With 2 County Championship matches remaining in the season for Essex they needed 6 points to finish the year at the top of the table, ensuring the holy grail of promotion to Division 1 in a year that will see 2 teams relegated but only 1 promoted.
Northants emphatic win against Kent at Beckenham left Essex’s closest neighbours and rivals adrift by 20 points with the prospect of the final game between the 2 at Canterbury. Sussex were also creeping up behind the two meaning 6 points it would have to be for Essex.
Glamorgan had nothing to play for other than pride with only 2 wins to show from the 14 games played, would they find a way to burst the promotion bubble? Essex were welcoming back 2 old boys, Adam Wheater and Varun Chopra would they get to celebrate during the week?
I learnt my lesson on arriving late to park, getting to the ground nice and early only to find that the start was delayed due to the Glamorgan Kit van being stuck in traffic after the closure of the A12. It was strange that a few Glamorgan fans had made it on time through checking the road situation before travelling, but a late start was nothing compared to the reason the road was shut.
I found myself next to a couple from Cardiff and commented on how young one of their players looked as he came to collect a ball, that young man, who is in fact 18 had a very big say in Day 1 of this match.
Glamorgan won the toss and elected to bat, play started at 11:30 and that looked to be a very bad decision as the Essex bowlers took 5 wickets for 57 runs in the session leading to lunch. Graham Napier a man in the form of his life as he’s on the verge of retiring from the game took 3 for 19 to the delight of the home crowd, young gun Jamie Porter took 2. Jacques Rudolph had top scored in the session with 16.
Kiran Carlson (that 18 year old) and Craig Meschede took on the fight for Glamorgan, both looked well set before Meschede hit a ball that looked a likely 6, instead Jamie Porter was under the ball to take the catch, this was becoming a 2 man show! Glamorgan were 83 for 6 and Essex had 2 of the 6 points needed.
Next in was Mark Wallace who hit 29 runs before Ravi Bopara hit his stumps another wicket gone and Glamorgan were on 127 for 7.
With 7 wickets down Glamorgan had the 18 year old Carlson who had 11 First Class runs to his name before today and 22 year old Owen Morgan, with more matches under his belt he had 352 runs and an average of 35.2.
Essex threw the full force of their bowling line up at this young pair but both batted like experienced batsman with considerably more experience. At one point Carlson was on 99 and Morgan 49 and I was certainly willing both of them to reach their landmark, my friend Stella asked if we were being Glamorgan fans for a moment, I explained that no, we were being Kiran Carlson fans as he did indeed reach his maiden century! He played an innings with both flair and care and I was thrilled for him! His partner equally deserved his 50, these 2 young men faced everything Essex had to offer and excelled, congratulations to both of them!
The day finished with Kiran Carlson on 101 Not Out and Owen Morgan on 51 Not Out, now as much as I was happy for both of the Glamorgan lads I am an Essex fan and I’d quite like to see the back of them in the morning to enable Essex to crack on and get those 4 points!