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County Championship: Labuschagne and Lakmal show international class at Derby

Marnus Labuschagne
Marnus Labuschagne signed for Glamorgan in April 2019
LV= County Championship Division Two, The Incora County Ground, Derby (day three)
Derbyshire 368: Guest 109 & 170-2: Madsen 58*
Glamorgan 387: Labuschagne 130, Lloyd 84; Lakmal 5-82
Derbyshire (6 pts) lead Glamorgan (6 pts) by 151 runs

Glamorgan’s Australian batter Marnus Labuschagne and Derbyshire’s Sri Lanka seamer Suranga Lakmal shared the honours with headline displays.

Labuschagne hit a classy 130 and Lakmal claimed a five-wicket haul in Glamorgan’s 387,19 runs ahead.

Derbyshire’s Shan Masood just missed out on a new record for first-class runs in the UK in Aprilm falling for 42.

Derbyshire reached 170-2, a lead of 151 runs going into the final day.

Labuschagne and nightwatchman Timm van der Gugten added 82 in relatively untroubled fashion in the opening session of day three, before van der Gugten holed out at long-on for 20 off the bowling of Mattie McKiernan.

The Australian star drove and pulled fluently as he raced to a century off just 137 balls.

But the batters at the other end found life difficult against the new ball bowling of Lakmal and Sam Conners as Chris Cooke, Tom Cullen and Michael Neser all went cheaply.

Labuschagne was forced to work hard after reaching three figures and was finally trapped lbw by Lakmal, who completed his first county five-for when Michael Hogan skied a catch after he and James Harris had nudged the visitors ahead with a few late blows.

Masood, who hit double centuries against Sussex and Leicestershire to set up his record bid, was again quickly into his stride against the new ball with some elegant drives.

Many in the crowd and the dressing rooms thought he had reached a new UK record for April, but his total of 713 runs was two short of that recorded by Nick Compton in 2012.

Masood missed out on a half-century for the first time for Derbyshire as he was dismissed just before tea by Timm van der Gugten, who limped off shortly afterwards with a hamstring injury.

His replacement in the attack, Harris, had Billy Godleman caught behind for 22, before Wayne Madsen hit Harris out of the attack as he raced to 50 in 71 balls and put on an unbeaten 97 with Brooke Guest (40 not out).

But Derbyshire may not be able to declare in time to force a positive result.

Glamorgan’s Marnus Labuschagne told BBC Sport Wales:

“I’m pretty happy with how I batted though it was frustrating not to be able to add to that lead, but all in all it was nice to get a big score and get us to a position where the game’s on for the last day.

“I’m just trying to shorten the time it takes to adapt when I come back here (to the UK) and working on some things to help me make that a bit easier. We spoke (with coach Matt Maynard) about showing a bit more intent and getting my game more organised for here, to take less time to get going when I come over.

“In the UK anything can happen in the game, if we can get a couple of (early) wickets and put them under, hopefully we could have a 230-240 chase which would be a really good game, but it’s hard to predict.

“It looks as though I’ll be able to play six or seven games of the (T20 Blast), that’s pretty exciting for me because I don’t get to play the shortest format a lot, I’m not sure about coming back (after the Australia tour of Sri Lanka), that’s still up in the air.”

Derbyshire’s bowling coach Ajmal Shahzad told BBC Radio Derby:

“We see the efforts that Suranga Lakmal is putting in day in, day out and how he’s helping out the younger players in the team. We knew with the amount of effort going on behind the scenes that at some point it was going to come good, we’re so pleased for him.

“To have toiled over a couple of days and then got the four in the last spell, we’re over the moon for him.

“We’re in a very good position because we’re dictating which way the game’s going. Glamorgan are a very tough outfit, they’re a driven side so we need to continue as we are.

“If we come out of this with a very good draw, I would have snapped your hand off for it because we’re being ruthless, resilient and robust as a team.”

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