It had to be Hogan. It was only right. Hogan, the impossibly venerable Aussie Oak (or equivalent): The Bloke Who Runs In Forever, For Glam. Yet another nick behind, from a boldly fullish ball on off, and the attack leader’s compatriot – the inspired and irrepressible Cullen – fixes those eyes and pouches. Glamorgan have only gone and done it. A first one day trophy.
Extraordinary in so many ways. A genuinely fine, united, hugely gratifying team performance. A rich, worthy, throwback of a win, for a gang of lads visibly All In This Together. Un-fancied and un-starry, yet buzzing with a rare collective belief that really might restore the faith of a cynic. In a race-to-the-bottom kindofa universe, it felt good to see demonstrable loyalty and ‘teaminess’ and maybe even selflessness, win out.
So steepling catches were taken; nerves collectively and individually held; fierce, professional energy-levels demanded, understood and sustained. They ‘backed each other’: they ‘executed’.
Having rejected the Fancy Dans Policy by agreeing (so the story goes) to stick with the same bunch, come what may, Glamorgan stormed to the trophy. Contributions from Salter and Carlson may dominate the headlines – and wow, how often do Glam get to do that? – but this was the occasion Boaty McCliche-face had in mind when (s)he coined the adage ‘everyone chipped in’.
After Rutherford briefly threatened to clatter a way to glory, the young skipper Carlson did indeed play the signature innings for Glam but everyone bar the unfortunate Root – arguably out but not out, for nought – got into double figures. Meaning the innings persisted when it wasn’t flourishing. The seam-bowlers Weighell, Carey and Hogan put on 15, 19 and 12, respectively, to get the 296 for 9. Durham, ultimately, couldn’t match that application.
Hogan’s bowling, as so often, looked disciplined rather than electrifying. Death by slow squeeze. In fact Durham started well, reaching 47 before Salter plucked-out Lees with a classic off-spinner. Thereafter, Glamorgan’s grip on proceedings felt only fitfully threatened or disturbed, by the high-order Australian international Bancroft and by the excellent Dickson, who made 84. Borthwick, Bedingham, Raine, Doneathy, Potts, Trevaskis and Rushworth *all made* 10 or less, as Glamorgan hustled, focussed, planned, executed, with barely a stutter. Solid bowling; good field placement; great hands.
Their coach, Harrison, standing in for the absent Matthew Maynard, missed early 50 over games due to Covid but has overseen the Royal London Cup run. His health may be in question again, the day after but let’s allow the man a hangover and a smile of the smuggish variety. He has fostered a killer blend of guts, grit, camaraderie and belief; his posse of ‘journeymen’ and ‘bit players’ are winners. Winners, winners, winners. Without Ingram, Lloyd, van der Gugten, Cooke, Douthwaite. Winners. That’s wonderful for Glamorgan and for Wales – an affirmation of values as well as a hunk of silverware. With both teams falling into the unfashionable category this one was always going to *resonate* but that Glammy Gamble can serve as a pertinent reminder for the wider game, perhaps? Perhaps all games?
At the fall of Durham’s tenth wicket – the first ball of Hogan’s eighth over – the much-loved seamer bellowed with joyous rage and grabbed at a stump, as if to make it real and verifiable at some later date. (“Did it really happen, Hoges?”) Salter came in for a man-hug and it all kicked off. Cullen and Carlson and Weighell and Selman. Dancing; bawling; beaming. Hogan raised the stump high, to the heavens, like some Aussie Thor, calling to some unknown force, or thanking it. Call me biased – call me anything you want, I’m celebrating too – but it felt righteous.