Steve James raising his glove - this time in triumph - for Glamorgan. Pic: Getty Images.
These days – the era of T20 crash, bang, wallop – cricketers hardly have time to fix a moody glare, never mind square up at square leg. Richard Thomas recalls a different time when Glamorgan players threw down the gauntlet.
Another week, and another look back into the Glamorgan archives.
This week marks two decades since a memorable and infamous NatWest Trophy tie down at Hampshire’s old ground at Northlands Road in Southampton, and quite a contest it was, too.
The match was not only relatively high scoring – there were 606 runs in the game – but it will be remembered for a controversial incident at the business end of the contest involving the dodgy run out of wicket-keeper Adrian Shaw.
It had all been set up for a grandstand finish as Glamorgan were required to make 303 to win the second-round contest after England batsman Robin Smith had made a typically pugnacious 119.
Glamorgan had made a positive start but when Steve James and Shaw came together they still required a further 87 from the remaining 16 overs.
But Hampshire looked in the pound seats when Shaw, on only five at the time, had appeared to be run out by Shaun Udal. But as Shaw trudged off the field, Udal indicated he was unsure whether he had the ball in his hands when he broke the stumps.
Following a chat with the umpires – Ray Julian and Barry Meyer – and some of the Hampshire players, Shaw was recalled as he stepped over the boundary rope.
But not before the usually mild-mannered James had vented his feelings in a face-to-face contretemps with home captain John Stephenson.
James had appeared to flick Stephenson’s nose with his glove. Not the sort of behaviour you would expect from players who went on to work for The Times newspaper and the MCC, respectively.
After the dust had settled, Shaw made the most of his good fortune – helping James to add 76 in only 59 balls to break the back of the run chase.
Though man-of-the-match James went for 69 only 11 runs from victory, Shaw and Waqar Younis held their nerve to see Glamorgan home by two wickets with only two balls to spare.
The gloves might have been off in this one but two NatWest rounds later – in a steamy semi-final at Chelmsford – it was time to get the handbags out with another heated exchange.
This time it was between Robert Croft and Mark Ilott. It famously made the News at Ten that night. But more of that later in the season.
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