The Gillette Cup Final of 1977.

Glamorgan met Middlesex in the final of the 1977 Gillette Cup final with Lord`s being more like Cardiff Arms Park on the day of a rugby international, especially as the weather was distinctly autumnal.. The pitch was only just fit for play after overnight rain, so the toss was clearly going to be crucial. On this occasion, lady luck deserted Alan Jones, as Mike Brearley won the toss and had little hesitation in inviting Glamorgan to bat. But it was not complete doom and gloom for the Welsh side as the slow wicket and damp run-ups restricted Middlesex`s West Indian paceman Wayne Daniel.

However, Mike Selvey bowled accurately at the other end and his tight bowling, together with the wet outfield, restricted Alan Jones and John Hopkins. Jones eventually fell to Selvey trying to force the pace, and the England seamer then claimed the prized wicket of Collis King for eight, before Mike Gatting had Rodney Ontong caught behind for a duck.

Glamorgan fans at Lord’s in September 1977.
Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

Glamorgan slumped to 50-3, before John Hopkins and Mike Llewellyn gave the innings a much needed impetus. Llewellyn was in particularly aggressive form, and his first three scoring strokes were 4, 6, 4 off Gatting, before striking an enormous six from Emburey high over long on and into the guttering on the roof of the BBC commentary box, on the top tier of the famous pavilion.

Llewellyn was eventually dismissed for 62 by Norman Featherstone, and after his dismissal, the innings rather fell away in the closing overs, as Featherstone cheaply claimed the wickets of Malcolm Nash and Tom Cartwright. With the Middlesex side brimful of class batsmen, it was imperative that Glamorgan took early took early wickets. In Malcolm Nash, Glamorgan had one of the finest new ball bowlers in the country, and the left-armer produced a peach of a delivery with the very first ball of the innings. The ball drifted across the bat of opener Mike Brearley, took the edge, and he was caught behind by Eifion Jones.

This voices of hundreds of hearty Welshmen rang out to the strains of the Welsh National Anthem as Brearley quietly walked off,  and in the next over it looked as if the Welsh supporters would have more to sing about as Clive Radley edged a ball from Nash straight to second slip. But Collis King spilled the chance in what proved to be the pivotal moment in this classic match.

Radley was typically unflappable, and he quietly got his head down in resolute fashion, and worked the ball around, and into the gaps for one`s and two`s. As the shine went off the ball, the Glamorgan bowlers found less and less assistance. Collis King partially atoned for his costly mistake by having Gatting caught by John Hopkins, whilst Graham Barlow was trapped leg before by Gwyn Richards.

But Radley was in complete control at the other end, and he calmly guided Middlesex to a comfortable five wicket win. Even so, you could have been forgiven for thinking that Glamorgan had won as their supporters jubilantly gathered on the outfield below the dressing rooms, and drowned their sorrows with Welsh song.

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