Leicestershire declare in arrears to set up final-day intrigue

Timm van der Gugten helped make early inroads Getty Images

Glamorgan 387 (Byrom 86, Carlson 80, Northeast 61, Currie 5-64) and 14 for 1 lead Leicestershire 343 for 9 dec (Handscomb 103, Hill 92, van der Gugten 5-65) by 58 runs

Glamorgan take a lead of 58 with nine wickets in hand into the final day of their Vitality County Championship match against Leicestershire after the home side declared in arrears on a rain-restricted third day at the Uptonsteel County Ground.

Having been 280 for five from 85 overs overnight, Leicestershire lost not out centurion Peter Handscomb in the second over after a delayed start, and then puzzled spectators by showing little inclination to chase more than one extra batting bonus point before declaring at 343 for nine in reply to Glamorgan's 387 all out.

Handscomb made 103, his second hundred of the season. Nightwatchman Scott Currie was out five short of following last week's career-best 72 against Gloucestershire with the second first-class fifty of his career.

Timm van der Gugten, in his first match of the season after injury, finished with five for 65.

Glamorgan lost opener Billy Root for one and were 14 for one when a very heavy shower at around 4.30pm left parts of the playing area underwater, forcing the umpires to abandon play for the day.

The morning session was limited to just eight overs after rain delayed the start until noon and then forced an early lunch, with a 10-minute stoppage along the way for some extra mopping up in parts of the field still wet from the earlier downpour.

Australian Test batter Handscomb could add only one to his unbeaten 102 overnight before he was leg before to a ball from Van der Gugten that kept more than a touch low from the Bennett End.

New batter Ben Cox picked up three boundaries off Zain-ul-Hassan and Leicestershire emerged from the interval needing exactly 50 to claim a third batting point and, with 17 overs left of the 110, the possibility even of going for a fourth, mindful of the value of a high-scoring draw in this summer's points structure.

Yet those 17 overs yielded just 26 runs, with scarcely a shot struck in anger by either Cox or the nightwatchman, Currie, who had proved on the second evening that he is no mug with bat in hand. Glamorgan's bowling remained tight and tidy but the absence of aggression in Leicestershire's approach was difficult to fathom.

To make matters worse, Leicestershire then lost two wickets in the space of five deliveries as Van der Gugten executed a brilliant caught-and-bowled to remove Cox and followed it up by bowling Ben Mike off an inside-edge on to pad, the Australian-born Netherlands international celebrating the 14th first-class five-for of his career.

The general sense of bafflement with what was happening then only increased.

Currie, who had been joined by the injured Tom Scriven and his runner, was leg before to James Harris, and when Matt Salisbury walked out at No.11, one assumed his role was to give Scriven the chance to swing the bat, even on one leg.

Yet after just eight more deliveries, only one of which Scriven actually faced, Leicestershire declared, conceding a lead of 44.

Glamorgan lost Root early in the sixth over of their second innings when he was bowled by Matt Salisbury, another ball that kept low, before the heavens opened.

Glamorgan 3rd innings Partnerships

1st4WT RootEJ Byrom
2nd59EJ ByromM Labuschagne
3rd13KS CarlsonM Labuschagne
4th15SA NortheastKS Carlson
5th66SA NortheastCB Cooke