Beating the Springboks

It still ranks as one of Glamorgan’s most remarkable-ever victories during their long and proud history – their win by 64 runs over the 1951 South Africans at Swansea.

The Welsh county duly became the only county team to lower the colours of the tourists on their visit to the UK, yet even the most partisan of Welshmen would have been hard pressed to forecast a Glamorgan victory when Wilf Wooller`s side were dismissed for 111 after being put in on a damp wicket. With spinners Len Muncer and Jim McConnon in fine form, it was some consolation that the ball was already turning sharply on the dry and sandy pitch and during the next ninety minutes, the crowd’s disappointment turned into elation as the South Africans were also dismissed for 111 shortly before the close of play.

The image below shows Wooller and his partner Jim Pleass making their way down the long flight of steps from the changing rooms at Swansea for what proved to be a decisive passage of play on the second morning as Glamorgan batted for a second time. The intrepid Glamorgan captain needed few invitations to attack the bowling, and he duly put bat to ball, as together with the doughty support from Pleass and others, Glamorgan set the tourists a target of 147.

Wilf Wooller and Jim Pleass walking out to bat at Swansea. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

By tea, they had reached 54 without loss and the ease at which they had scored prompted some supporters, fearing traffic problems on the Bank Holiday Monday along the Mumbles Road, to start an early drive home.  They duly missed one of the greatest passages of play in the Club’s history and a seminal moment in Welsh sporting history as the Springboks were dismissed for 83 in the hour or so after tea as Muncer added a further four wickets to take his match tally to eleven, with McConnon taking 6/10, including a hat-trick as Glamorgan secured their first-ever victory over a Test-playing side.

A delighted crowd swarm onto the outfield at St.Helen’s to congratulate Wilf Wooller and his team after their remarkable victory over the 1951 Springboks. Photo credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

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