Shep takes 5/2 as Leicestershire are bowled out for 33.

This game saw a remarkable spell from Don Shepherd. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

Between 1946 and 1983, Glamorgan played 24 Championship matches at Ebbw Vale, the Monmouthshire steel and mining town, high up in the Ebbw Valley. According to local legend, the square at the Eugene Cross Park ground lay only a few metres above some of the lucrative coal seams and there were stories, possibly apocryphal, of batsmen tapping down the wicket and then hearing a banging noise coming up from miners underground!

It was at Ebbw Vale in 1965 that Glamorgan beat Leicestershire in a game foreshortened by six hours after a mix of persistent rain and heavy showers non the first two days. In between the storms, Alan Jones and Peter Walker shared a third wicket partnership of 173 in a fraction under four hours, before half-centuries from Leicestershire`s Maurice Hallam and Clive Inman guided the visitors into a first innings lead.

With the rain clouds still hanging around on the final day, Glamorgan captain Ossie Wheatley knew that his only chance of winning the game would be for his batsmen to go for quick runs and then, weather permitting, leaving the visitors a target in the afternoon. Tony Lewis and Peter Walker followed their captain`s instructions to the letter with a rapid second wicket partnership of 83 in just an hour. Alan Rees then chipped in with some furious strokeplay, and Ossie Wheatley was able to declare with two hours remaining and challenge Leicestershire to score 149 in the final 110 minutes.

However, their second innings only lasted for 80 minutes as Leicestershire were bowled out for 33 – the lowest ever Championship total made against the Welsh county. Their tormentor-in-chief was Don Shepherd, and the cunning off-spinner induced a remarkable collapse after Ossie Wheatley and Jeff Jones had taken the first two wickets. In the space of just ten overs, Shepherd worked his way, almost single-handedly, through the rest of the innings, reveling in the damp conditions, extracting sharp turn and bounce, and returning the amazing figures of 10-8-2-5.

Shepherd`s superb efforts allowed Glamorgan to celebrate a 115-run victory,  and a month or so later, the Welsh side inflicted another heavy defeat on the luckless Leicestershire team, with Jeff Jones returning even more incredible figures than Sherpherd`s. This time the home side were bundled out for 40 on a green and lively Grace Road wicket as Jones recorded career best figures of 13-9-11-8.

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