New Road (final day): Worcestershire (457-8 dec., 22pts) beat Glamorgan (279 and 279, 4pts) by 10 wickets
Kabir Ali took six wickets as Worcestershire moved into second place in Division Two of the County Championship affter Sunday's crushing 10-wicket victory over struggling Glamorgan.
The 27-year-old paceman, continually overlooked for an England recall, took six for 58 to lift his Championship tally for the season to 37 at an average of 20.00.
Kabir’s exploits overshadowed the bowling contribution of Simon Jones - who is being touted in some quarters as being ready for a return to the England Test team - against his former county. Jones failed to take a second-innings wicket in his 11 overs. Kabir’s return was also his first five-wicket haul in the competition at New Road since his five for 94 against Leicestershire in September 2006.
His fine efforts helped remove Glamorgan for 279 - the same total as their first innings score - and leave Worcestershire with a target of 102 which they achieved with the second opening century stand of the match between Stephen Moore and Daryl Mitchell.
Glamorgan, who have suffered four defeats in their last five matches, resumed their follow-on second innings only 11 runs ahead on 189 for seven and were dismissed after a rearguard action lasting 93 minutes.
James Harris, unbeaten on 10, and Jason Gillespie, with seven, continued their uphill battle against Worcestershire’s overseas debutant Imran Arif - who has agreed a two-year contract as a non-overseas player - and Kabir who between them had captured six of the seven second-innings wickets on Saturday - Arif achieving a five-wicket haul.
The pace duo were unable to prevent Harris and Gillespie from completing a spirited half-century stand in 14 overs. They had added 52 before Worcestershire made their first bowling change with spinner Gareth Batty taking over from Kabir.
Shortly afterwards Arif made way for paceman Matt Mason whose introduction to the attack soon paid off when he had Harris caught low down by wicketkeeper Steven Davies for 43, which included eight fours off 84 balls.
He had put on 79 in 23 overs with Gillespie whose next partner David Harrison scored seven before being bowled by the lively Kabir. He removed Dean Cosker to leave Gillespie unbeaten on 49 after Glamorgan’s fourth follow-on in five matches.
Worcestershire, who have secured two wins and a draw in their last three matches, launched their victory chase with Moore and Mitchell who put on 109 in the first innings.
They were again a dominant force with Moore following his first-innings 57 with 58 not out, including one six and eight fours off 82 balls. Mitchell was undefeated on 44.
On Saturday, Bradford League bowler Arif completed his five-wicket return on debut to ensure that Worcestershire forced Glamorgan to follow-on for the fourth time in five matches. After taking three wickets in 11 balls on Friday, the 24-year-old Kashmir-born seamer wrapped up the Welshmen’s first innings after dismissing Gillespie and Cosker in two further spells.
Arif, the leading wicket-taker in Worcestershire’s Second XI this season, finished with five for 50 from 10.1 overs and Jones claimed three more scalps to reach 32 Championship wickets in his campaign for an England recall.
Cosker (42) and Harris (28 not out) scrambled a second batting point in a last-wicket stand of 59 before Glamorgan faltered.
Arif, snaffling two more wickets for a match return of seven for 114 so far, was again a threat, bowling quickly and straight to rip through he defences of Gareth Rees (38) and Richard Grant (22).
Kabir, who had taken four for 32 by Saturday evening, bowled David Hemp for 30 when the Welsh captain shouldered arms and then brought the extra half-hour into play by taking three for five in 21 balls.
Rees, top scorer in the first innings until his unlucky dismissal for 68, initiated Glamorgan’s troubles after they had resumed at 136 for four. The left-hander seemed to have taken up a routine defensive position when a ball from Jones struck him on the thigh pad, then dropped into the crease and rolled slowly back on to the stumps. This ended a partnership of 94 with Mark Wallace (51), who became another Jones victim when losing his off stump immediately after completing his first half-century of the Championship season.
Alex Wharf tamely helped a short ball from Kabir to long leg but the last three wickets added 114. Arif hit the off stump to remove Gillespie (17), Mason did the same to halt David Harrison’s quick 23 and Davies held his fourth catch when Arif’s extra lift did for Cosker.