By Rich Jones
GLAMORGAN are through to the quarter-finals of the Natwest T20 Blast after a convincing, seven-wicket win over Somerset at The SSE SWALEC on Friday night.
A man of the match performance from Colin Ingram inspired the hosts to a memorable victory in front of a bumper crowd in Cardiff.
After slipping to back-to-back defeats in the shortest format of the game, Robert Croft’s side bounced back in style to secure progression from the South Group with two games still to play.
South African-born Ingram took 3-20 with the ball before proceeding to blast 54 from just 37 balls with the bat to ensure Glamorgan comfortably reached their victory target.
After Glamorgan won the toss and opted to bowl, the game was on a knife-edge when Ingram came into the attack, with Somerset scoring at a fast rate but losing wickets at regular intervals.
However, he quickly got rid of Roelof van der Merwe before a stunning, double-wicket maiden in the 14th over turned the game on its head.
He tempted Lewis Gregory down the track where he was duly stumped by Mark Wallace before taking a fine diving catch off his own bowling to remove Ryan Davies just two balls later.
That left Somerset desperately short of batting to see off their overs, and a superb run-out from Timm van der Gugten, who had removed dangerman Mahela Jaywardene with the ball earlier in the innings, saw the visitors bowled out for a modest 152.
Although they rode their luck early on, Mark Wallace and David Lloyd got the Glamorgan run chase off to a solid start to ensure Ingram strolled to the crease with the score at 33-1 from four overs.
He put together an exquisite innings, demonstrating poise and power in abundance to ensure they were always on track to reach their target.
By the time Lloyd was clean bowled by Max Waller for 28, Ingram and Glamorgan were well-set.
With Ingram timing the ball superbly at the other end, youngster Aneurin Donald was free to play patiently at the other end before getting in on the act with some fine striking as his innings progressed.
Fresh from his record-breaking double hundred in the County Championship earlier in the week, the 19-year-old ended unbeaten on 44 with a mature knock to see them over the line.
Ingram was denied a fairytale finish when he was caught by Jim Allenby off the bowling of Peter Trego with just 17 runs needed, but Donald and skipper Jacques Rudolph ensured they had no trouble claiming victory with exactly two overs to spare.
Although Ingram was the star with both bat and ball, it was a fine all-around bowling display from Glamorgan which set them up perfectly on a good batting wicket.
Australian paceman Shaun Tait put in perhaps his best performance since returning to the club, cleaning up the dangerous Trego for just nine before dismissing Johann Myburgh after he had reached a quick-fire 28.
Graham Wagg also took 2-27 whilst Michael Hogan was efficient at both the start and end of the Somerset innings.
With van der Gugten and Andrew Salter also claiming sharp run-outs, there was little doubt Glamorgan were the better side in every aspect of the game to confirm their place in the next round.
They will now travel to Sussex and Essex next Thursday and Friday respectively for their last two group games knowing just one more win would seal a home quarter-final tie.