“What’s new about being beaten by Glamorgan!”

Barry Jarman’s famous quote after Don Shepherd (left) had steered Glamorgan to a famous victory at Swansea in 1968. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

Another famous quote – this time from August 1968 as Glamorgan completed a famous double over the touring Australians. Their win drew intriguing parallels with their victory in 1964, as Glamorgan were unable to field a full strength eleven, and then on the eve of the game, they lost their captain Tony Lewis with a throat infection. However, he had a wonderful deputy in Don Shepherd, and the acting Glamorgan leader struck the first blow by winning the toss on a typical Swansea wicket – dry, easy paced and one which was likely to assist the spin bowlers later in the game.

Alan Jones was in scintillating form and together with new signing, Majid Khan of Pakistan, they delighted the capacity crowd with some majestic strokeplay. Majid hit an effortless half-century in just 45 minutes with three sixes and seven fours, whilst Alan Jones used his feet time and again, dancing down the wicket to pierce the field with some exquisitely timed strokes. He was on the verge of becoming only the second Glamorgan centurion against Australia when on 99 he lofted Ashley Mallett high over mid-on, but straight into the hands on Neil Hawke on the boundary ropes.

Mallett and Gleeson soon polished off the rest of the Glamorgan innings, and as tea was taken during the change of innings, the minds of many of the players and spectators went back to Australia`s  visit to Swansea in 1964 when the tourists had a dramatic collapse after tea. Surely it couldn`t happen again, but sure enough in the `Celtic cauldron` that is St. Helen`s, the Australians slumped once again to 77-6 by the close, against the controlled left-arm swing of uncapped bowler Malcolm Nash, and the off-breaks of another reserve bowler, Brian Lewis. Indeed, the events after tea were an almost copybook repeat of their encounter four years before, as the Australians were harried and pressurized into making mistakes, whilst the athletic Glamorgan fielders pulled off some fine catches.

The Australian resistance ended on the second morning, thanks to some smart wicket-keeping from Eifion Jones, and further deft fielding close to the wicket. With a first innings lead of 114, Don Shepherd told his batsmen to go for quick runs in the second innings, knowing full well that it would be imperative for Glamorgan to have plenty of time in which to try and bowl out the Australians for a second time.

Roger Davis, assisted by his West Indian namesake Bryan, responded perfectly. Their rousing second wicket stand of 100, made in fraction under an hour, helped to consolidate Glamorgan`s position. The West Indian was particularly fierce on the Australian bowlers, hitting a six and eleven fours in his hour long stay at the crease. Alan Rees, Tony Cordle and Shepherd himself also weighed in with some hefty blows later in the afternoon, and the acting captain was able to declare at the close, leaving Australia the whole of the final day to chase 365.

The third day dawned dry and sunny, and from an early hour, the Swansea ground was full of excited chatter about another famous Welsh sporting victory. Once again, the Glamorgan fielders rose to the occasion, with Alan Rees swooping at cover point to run out Ian Redpath, and soon afterwards Malcolm Nash produced a fine `nip-backer` to bowl John Inverarity.

However, Paul Sheahan and Bob Cowper easily settled in against Nash and Cordle, and they found runs easy to come by against the two young seamers. Shepherd decided to make a change, bringing on himself and Brian Lewis in an attempt to stifle the Australian progress. The scoring rate duly dropped, and Cowper eventually perished swinging across the line against Lewis to give Eifion Jones an easy catch.

Les Joslin soon fell to Lewis, so captain Barry Jarman came in with the specific intention of hitting the spinners off their length. He made a few firm blows, before being deceived by Shepherd`s clever flight, and he was well caught at short-leg by Roger Davis. The Welsh fielders continued to excel as Majid ran out Mallett, as Sheahan attempted to scamper a single to bring up his century, whilst Roger Davis clung superbly onto a thick edge from Gleeson to leave Australia reeling at 219-8.

The only man standing between Glamorgan and another victory was Paul Sheahan, and after reaching his century, he showed his fighting resolve by hoisting the Welsh spinners high into the members enclosure. On 120 he survived a sharp chance to Brian Lewis, but a few overs later, he struck a sizzling drive straight back to the bowler, Peter Walker, and Walker made not mistake in holding onto the catch.

Alan Connolly and Dave Renneburg were equally determined to go down fighting, and both tailenders made some hearty blows before Renneburg miscued another expansive stroke against Walker and was well caught by Majid at cover. The ecstatic crowd needed no invitation to show their delight, and they quickly swarmed onto St. Helen`s to celebrate Glamorgan`s feat in becoming the first county to defeat Australia on consecutive tours.

As the jubilant supporters gathered below the players` balcony, Welsh songs soon filled the air, and there was even a rendition of `Waltzing Matilda`. A hush then descended as Don Shepherd and Barry Jarman addressed the crowd. Sustained applause greeted Don Shepherd in recognition of his astute and shrewd captaincy, and when Jarman spoke to the throng, he was full of praise for Glamorgan`s efforts, and finished by wryly saying “What`s new about being beaten by Glamorgan!”

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