LV County Championship - Division Two
Glamorgan 515-9 dec (M J Powell 102, J A R Harris 76 no, G P Rees 59, H H Gibbs 53, J W M Dalrymple 50) v Essex 200 (A J Shantry 5-62) & 410-6 (H M Amla 181, R N ten Doeschate 88 no, J S Foster 64)
Essex (7pts) drew with Glamorgan (12pts)
Hashim Amla marked his debut with a brilliant 181 as Essex held on to claim an unexpected draw against Glamorgan at Chelmsford on Friday.
The South African batsman showed great resilience to top score and with the help of James Foster and Ryan ten Doeschate the Welsh team batted their way to a stalemate.
Resuming the final day on 133 for four following on, it looked a certainty that Glamorgan would go on to claim the remaining six wickets they needed for victory.
But Amla had other ideas and after being dropped by Gareth Rees at forward short leg off Robert Croft when on 78, the 26-year-old went on to make good his escape.
Foster played his part with an entertaining 64 during a partnership of 142 in 38 overs before being bowled by former England off-spinner Jamie Dalrymple.
Any hopes the visitors might have entertained of making swift inroads into the innings were to disappear, though, as Ten Doeschate settled in with Amla in another big partnership that yielded 153 in 42 overs, by which time Essex had forged their way into a lead of 65.
Croft eventually ended Amla's stubborn resistance by trapping the centurion lbw, but Ten Doeschate was not to be beaten and went on to finish 88 not out - his highest score of the summer - as Essex closed on 410-6.
The 12 points gained still take Glamorgan above Essex in the second division standings, though.
Glamorgan are poised to claim their first LV County Championship victory of the summer after their pace attack, spearheaded by Adam Shantry, put Essex to the sword on the third day at Chelmsford.
Replying to Glamorgan's first-innings total of 515-9 declared, Essex were bowled out for 200 in reply and - after being asked to follow on - reached stumps at 133-4 their second innings, still 182 short of making the visitors bat again.
Shantry was chiefly responsible for their troubles first time around as he underlined the value of line and length to claim 5-62 from 15 overs.
Opening batsman John Maunders' 35 was the top score as Essex surrendered a first-inning deficit of 315.
And, after being sent back in by Glamorgan skipper Jamie Dalrymple, soon slipped to 84-4, David Harrison (2-21) taking two of the wickets to fall.
Essex's hopes of pulling off an escape of Houdini proportions bow rest either with a break in the weather or Hashim Amla, making his debut for the county.
The South African will resume on 44 with James Foster (26no), the pair having so far added 48.
Michael Powell capitalised on a docile pitch to record a 25th career century as Glamorgan racked up 515 for nine on day two at Chelmsford.
Powell was largely untroubled as he made 102 before surprisingly guiding a Graham Napier delivery to John Maunders at gully.
The Essex openers were given 10 overs to survive before the close and Varun Chopra and Maunders successfully made it through on 34-0.
Glamorgan resumed on 155 for three after a rain-affected opening day and added a further 55 before James Middlebrook removed nightwatchman Adam Shantry for 38.
Visiting skipper Jamie Dalrymple joined Powell and passed 50 for the seventh time in 10 championship innings, adding 89 for the fifth wicket before he gave Maunders another catch off Chris Wright.
Mark Wallace (37) and Robert Croft (30) chipped in with useful runs while James Harris added an unbeaten 76 off 84 balls that included 11 fours and two sixes, sharing an unbroken last wicket stand of 63 with Garnett Kruger.
Napier (3-112) and Middlebrook (3-87) were the pick of an otherwise undisciplined bowling performance that saw Wright and Ryan ten Doeschate concede more than 100 runs.
But Essex face an uphill task as they chase 366 just to avoid the follow on.
South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs made a half century on his Glamorgan County Championship debut at Essex.
Only 48 overs were possible at Chelmsford because of three interruptions for rain, but it was still more play than the other two domestic games could manage.
Glamorgan, having won the toss, reached 155 for three at the close of a truncated opening day's play against Essex, with Gibbs marking his championship debut with a 103-ball half-century.
Gibbs combined with opening partner Gareth Rees to put on 115 for the first wicket, before he played around a delivery from Ryan ten Doeschate that knocked out the off stump and he was removed for 53.
Just nine balls later Graham Napier pinned Ben Wright in the crease for one as the batsman shuffled across in front of his stumps.
Rees also produced a well-crafted innings of 59 before David Masters found the edge and James Foster completed a brilliant catch diving low to his right to leave Glamorgan on 138-3.
Night-watchman Adam Shantry then joined Michael Powell to successfully negotiate the remaining five overs despite a close set field that allowed the batsmen to collect three boundaries late in the day.