2017: Finals Day at Edgbaston.

David Miller completes a boundary catch at Finals Day at Edgbaston as Glamorgan meet the Birmingham Bears in the semi-final of the T20 Blast. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

Glamorgan’s dreams of Twenty20 silverware were dashed in their first appearance at Finals Day since 2004. It was certainly thirteen years unlucky as Jacques Rudolph, during his final innings as the county’s captain, was cruelly run out in this semi-final just as he looked as if he was going to complete a fairy tale end to his illustrious professional career and take Glamorgan into the Final. Things had certainly not gone to script as Glamorgan imploded to 48-4 in their powerplay with two of their gun batsmen back in the dugout. When Kiran Carlson became the fifth batsman to depart, edging an expansive drive against the pacy Olly Stone, it looked like an early finish was on the cards. But together with Graham Wagg, Rudolph re-ignited the Glamorgan innings as he unfurled some high-class drives and flicks, plus a massive straight six into the Pavilion enclosures against Jeetan Patel.

With Rudolph having completed his fifty from 30 balls, the task for his side had been whittled down to 64 from 36 balls and, with the pair ticking over at a dozen runs an over without taking any risks, a gripping finale looked on the cards. But Wagg then drilled a ball straight back to Aaron Thomason who, deflected  it back onto the stumps with Rudolph stranded out of his ground, leaving the retiring captain to depart having struck a graceful 65 from just 39 balls. With a few further lusty blows by Wagg and later Marchant de Lange, the task had become 26 from the final over as Andrew Salter unleashed successive fours against Chris Woakes before lifting him for six over mid-wicket.

A few romantics wondered if there was one final twist in the tale but, in trying to strike another six, Salter holed out at long-off as Adam Hose, inches from the boundary rope, held onto a steepling catch. This was the third fine catch in the innings with Sam Hain also taking a superb diving catch at mid-wicket to remove Aneurin Donald in the first over, before Grant Elliott, running back at deep long-on, held a ball descending over his shoulder to remove dangerman Colin Ingram in the fourth over. In contrast the Bears had enjoyed a boundary-laden powerplay with Man-of-Match Ed Pollock striking 5 fours and 4 sixes to put his side in the driving seat, as they raced to 65 after the opening six overs. Some canny bowling by Craig Meschede and Colin Ingram put a brake on the home side’s hitherto serene progress, before Colin de Grandhomme plundered a trio of fours in Wagg’s last over.

The closing over from Michael Hogan was an incident-packed affair, with Thomason run out by David Miller as he attempted a second run, before Jeetan Patel drilled the next ball straight to the Springbok at long-on. The final ball then saw Salter at deep extra-cover combine with wicket-keeper Chris Cooke to run out Woakes as the England all-rounder tried to sneak a second run, but at the end of the day he need not have bothered trying to scramble home as the Bears total proved to be a winning one. The Notts Outlaws duly defeated Hampshire in the second semi-final, before beating the Bears by 22 runs in the all-Northern Final to complete a white ball double after their 50 overs title and leaving Glamorgan’s fans wondering what might have been if they had enjoyed a better powerplay.

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