Bragg puts Glamorgan in control

Will Bragg bathed in the warmth of a career-best 129 in bitterly cold conditions as Glamorgan took the first-day honours in their Specsavers County Championship Division Two contest at Derbyshire.

The 29-year-old celebrated his fifth first-class century and his first in 22 innings before Andy Carter struck twice with consecutive balls to leave Glamorgan on 308 for six at the close.

It was not an ideal day for watching cricket, with spectators huddled under several layers of clothing, but the action was enthralling as Derbyshire maintained a consistently tight line on a good batting pitch.

Although Jacques Rudolph drove Tony Palladino for successive fours, the run-rate did not get much above two an over in the morning, which underlined the accuracy of the bowling and the determination of the batsmen to make the most of winning the toss.

Rudolph and James Kettleborough had left the ball well but it was a misjudgement which broke the stand in the 21st over when Kettleborough offered no shot to Palladino and had his off-stump knocked back on 22.

Palladino struck again with the third ball after lunch when he tempted Rudolph, who had shown impressive selectivity up to that point, to go for a drive that saw him caught behind for 35.

Another wicket at that stage might have altered the course of the day and Derbyshire should have claimed it when Chris Cooke edged Luke Fletcher, but Wes Durston could not hold on diving across first slip.

It proved an expensive miss because Cooke, who was on one at the time, batted through the rest of the afternoon with Bragg.

Derbyshire used seven bowlers, including the leg-spin of Matt Critchley, but there was little assistance in the pitch and it took another lapse in concentration to bring the home side their next success.

For the second time in the day, Glamorgan lost a wicket in the first over of a session, with Cooke playing across the line at the fifth ball after tea.

Bragg went on to complete his first century in just under a year when a full toss from Chesney Hughes was punched past mid-on for his 12th four, and with Aneurin Donald playing some flourishing strokes, the pair added 74 before the second new ball gave Derbyshire some late reward.

Donald’s desire to take the attack to the bowlers proved his undoing when he chased a wide one from Carter and David Lloyd offered no shot to the next ball and was lbw.

Carter’s hopes of marking his home debut with a hat-trick vanished when he speared the first ball of his next over down the leg side at Bragg, who fell five overs before the close when he walked across at Durston after facing 217 balls.

Bragg said: “I was a bit disappointed with the circumstances that I got out near the end and I think the game is in the balance at the moment.

“We need another hundred runs to be a bit more than competitive.

“I’m happy overall – it could have been better and the ball that got me should not have got me out when I’m on 129. Maybe it was a lapse in concentration and I was disappointed at the end.”

Seamer Palladino, who finished the day with 3-62, added: “We bowled pretty well as a unit, we just had to stick at it and when the rain came, the ball got soft which was a bit annoying but we said we had to keep going and not let them get away.”

Source: ECB

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