Glamorgan defeat the 1959 Indians.

Injuries and illness prevented Glamorgan from fielding an experienced side for their match at the Arms Park in May 1959 against the Indian tourists. Without captain Wilf Wooller, it was left to stand-in leader Allan Watkins to lead the Welsh county to a remarkable win.

The Glamorgan batting order had an unfamiliar look about it, so without the experience of Gilbert Parkhouse and Bernard Hedges, young left-hander Alan Jones opened the batting with Peter Walker, whilst Jim Pressdee was promoted up to number three. The 25-year old Pressdee responded to the challenge with a quite superb maiden century, boldly hitting fifteen fours and one six. A measure of his dominance can be gauged by the fact that the next highest score was 19 by Alan Jones.

Allan Watkins, seen in his MCC sweater and cap, who led Glamorgan to a historic victory over the 1959 Indians.
Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

When the Indians batted later in the day, they also found life difficult on the Arms Park wicket, and none of their batsmen passed fifty as they were contained by the accurate left-arm bowling of Peter Walker and teased by the clever off-cutters of Don Shepherd. Their efforts gave Glamorgan a valuable lead of 70, and when Glamorgan batted again, Allan Watkins played a captain`s innings with an attractive 61.

Watkins had been quite fortunate, having been dropped off his first ball, and the tourists were to rue this costly miss as Watkins and Jim McConnon shared a useful stand of 78 for the sixth wicket. Don Shepherd then rubbed salt into the Indian`s wounds hitting a quickfire 42 in a mere twenty minutes, including three huge sixes and four fours.

The net result was that India needed 294 to win, and after losing two early wickets to Peter Walker, Datta Gaekwad and Chandra Borde  shared a partnership of 129 to put the tourists in a quite useful position at 193-3.The equation was 101 runs to win with seven wickets in hand, but  Gaekwad was run out, and Borde was superbly caught by Peter Walker at short-leg off McConnon`s bowling.

Soon after Jayasinghrao Ghorpade was bowled first ball by Don Ward and Nari Contractor was caught by Watkins off Ward. With the scoreboard reading 199-7, the match had swung decisively in Glamorgan`s favour. There were some fierce blows from Kripal Singh, before Peter Walker brought off another fine catch close to the wicket. McConnon then finished off the Indian tailenders, and Glamorgan were able to celebrate a fine victory by 51 runs.

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