Thomson stars on Day One in Cardiff

Friday 12th April 2024
Photography by: David Griffin, report by ECB Writers' Network

A career best bowling performance from Alex Thomson led the way for Derbyshire on the first day of the Vitality County Championship match against Glamorgan. 

Glamorgan managed 237 all out as Thomson claimed seven wickets to justify Derbyshire’s decision to put Glamorgan into bat on a sunny day in Cardiff.

Glamorgan’s top scorer was Kiran Carlson who made 74 but regular wickets throughout the day meant that the highest partnership that the home side managed was 60.

Derbyshire faced 16 overs before the close to finish on 46 for one with Luis Reece the one man to go. It will be Derbyshire who are the happier of the two sides but there is enough in this pitch to suggest that this could be a tight contest.

Having been put into bat by Derbyshire, Glamorgan looked reasonably settled in the opening overs. That changed when New Zealand international, Blair Tickner, entered the attack. He got appreciable movement through the air and off the seam and he had Billy Root caught behind for 23 with his fourth delivery.

That brought Sam Northeast to the crease. As a man who had scored 521 runs in first-class cricket since his last dismissal, and fresh from his record breaking 355 not out at Lord’s last week, he was the wicket Derbyshire would have most prized. It was Tickner who delivered once again, a ball that seamed back into Northeast crashed into his stumps when he was on just 11.

A 60-run partnership between Kiran Carlson and Zain ul Hassan brought Glamorgan back into the game post the lunch interval. Zain had played some lovely drives straight down the ground on his way to 35 and was looking increasingly comfortable against the aging Kookaburra ball, but a nicely flighted delivery from Thomson saw him advance down the pitch past the ball and he was well stumped by Brooke Guest.

Carlson was the fourth man to go, squared up by a ball from Thomson that trapped him LBW for his second score in the seventies in as many innings this season.

As the Glamorgan innings progressed spin became more of a threat with Thomson bowling with real intelligence to both keep things tight and claim wickets. He induced a flashy drive from Colin Ingram that was caught in the covers and had Chris Cooke brilliantly taken at leg slip by David Lloyd who was captaining Derbyshire against his former county.

Thomson continued to cause issues for the Glamorgan batting line up, with the hard-hitting Dan Douthwaite dismissed for 23 when he claimed a low catch off his own bowling. He then made it past the attempted sweep shot of James Harris to bowl him for just four.

It was Thomson who finished off the Glamorgan innings when Mason Crane missed an attempted hoick over long on and was bowled for 13. Thomson bowled unchanged for 25 overs from the River Taff end with his bowling contributing to a Glamorgan collapse of five wickets for 36 runs.

Thomson’s seven for 65 goes past his previous career best of six for 138 which he secured against Hampshire for Cardiff MCCU in 2016. It was also the best return for a spinner for Derbyshire since Geoff Miller’s eight for 70 in 1982.

Alex Thomson, who took a career best 7 for 65 said: “Looking at the wicket before the game I thought there would be a bit of spin but not off quite as much as it did, it certainly made it entertaining from my half.

“I thought it was going to dry out a little bit through the day it’s had a little bit of moisture in the wicket, and I think that’s what offers the spin early doors but we obviously had a glorious day here so I thought it would dry up and the spin would sort of dissipate throughout the day. Obviously, that didn’t happen it spun throughout the whole day so it’s been an interesting and entertaining day.

“After that first over, David Lloyd came and tapped me on the shoulder and said we’re going to be wedging you in from one end pretty soon. But that’s what I’m here to do, I’m here to bowl overs, so it’s my job. It’s been a really enjoyable day. Going forward there’s going to be a lot of spin bowled in the game but it’s exciting, I love watching it. I’ll be perched on the balcony tomorrow hopefully for a while watching the boys go well.”

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