Australian pacer Michael Neser shows his all-round abilities for Glamorgan to keep Australian selectors on their toes
Michael Neser first took a four-wicket haul and then made an unbeaten 33 runs to rescue Glamorgan's late collapse.
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The summer of English cricket is almost around the corner and the rivalry between England and Australia is expected to get intense as the coveted Ashes Test series inches closer. Having said so, several players from both sides are playing county cricket in a bid to either prepare for the series or to remain in the eyes of selectors should there need be of taking the field due to any unforeseen injury ahead as the series gets underway. And one such player is the Australian pacer, Michael Neser, who has been in sublime form with the ball for the Glamorgan County in the ongoing County Championship- Division Two. His recent 4-wicket haul further strengthens his case to keep the Cricket Australia selectors interested.
Notably, the hosts are playing against Worcestershire in Cardiff in the ongoing LV = Insurance County Championship. After winning the toss, Glamorgan invited Worcestershire to bat first. The decision turned out to be sensationally in the favour of the hosts as they rattled the top order of the visitors within a matter of 12.1 overs. The Aussie pacer paired up with the Dutch bowler, Van der Gugten, on a slow pitch and made life difficult for the batters. On a track where the moist weather assisted the bowlers and the ball seamed throughout the day, both the bowlers ran through the top order with the new ball in their hand.
Gugten started the proceedings by trapping Taylor Cornall in front of the wickets in the sixth over of the day when the score was reading just 12 runs on the board. Thereafter, Neser picked up two wickets in quick succession in a matter of three deliveries. The Australian bowler dismissed Ed Pollock and Jack Haynes with the help of the slip cordon. Hence, Worcestershire quickly slumped to 22/3 by the completion of the ninth over.
Shortly after, the Pakistani batter, Azhar Ali, too, fell cheaply to Gugten, courtesy of a one-handed stunner by Marnus Labuschagne and when things were already looking too tough for the visitors, Worcestershire skipper, Brett D'Oliveira, succumbed to a brilliant in swinger from Michael Neser. At that stage, the visitors were struggling at 25/5 in the 14th over. Moreover, after both the bowlers were taken off for a while, the visitors were hoping for some respite but James Harris had other plans as he went on to notch up his own 4-fer to bowl out Worcestershire for a paltry 109 runs.
Michael Neser rescued Glamorgan with his batting after a sudden collapse
Meanwhile, the Assistant coach of Worcestershire, Kadeer Ali, shared his views on how things panned out for his team. Reflecting on the same, he thought that his batters were not good enough on the day and could have done better with the bat despite the tricky conditions.
"A very weird day. Obviously, we were disappointing with the bat," Ali said on the batting performance of his players.
Interestingly enough, it was not going to be easy for the hosts either, as the opener, Eddie Byrom, got dismissed early. However, the Glamorgan skipper, David Lloyd, and Aussie mainstay, Marnus Labuschagne, stitched a crucial 81-run stand to bail their side out of early trouble, before Adam Finch brought the visitors back into the game by chipping in with three wickets, reducing the hosts at 120/6. Thereafter, Michael Neser showed his all-round abilities with the bat as well.
He arrived on to the crease and along with Billy Root, stitched a crucial unbeaten partnership of 57 runs, which could turn out to be a match-winning one as well. The pair concluded the day with 177/6 at stumps. Notably, the Aussie is still unbeaten on 33 runs going into day 2, as Glamorgan have taken a healthy lead of 68 runs over Worcestershire.