Victory over Somerset by one run at Cardiff in 1976.

Alan Jones – who led the Welsh county in this famous match in 1976.
Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

1976 had been a rotten summer for Glamorgan, so when Somerset travelled to Cardiff for the final match of the Sunday League season it looked a formality that they would secure the win they needed to give the West Country side their first title. Little had gone right for the Welsh county during the long, hot summer of `76. Captain Majid Khan had quit in mid-season, and several other players had departed, muttering gloomily about dressing room strife and a rift between the players and the committee.

It looked as if another embarrassing episode was about to happen on the morning of this classic match in September 1976, as the Glamorgan stewards and gatemen arrived at Sophia Gardens to find the ground already almost full of Somerset supporters. Events on the field however, soon gave Glamorgan more to smile about as in the early overs Brain Close, the stalwart Somerset skipper, dropped Alan Jones at square leg.

This proved to be a costly miss as the Glamorgan captain went on to top score with 70, and with a few hefty blows from Malcolm Nash, Glamorgan were able to set Somerset a target of 192 in 39 overs. The visitors got off to a quite shaky start, losing Peter Denning, Brian Close and Ian Botham all to the left-arm swing of Nash. Brian Rose and Merv Kitchen then steadied the Somerset innings with a partnership of 70 for the fourth wicket, before Graham Burgess and Dennis Breakwell continued their good work.

As Somerset moved closer to their target, Alan Jones brought Nash back into the attack for his final three overs. With the score on 171, he bowled Breakwell and eight runs later Derek Taylor was run out as the nerve ends started to jangle. A further eight runs had been added as Nash bowled the final over of the game, and in the mounting tension, the pressure seemed to be getting to the Somerset batsmen as another mix-up occurred and Keith Jennings was run out.

But Graham Burgess was still there, and he faced the final ball from Nash with Somerset needing three runs to tie the game and secure the Sunday League trophy. Burgess boldly hit the ball back over Nash`s head down to the sightscreen at the Cathedral Road end of the ground. The Somerset supporters started to cheer, believing that Burgess had hit the winning runs, but Alan Jones calmly ran in from the boundary, threw the ball back to Nash as Burgess and Colin Dredge completed their second run. They had to get a third run to win the trophy,  so they set off in desperation as Nash lobbed the ball gently back to Eifion Jones, who then removed the bails with Dredge well short of his ground, and Somerset one run short of their target.


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