Records galore at Brentwood 1948.

Willie Jones who made a career-best 212* against Essex at Brentwood in 1948. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

June 1948 saw Glamogan`s middle-order batsmen strike a rich vein of form. The month began with an innings victory over Kent at Gravesend, during which Willie Jones hit a fine 207. After his innings, the modest left-hander from Carmarthen sat in the pavilion at Gravesend and said “I`ll never do it again.”

How wrong he was, as a fortnight later, at Brentwood, Jones recorded another superb double hundred, and sat in the dressing room once again acknowledging the congratulations of his team-mates after an innings of 212* against Essex and a record-breaking partnership of 313 for the third wicket with Emrys Davies. It was achieved in three and a quarter hours as the Glamorgan batsmen plundered a weary, and quite modest, Essex attack.

In all, Jones batted for four hours, hitting three sixes and twenty two fours. One of the umpires was Dai Davies, the pre-war Glamorgan veteran, and whilst being impartial, he showed great delight at the way Jones and Davies dominated proceedings. As Dai later wrote, the two Glamorgan batsmen “just went mad and hit everything in sight. Emrys was playing shots all around the wicket with tremendous vigour, and was well into his second hundred, and Willie was not far behind. I knew Emrys would keep going, but Willie started to complain about feeling tired after reaching 150. His knees were always giving him trouble, souvenir of his rugby-playing days, and I knew that Willie was thinking of throwing his wicket away. In Welsh, he said to me `I`m tired, Dai`, to which I snapped back, `keep going or I`ll hit you on the head with this wicket! ”

Jones duly went on to record a superb double hundred, before Wilf Wooller declared with 586 runs on the board. Essex`s woes were quickly made worse as light rain fell to freshen up the wicket. When play re-started, Len Muncer exploited the damp conditions taking six wickets in Essex`s first innings, aided by some sharp catching close to the wicket by Watkins, Wooller, Parkhouse and Clift.

Even worse was in store when Essex followed on, as Muncer took the first eight wickets, extracting extravagant turn from the damp and worn surface. He then caught Bill Morris off Willie Jones` gentle spin, before bowling Ken Preston to finish with the handsome return of 9/62.

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