Steelbacks claim thrilling last-ball win over Glamorgan

Glamorgan's Murray Goodwin is caught by David Murphy
Glamorgan's Murray Goodwin is caught by David Murphy

Northants got back to winning ways with a nerve-shredding last-ball win over previously unbeaten Glamorgan at the County Ground.

Expert bowling from Mohammad Azharhullah had restricted the visitors to what looked to be a below-par 153-7 from their 20 overs.

And a superb innings of 68 from Cameron White took his side to the brink of victory.

But it took a boundary from the very last ball of the match for the Steelbacks to claim the victory.

Glamorgan had raced to 56-0 from their powerplay six overs, thanks to a 36-run blitz from opener Jim Allenby.

But the introduction of Azharullah saw the Steelbacks hit back, with Allenby skying one high which keeper David Murphy comfortably got underneath to make the breakthrough.

And the Welsh side suffered two more setbacks in the very next over.

Matt Spriegel tempted Chris Cooke into a big shot which saw him caught in the deep, before the spinner drew Mark Wallace out of his crease, with Murphy neatly stumping the visiting captain.

Spriegel finished with figures of 2-22 from his four overs, and helped tie down Glamorgan during the middle of their innings.

Northants continued to take wickets at key times, notably when Graham Wagg stepped on his stumps trying to hook Azharullah.

Azharullah continued his fine form of late, with his four overs going for just 14 runs. He also picked up the late wickets of Nathan McCullum and Murray Goodwin - who raced to 47 from just 31 balls - as Glamorgan closed on 153-7.

It looked to be at least 15 runs shy of a competitive total, but the hosts’ task was made slightly more difficult when Allenby picked up the early wicket of Kyle Coetzer, who holed out to deep square leg.

But Cameron White, who came in for Coetzer, quickly got into his stride, launching Graham Wagg into the stand for a huge six over long-leg.

White and Richard Levi gave their side hope with a 53-run partnership in seven overs, before Levi was bowled by Dean Cosker.

The new partnership of White and his captain Alex Wakely kept the scoreboard ticking over, although Wakely survive being dropped by a tumbling Goodwin off the bowling of Cosker.

The Steelbacks slipped behind the required rate, but after White smashed Michael Hogan for a pair of huge sixes in the 17th over, there was a sense any pressure the duo may have felt had been partly alleviated.

White launched one into the stand, which brought up his 43-ball 50, then went one better and clubbed Hogan out of the ground.

Wakely brought up his own terrific half-century in just 35 balls, before another maximum from White took Northants to within three runs of the victory with one over to go.

With home fans’ nerves in shreds, White was expertly run out by Nick James with two to go, and superb last-ditch bowling from Michael Hogan saw the scores level with just one ball of the innings remaining.

But Steven Crook squirted a four to third man as Glamorgan came in tight to protect the single, the Northants victory coming with the final ball of a gripping encounter.