DAVID LLOYD is unlikely to take a better wicket in his career than that of Kumar Sangakkara - but that certainly won’t stop him from trying.
The Sri Lankan great was looking to bring up his 150 with his 22nd four of the innings back in April when he slapped a ball from the ex-Brymbo ace straight to Will Bragg at cover.
Posed with the question of whether he may have peaked wicket-wise at the age of just 23, Lloyd, who signed a new deal with Glamorgan yesterday, declared: “I probably have.”
On the dismissal of Sangakkara, a man with over 26,000 runs in international cricket, Lloyd modestly added: “It was not the most impressive way to get him out. He nailed one to cover on 149!
“I will take it though. In the book it just says caught Bragg, bowled Lloyd next to Sangakkara’s name.”
For Lloyd the wicket of Sangakkara was something of a watershed moment in his fledgling career with the former top order batsman transformed into an all-rounder.
Lloyd has picked up six wickets in four County Championship matches at an average of 40, bowling at the likes of Sangakkara and Kevin Pietersen.
Far from fazed by the challenge of bowling at two of the greatest players of this generation, Lloyd said: “It was a great moment for myself. When you are watching these players on television you never think you will play against them, so the only thing to do is enjoy the experience.
“You know if you get smashed then it is two of the best players in the world doing the hitting.”
And who would he rather bowl to, Pietersen or Sangakkara?
“Pietersen,” revealed Lloyd. “At the time Sangakkara was hitting everything, while Pietersen is so unorthodox that you felt you had a chance of getting him out.”
While Pietersen and Sangakkara are on another level to the majority of the county players, Lloyd does have a ‘bunny’ in the shape of Fabian Cowdrey.
Grandson of the great Colin Cowdrey, Fabian was dismissed in both innings by Lloyd when Glamorgan faced Kent.
Lloyd said: “I wouldn’t say he is my bunny just yet! But it was nice to get him out twice in the match.”
The meeting with Kent also provided another indication of Lloyd’s growing confidence in County Championship cricket with the youngster finishing unbeaten on 43 to help Glamorgan earn a draw.
Batting against the likes of England international James Tredwell, Lloyd looked composed at the crease, surviving the final 44 balls.
The North Walian averages 48 with the bat this season having struck his maiden first class half century against Leicestershire.
Lloyd puts the impressive statistics down to confidence, explaining: “In the last few seasons I have been cautious, almost thinking that I have to take my chance, but I’ve changed the way I’ve approached things.
“I’m now going into the middle thinking ‘I got here playing with freedom, so why not continue?’
“I suppose batting lower helps take the pressure off and getting a 50 early in the season was like taking a weight off my shoulders.
“When I go out to bat now I feel like I am good enough. It is just a confidence thing.”
Lloyd has spent the campaign batting at eight and nine for Glamorgan, an unusual position for the once top order batsman.
He continued: “Glamorgan have gone for more batting depth and they see me as an all-rounder.
“Myself and Craig Meschede are both batsmen who bowl so we are going in at eight, nine or 10, which means I can put my feet up all day!
“It also means that people think you can’t bat, so the fields are attacking and you score quickly.”
The all-rounder tag has created some problems for Lloyd, who is currently missing the four day game with Northants through injury.
“It is tough on the old body,” said Lloyd, who is getting physio on a tendon problem at the top of his leg.
“I won’t rush back. It needs to be right because I am enjoying things.”