Leicestershire 320 and 158 for 7 (Azad 58, Neser 3-36) lead Glamorgan 437 (Cooke 52) by 41 runs
An effective lower-order batting display and wickets for Michael Neser and David Lloyd have left Glamorgan in a very strong position going into the final day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match against Leicestershire in Cardiff.
Glamorgan started the day on 305 for 5 and a fifty from Chris Cooke and useful contributions from Neser and James Weighell took the home side to a first-innings lead of 117. Glamorgan chipped away at the visitors batting line-up to leave Leicestershire just 41 runs in front with three wickets in hand.
Glamorgan will go start the fourth day feeling confident that they can claim their first home victory of the season with Leicestershire on 158 for 7 in their second innings.
The day started with Leicestershire picking up the wicket of Andy Gorvin who was dismissed lbw for 23 by Beuran Hendricks when he left a ball that came back into him. At the fall of Gorvin’s wicket Glamorgan were still trailing by nine runs. A stand of 65 between Cooke and Neser took them into the lead with Cooke passing fifty from 138 balls.
Cooke’s dismissal came when Callum Parkinson bowled the perfect left-arm spinner’s delivery that turned passed his bat and clipped his off stump. It was an uncharacteristically stoic innings from Cooke who looked to hang around to take his team to a potentially match-winning lead.
Glamorgan finished on 437 all out with Weighell the last man out for 34 and the home team narrowly missing out on full batting bonus points.
Two early wickets reduced Leicestershire to 15 for 2, with Sam Evans caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Cooke off the bowling of Michael Hogan. Rishi Patel made a career best 82 in the first innings but he lasted just seven balls on day three, edging a beautiful delivery from Neser to Cooke.
A 66-run partnership between Hassan Azad and Louis Kimber chipped away at the Glamorgan lead but Neser struck again with another stunning delivery that came back just enough to bowl Kimber for 37.
Azad went on to his second half-century of the match, bringing up the landmark from 88 balls as Leicestershire battled to wipe out the Glamorgan lead. But Lloyd picked up the wickets of Azad and Wiaan Mulder in the space of two overs to leave Leicestershire in real trouble. When Azad was caught at slip for 56 off a ball that lifted on him his team were just two runs to the good and five wickets down.
The lead was just 22 when Neser got the sixth Leicestershire wicket, Scott Steel going lbw for 18, and when Harry Swindells was bowled by a Weighell ball that he left alone his departure brought the day to a close.