1969: Magical Majid against Worcestershire at Sophia Gardens.

Majid Khan, who played one of the greatest innings in Glamorgan’s history, against Worcestershire at Cardiff in 1969.
Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

Needing one more victory to clinch the 1969 title, there were long queues from early in the morning for Glamorgan’s final home game of 1969 against Worcestershire at the county`s relatively new ground at Sophia Gardens, with everyone eager to witness the final chapter of a fantastic summer`s events. They were also fortunate to witness one of the greatest ever innings played in Glamorgan`s history, as Majid Khan made a quite superb 156 out of 265 on a spiteful wicket.

There had been concerns for the past three summers about the unpredictable nature of the surface at Sophia Gardens, and uneven way in which balls behaved on the wickets. Indeed, the Glamorgan batsmen were often quite upset not to be still playing on the benign surfaces at the Arms Park, which had been redeveloped as part of the Welsh Rugby Union`s National Stadium.

Whilst there were doubts in the minds of some batsmen, Majid Khan remained unruffled and his almost magical batting completely mastered a useful Worcestershire attack. His graceful batting resulted in sixteen elegantly struck boundaries, and although wickets fell regularly at the other end, the Pakistani always looked in complete control, with plenty of time to play even the most wicked of deliveries.

When Worcestershire batted, they could only muster 183, with just Ron Headley and captain Tom Graveney looking at ease against Glamorgan`s lively seam attack of Malcolm Nash and Ossie Wheatley, augmented by the off-cutters of Don Shepherd. Glamorgan extended their healthy lead in their second innings, thanks to an aggressive innings of 63 from Peter Walker, plus a breezy 39 from Eifion Jones, before the brave wicket-keeper was hit on the head by a short ball from Vanburn Holder.

Jones was helped into the dressing room feeling quite groggy, and when Tony Lewis declared, setting the visitors a target of 255, it was Majid Khan who deputized for a while behind the stumps. But the doughty gloveman was not going to miss out on the kill, and despite still feeling giddy, he went back onto the field.

By this time, Tony Cordle had got in amongst the wickets, sending back Rodney Cass, Alan Ormrod, Basil d`Oliveira and Tom Graveney with just 66 runs on the board. With Eifion Jones back behind the stumps, Tony Lewis brought Don Shepherd into the attack, and with a broad beam on the veteran`s face, he quickly stifled any thoughts Worcestershire had of mounting a recovery, and proceeded to work his way through the rest of their batting. As the curtain came down on a fine summer, it was very fitting that Don Shepherd should take the 2,000th wicket of his wonderful career during Worcestershire`s second innings. And it was the old warhorse who ended the game by having Brian Brain caught off bat and box in the slips by Bryan Davis, to give Glamorgan victory by 147 runs, and the county title for the second time in their career.

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