County Championship: Northants set for victory over Glamorgan

Ricardo Vasconcelos batting
Ricardo Vasconcelos made a half century in Northamptonshire's first innings
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Sophia Gardens Cardiff (day three):
Northamptonshire 281 & 406-9 dec: Duckett 133, Vasconcelos 79, Crook 73, Procter 70; Smith 4-75
Glamorgan 254: Khawaja 103; Sanderson 3-30, Buck 3-77 & 121-4
Glamorgan (5 pts) need 313 more runs to beat Northants (5 pts)

Glamorgan go into day four staring at defeat on a precarious 121-4, after being set a mammoth 434 to win or four sessions to survive by Northants.

Ricardo Vasconcelos (79) and Steven Crook (73) combined in a sixth-wicket stand of 147 in their 406-9 declared.

Earlier, Ben Duckett (133) and Luke Procter (70) set a new record opening stand of 208 for Northants against Glamorgan.

Ruaidhri Smith, with a career-best 4-75, helped to check their momentum.

It was the first time that Northants passed 300 in a competitive game in 2018, regaining control after losing five wickets in the morning session, as they mastered a pitch of inconsistent bounce.

The visitors struck a key blow late in the final session when Vasconcelos took a superb reflex catch at short-leg to dismiss Glamorgan's in-form Australia Test batsman Usman Khawaja for 38, caught off Sri Lankan spinner Seekkuge Prasanna.

Glamorgan bowler Ruaidhri Smith told BBC Sport Wales:

"It was a slightly difficult day for us as a team, we all put in the hard yards but it didn't come off at times though I was pleased to pick up a few wickets.

"It's getting there, I'm bowling more and more overs and hopefully (my bowling) is going in the right direction.

"We'll go again and hopefully get something out of it, it's a lot of runs but we'll set manageable tasks throughout the day. Usman's been fantastic for us, we couldn't have asked any more, and it was unfortunate for him to get out the way he did."

Northants batsman Ricardo Vasconcelos told BBC Radio Northampton:

"We would have hoped Duckett and Procter went on a bit longer, we had a bit of a speed-bobble there (losing five wickets before lunch), but myself and Crooky steadied it and got us to 400, which we hope is enough.

"I definitely rode my luck, played and missed a lot more than usual, but ground it out enough to get a half-decent score on the board.

"(For the Khawaja catch) he flicked it at me, it hit me in the chest and l luckily plucked it up one-handed just before it bounced, so a good one at short-leg but the bad thing is, that's now a job for life!"

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