2000: Steve James makes 309* at Colwyn Bay.

Steve James proudly stands in front of the Colwyn Bay scoreboard after his record-breaking innings against Sussex in 2000. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

2000 witnessed a record-breaking game against Sussex at Colwyn Bay.

Since the mid-1960s, Glamorgan have regularly travelled up to the popular resort in order to fly the county flag, and to reward their loyal supporters in North Wales. The pitch at the Rhos-on-Sea ground has generally been one on which the batsmen have gorged themselves, but in the 1999 match with Nottinghamshire, the wicket displayed a more capricous character on the first morning, as the visitors were reduced to 9-6 after six overs.

Perhaps these events from the previous year were in the minds of both captains on the morning of this game in 2000. Both were thinking about bowling first, and in winning the toss, it was Chris Adams who had to decide. He duly invited Glamorgan to take first use of a green looking wicket, but then saw the home side reach 457-1 by the close of play, with Steve James and Matt Elliott adding a record 374 for the first wicket.

This was the first time that James had found Colwyn Bay to be a happy hunting ground, having made 259* against Nottinghamshire in 1999, and 162 against the same opponents in 1997. This classic match saw James continue his productive sequence, and inflict further punishment on the weary Sussex bowlers, as he recorded the first ever triple hundred in Glamorgan`s history, reaching this landmark after lunch on the second day with a late cut off Umer Rashid.

His steadfast and stylish innings also saw the Glamorgan batsmen rewrite their record book with a total of 718-3 – the highest in the club`s history. When Matthew Maynard declared seventy minutes into the afternoon session, it ended an innings that had also seen every partnership against the beleaguered Sussex bowlers yield over a hundred runs.

The visitors were naturally quite weary after a day and a half of leather chasing, and they did quite well to amass 342 – a total that in a normal game might have been sufficient to avoid the follow-on. Captain Adams hit a gallant 156, whilst Rashid scored a maiden Championship hundred during a spirited partnership of 232 for the sixth wicket. But even this was not enough to prevent Sussex from following-on, and after some hostile bowling and five wickets from Alex Wharf, Sussex batted again, the small matter of 376 runs behind.

Within eight overs, both of their openers were back in the pavilion, and although Adams and Robin Martin-Jenkins both offered valiant resistance, it was really only a matter of time before Glamorgan were able to celebrate victory. In the end, it was Adrian Dale who hastened Sussex`s demise, with a return of 5/46. As the Sussex players headed home after lunch on the fourth day, they must have been wondering how many other counties had scored over 300 in each innings, yet still lost by an innings.

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