1993: Glamorgan score 550, but lose the game!

Adrian Dale (left) and Viv Richards return to the Sophia Gardens pavilion after their record-breaking stand of 425 against Middlesex in 1993. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

Few counties have scored over 550 in their first innings, and then lost the game, but this is precisely what happened to Glamorgan in this match at Cardiff during the first week of July 1993. At the time, Glamorgan and Middlesex were the top two sides in the Championship and the game looked like being a high scoring draw on a featherbed of a wicket.

Few could have predicted the drama ahead as Adrian Dale and Viv Richards shared a record-breaking partnership of 425 for the fourth wicket, as the Middlesex bowlers were firmly put to the sword, and all in glorious sunshine. Both Glamorgan batsmen hit unbeaten double hundreds as they shared the highest ever stand for any wicket by the Welsh county, and at the time it was the seventh highest stand for the fourth wicket in the history of first-class cricket.

Yet despite the faultless strokeplay of Dale and Richards, and Glamorgan passing the 550 mark, Middlesex still secured a first innings lead. Five of their batsmen registered half-centuries, including night-watchman John Emburey who shared a stand of 262 with captain Mike Gatting. Both of these England players scored centuries, but even so, it was not until the final morning of the game that Middlesex gained the advantage

After an hour`s batting, they had secured a slender lead of 22.  When Glamorgan began their second innings at 12.10 p.m. on the final day, a draw looked almost certain. But England spinner, Phil Tufnell then returned career-best bowling figures of 8/29, as Glamorgan dramatically collapsed. With clever flight and astute variations, the left-arm spinner took the first nine wickets to fall as just 60 runs were added, and Tufnell looked like taking all ten, before last man Steve Barwick fell to the off-spin of John Emburey.

This dramatic turnaround meant that Middlesex needed just 88 from 33 overs, and openers Desmond Haynes and Mike Roseberry had little difficulty in guiding their side to an emphatic ten wicket victory,  as the Glamorgan spinners found nothing in the wicket on which Tufnell had weaved an almost magical spell and created so much havoc in Glamorgan`s ranks.

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