By Alun Rhys Chivers
Glamorgan have beaten Gloucestershire by six wickets at Bristol to register a win in the first game of the County Championship season for the first time since 2014, when they beat Surrey at The Oval.
Chasing just 83 to win from the final 21 overs of the match, Glamorgan reached the target with more than eight overs to spare.
Resuming on 133-5, still 157 runs adrift in their second innings, Gloucestershire’s batsmen took advantage of the conditions early on the fourth and final day. Both Ryan Higgins and James Bracey brought up their half-centuries within the first half an hour as Michael Hogan and Marchant de Lange battled on a pitch which offered little assistance to the bowlers.
However, the breakthrough came soon after the batsmen brought up the hundred partnership, as Hogan trapped Higgins leg before wicket as he departed for a career best 61.
Bracey soon looked to have been caught at square-leg by Shaun Marsh off Hogan on 57, but the batsman was given the benefit of the doubt. However it was Kieran Noema-Barnett who was soon to go, bowled by Lukas Carey off the inside edge for 12, and Gloucestershire were 205-7, still trailing by 85 runs.
Bracey (68 not out) and Dan Worrall (23 not out) dug in to reach 239-7 at lunch, still trailing by 51 runs.
Bracey and Worrall saw out the old ball after lunch before the return of Hogan and de Lange to the Glamorgan attack.
With just five runs required to force Glamorgan to bat again, Worrall was bowled by Carey for 50 to leave Gloucestershire with an uphill struggle at 285-8. They did, however, take the lead, requiring Glamorgan to bat again to be in with a chance of winning.
Bracey brought up his dogged century from 274 balls as Gloucestershire increased their lead and their chances of snatching a draw. At tea, they were 340-8, a lead of 50 runs.
Glamorgan got a big breakthrough in the final session, wicket-keeper Chris Cooke removing Matt Taylor for 48 off Andrew Salter to leave Gloucestershire 362-9, a lead of 72 with one wicket remaining.
The final wicket fell when Liam Norwell, who had been aided by a runner, was caught by wicket-keeper Cooke off Hogan for one, setting Glamorgan 83 to win from 21 overs.
Jack Murphy and Nick Selman added 51 for the first wicket before the former was caught down the leg-side by wicket-keeper Gareth Roderick off Matt Taylor for 18. Marsh quickly followed for nought, caught once again by the keeper off Worrall. Glamorgan were 56-2.
Kiran Carlson and Selman both pulled to mid-wicket off Matt Taylor to reduce Glamorgan to 67-4. But David Lloyd and Aneurin Donald saw the Welsh county home with more than eight overs remaining, the winning runs coming from a Donald six.