Ricardo returns to form as Steelbacks grab big win against Glamorgan

Ricardo Vasconcelos struck a superb run-a-ball 104 as Northamptonshire Steelbacks beat Glamorgan by six wickets in the Royal London One Day Cup clash at Wantage Road on Friday.
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Vasconcelos put a bad spell of form firmly behind him as he rediscovered his touch, taking 17 boundaries off the Glamorgan attack.

He combined with Emilo Gay (81) in an match-winning 188-run first wicket partnership to help the Steelbacks chase down 222 to win with 85 balls to spare.

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While Glamorgan skipper Kiran Carlson took four quick wickets for just six runs in the space of 15 deliveries towards the end, there was to be no repeat of Northamptonshire’s wobble against Hampshire earlier in the week as Rob Keogh bludgeoned the winning runs.

Ricardo VasconcelosRicardo Vasconcelos
Ricardo Vasconcelos

Earlier Saif Zaib returned career best List A bowling figures as he ripped out Glamorgan’s middle order with four wickets.

Extracting plenty of turn, Zaib arrested a Glamorgan middle order fightback, which saw David Lloyd (65) lead a strong rebuilding effort after a top order collapse to the seamers had the visitors reeling at 22 for four inside six overs.

Zaib broke the momentum created by Lloyd and Joe Cooke’s 94-run stand, removing both set batters in his first two overs and finishing with miserly figures of four for 23 as Glamorgan eventually folded for 221 with 15 balls remaining.

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The early carnage in Glamorgan’s innings was led by Nathan Buck who claimed two wickets in an over and Ben Sanderson who also claimed two scalps.

Sanderson got the first breakthrough, picking up the dangerous Sam Northeast who was adjudged to have inside edged the ball behind. Keeper Lewis McManus took an excellent diving catch down the legside.

In the next over Buck found some movement to hit the top of Colin Ingram’s off-stump and had a second when Carlson drove loosely outside off-stump and was caught behind by McManus.

Sanderson then trapped Billy Root on the crease lbw.

Lloyd started to counter-attack, taking consecutive boundaries off James Sales, upper cutting and then whipping through midwicket.

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He took on the spinners too, smacking Freddie Heldreich through midwicket and bringing up his half-century off just 55 balls when he swept Alex Russell for his eighth boundary.

Zaib though stemmed the flow of runs, picking up Lloyd with only his second delivery when he offered a low caught and bowled chance.

Cooke (39), who had driven and swept sweetly against the spinners, was then bowled through the gate by Zaib to leave Glamorgan on 125 for six.

Andrew Salter (20) became Zaib’s third victim when he was trapped in front playing an attempted sweep.

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The slow left-armer had his fourth when he got one to turn past the edge of Tom Cullen’s bat only for McManus to complete the stumping.

Sales bowled James Weighell but Dan Douthwaite (30 not out) had some fun, hitting four boundaries before Sanderson wrapped up the innings with his third wicket (three for 17) when he removed James Harris.

In the chase, Gay stroked the ball fluently around the park, driving effortlessly and taking on the short ball.

He offered one chance early when he drilled back to Salter on 29 but the bowler could not hold on.

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Otherwise he appeared untroubled, making his way to his second List A half century off 48 balls.

Vasconcelos played and missed early but was soon finding the boundary.

He drove sweetly and unfurled some aggressive shots against both the seamers and slow bowlers before sweeping Ingram for four to reach his half century from 58 deliveries.

The pair brought up the 100 stand in 18th over and continued to play their shots, both coming down the pitch to Salter and whipping him over midwicket to the boundary.

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Carlson broke the stand after 29.1 overs when he had Gay caught at backward square off the top edge and then quickly picked up Will Young caught down the leg-side by keeper Cullen. Vasconcelos fell lbw to an attempted sweep shortly afterwards, followed by Zaib who chipped straight to mid-off.

With so much time remaining, Keogh and McManus kept their calm and eased their side home.