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Cricket: Simon toils as Glamorgan trio put the Welsh in fine position.

Byline: Our Correspondent

SIMON JONES emerged from the wings for his first championship appearance for a year, but it was three of his team-mates who stole the limelight as Glamorgan eased their way into a commanding position against Gloucestershire.

Mark Wallace and Alex Wharf each recorded career-best scores of 128 to take Glamorgan to 392 all out in their first innings.

And by the close Gloucestershire had reached 118 for five - 274 behind - with the top three having been removed by James Harris, who turned just 17 on Wednesday and who had expected to have this week off revising for his AS level examinations at Gorseinon College next week.

It also left his mother having to cancel his first driving lesson on Wednesday after he was called up for his second LV County Championship appearance.

While Jones was feeling his way back into the action from the pavilion end with two spells totalling nine overs, Harris was causing havoc at the other.

He yorked makeshift opener Ian Fisher, took a tumbling return catch from Kadeer Ali before having Grant Hodnett neatly caught at second slip by Matthew Elliott.

It left him with figures of three for 20 in 21 balls.

When Jones was replaced, Ryan Watkins struck in his second over to remove skipper Alex Gidman, who dragged on before Robert Croft nipped in to have Chris Taylor caught at slip.

All this while Marcus North made an assured half century from 64 balls for the home county.

At start of the day Glamorgan would not have dared wish for such a dominant position having resumed on 201 for six with Wallace having been forced to his bed on Wednesday night on 99 not out after bad light had forced an early abandonment of the first day of the championship clash between the counties.

But though the wicket-keeper claimed to have an easy night's sleep, he was glad to see Ashley Noffke's opening delivery of the second day with the new ball pushed onto leg stump allowing him to nurdle it around the corner for the key single.

His celebrations were of a man who has been deprived of a century for three years.

After that Wallace, who had been in responsible mode ever since he arrived at the wicket with his side four for one and soon to be four for two, was happy to play second fiddle to Wharf, which was reflected in that he only scored 28 more runs in 108 balls.

With Will Rudge off the field all of yesterday, Gloucestershire only had three front-line seamers to call on, with Wharf particularly taking a liking to Anthony Ireland, who conceded three fours in an over twice.

On his way to his century, which arrived after Wallace had edged behind, Wharf had been involved in some controversy.

When he was on 16 Marcus North had claimed a catch at slip adjudged to have fallen short by square leg umpire George Sharp.

Wharf made the most of that decision supplying 72 runs to his seventh-wicket partnership of 111 with Wallace which dragged the initiative away from the home side.

Wharf enjoys playing at Nevil Road having added career-best batting to his career-best six for 59 against Gloucestershire two years ago.

In the end the big Yorkshireman was left stranded after Australian's Noffke and North had accounted for the tail to wrap up the Glamorgan first innings.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 18, 2007
Words:568
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