When Glamorgan Made Hay in Colwyn Bay And Steve James Hit 309 Not Out

It is now 17 years since the scorers, statisticians and historians of Welsh cricket had their busiest, and possibly their finest, hour. Glamorgan had headed north, as they have this week, and Richard Thomas recalls how their batsmen made a lot of hay in the sunshine.


A trip by Sussex to Colwyn Bay is enough to shake the cricket stattos of this world into life. Time to sharpen the pencils and rewrite the record books, it would seem. 

 Because as the English south coast county visit the north Wales coast this week, memories of a significant cricket match at the Rhos-on-Sea ground 17 years ago come flooding back. 

 Sussex captain Chris Adams, a wily professional, somehow decided it would be a good idea to put Glamorgan into bat and then had to watch as Glamorgan amassed a county record total of 718 for three.

What demons he saw in the pitch had been well and truly exorcised by the time the Glamorgan openers took guard. 

 Steve James, who made 309 not out – the first Glamorgan player to make a triple century – and Matt Elliott, the Australia Test batsman, put on 374 for the first wicket. It was carnage.  

 There had been clues that Colwyn Bay was something of a batting paradise because the season before Glamorgan had racked up 648 for four against Nottinghamshire.

If there was any doubt five Sussex bowlers, who probably struck Adams from their Christmas card lists, each conceded 100-plus runs (James Kirtley, who toiled for 40 overs, recorded figures of two for 169). 

 After current Sussex skipper Ben Brown decided to put Glamorgan into bat on Monday – he is obviously no student of history – James tweeted: “dangerous move, that…” to which Adams replied: “Can’t remember that game . . .  years in toss rehab!” 

 As it was, Brown’s decision was not as outlandish as it first appeared with a young Glamorgan side (coach Robert Croft rested five front line players) being bowled out for only 294 – a veritable collapse compared to 2000. 

 Just consider that in the historic fixture of 17 years ago, Sussex, replying to Glamorgan’s ginormous first innings score, needed the small matter of 569 to avoid the follow on.

They managed 300-plus runs twice but still went on to lose by an innings. It is probably little consolation to Adams that he scored 150 in the first innings. 

 It was not a game remembered particularly fondly by former batsman Tony Cottey either. He had left Glamorgan at the end of the 1998 season and ended up chasing leather for the best part of two days as he scored two and two in a game that produced 1,376 runs. 

 That match in 2000 is remembered quite naturally for the Glamorgan run-fest but Alex Wharf, who also received his county cap in the match, and Adrian Dale both took five wicket hauls.

A great effort on a pitch resembling a newly re-laid section of the M4. 



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