7:01pm Saturday 7th September 2013
By Chris Kirwan
GLAMORGAN are through to their first Lord’s final since 2000 after a Jim Allenby-inspired victory against Hampshire in the Yorkshire Bank 40.
Matthew Mott’s side triumphed by 31 runs in a tense semi-final at the Ageas Bowl.
Glamorgan, in their first last-four encounter since 2004, held their nerve and will take on either Nottinghamshire or Somerset at the home of cricket in a fortnight’s time.
And the Welsh county’s followers will be raising a glass to Australian all-rounder Allenby, as they have so often in 2013.
The T20 captain, who signed a four-year deal to stay at the Swalec Stadium last month, struck a classy unbeaten 74 off 71 balls before claiming two wickets in a miserly spell of eight overs that cost just 18 runs.
It he repeats the trick at Lord's then Glamorgan may just go one better than they did when losing to Gloucestershire in the Benson and Hedges Cup in 2000.
The visitors gave themselves a shot with 234-4 thanks to Allenby and Ben Wright (47 not out from 33) piling on the runs at the end of their innings.
With Pakistan seamer Sohail Tanvir bowling masterfully, Glamorgan looked set to be well below par before the fifth-wicket pair added 57 off the last four overs.
Glamorgan had built steadily to ensure they were competitive at the very least.
Mark Wallace, captaining the side after Marcus North’s early return to Australia, was the first to go when his innings of 18 off 20 was ended at mid-on off the bowling of Tanvir.
Gareth Rees’ somewhat stodgy innings of 25 was ended when he edged behind to Adam Wheater off Wood before in-form Chris Cooke went for 37, trapped leg before by England spinner Danny Briggs the ball after a striking a terrific six.
Murray Goodwin joined Allenby and the pair laid the foundations, Glamorgan making it to 150 before the former was outfoxed by Tanvir in the 32nd over.
Wright made the most of a botched run out attempt by Jimmy Adams, who contrived to miss the stumps from five yards with the right-hander stranded, to smash four boundaries off a Chris Wood over and give Glamorgan real impetus.
Allenby, however, was the star with the bat and after helping post 234-4 the Australian took centre stage with the ball just when things were looking ominous.
Hampshire started well with James Vince and Michael Roberts going along nicely against Glam’s pace attack.
But Allenby struck twice, bowling Vince (20) with the score on 46 and then having Roberts (23) caught by Cooke just three runs later.
And Glamorgan were really dreaming of Lord’s when wicket-keeper Wallace and spinner Dean Cosker combined to run out dangerman Neil McKenzie for seven.
The visitors were ahead at the halfway stage of the innings – their 92-2 playing the Royals 80-3 – but home captain Adams remained in the middle.
And the left-hander was still there entering the final 10 overs, benefitting from young spinner Andrew Salter having a pair of plum leg before appeals turned down by umpire David Millns.
Hampshire needed 103 runs with seven wickets and 60 balls remaining.
Adams, who reached his half century off 73 balls, was patient while Zimbabwe left-hander Sean Ervine was aggressive.
But the former’s luck finally ran out on 59 when Michael Hogan took a skier off his own bowling.
And when Ervine was sent packing, caught in the deep off the Australian for a 51-ball 54, Glamorgan were in the box seat with the hosts needing 52 off the last four overs.
Wheater went cheaply to Wagg, setting the scene for Dimi Mascarenhas to try and be the match-winner on his Ageas Bowl farewell.
But not even a shocking drop by man of the match Allenby could help the ex-England all-rounder save Hampshire – this was Glamorgan’s day.
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