
Darren Thomas powered Glamorgan Dragons to a spectacular five-wicket victory in their opening Twenty20 Cup contest against Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Wantage Road.
Coming to the crease with the visitors struggling at 102 for five, still needing 61 off 38 balls to overhaul the Steelbacks, man-of-the-match Thomas smashed an undefeated 43 from 19 deliveries – featuring two sixes and six fours – to take the Dragons to their target with five balls remaining.
Thomas and skipper Robert Croft, who had earlier put in a tight bowling stint, added 64 with Thomas cracking the first ball of the final over from Johann Louw for the winning boundary.
The Steelbacks had threatened to run away with the match as opener Graeme Swann blazed 20 from just 11 balls, including two sixes and two fours.
But he departed in the second over, miscuing a pull at Alex Wharf, and it was left to Martin van Jaarsveld to take charge with 61 not out from 48 deliveries.
The South African – who will leave Northants at the end of the Twenty20 Cup group matches to play for his country in Sri Lanka – cleared the ropes twice, and added 47 in five overs with Gerard Brophy who contributed 18 from 15 deliveries.
Tim Roberts, batting down the order, nipped in with a handy unbeaten 13, but Croft’s accurate off-breaks prevented the hosts disappearing out of sight.
He conceded just 20 in his four-over stint, while his fellow spinner Dean Cosker accounted for Brophy and Usman Afzaal, and Northants had to settle for 162 for five.
Glamorgan’s reply began brightly courtesy of Matthew Maynard (34) and Ian Thomas (21) with a 47-run stand in five overs, but just when Maynard appeared to be cutting loose he pulled Ben Phillips to deep midwicket where van Jaarsveld held a brilliant catch diving forwards.
The spin of Swann and Jason Brown, who claimed two for 17 in four overs, slowed the scoring rate further.
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