Glamorgan is this year celebrating 100 years since it was formally admitted to the County Championship prior to its first season in 1922. This will be only its 15th visit to Emerald Headingley for such a game and Paul Dyson looks back at Glamorgan’s only victory in Leeds which came at the end of the 20th century.
September 8, 9, 10, 1999: Glamorgan 498 (MP Maynard 186, MJ Powell 70, MA Wallace 64*); Yorkshire 140 (SL Watkin 4-35) & 306 (RJ Blakey 123, OT Parkin 4-54). Glamorgan won by an innings and 52 runs.
For both counties this was the penultimate match of the season; neither was in with a chance of winning the title and the only interest was whether Yorkshire could finish in the top half of the table and so secure its place in the first division of the Championship, the counties being divided up, for the 2000 season, for the first time in the competition’s history.
Yorkshire had won eight of its 15 matches so far (each county playing all the other counties once) and lost five. Glamorgan’s record was won four, lost seven; it was certain to be in the lower division.
Glamorgan won the toss, decided to bat and lost a couple of early wickets. South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis made 35 to take the total to 97, before he was caught in the slips, but by this time skipper Matthew Maynard was already getting his teeth into Yorkshire’s attack. He shared a fourth-wicket stand of 181 with Mike Powell, who made a correct and stylish 70, and, after having been dropped by Anthony McGrath at slip – a difficult chance – passed 20,000 first-class career runs on his way to a dazzling century. He received further support from Robert Croft but was eventually undone by Chris Silverwood’s first delivery with the new ball. Attempting a pull, he could only guide it on to his leg stump. His 186, made from 271 balls in over five hours, contained 21 fours and remains the highest innings at Headingley by a Glamorgan player. By close of play his side had reached 395 for seven.
The initial passage of play on day two centred around a 17-year-old playing in his second first-class match. The day before the game had started the team coach had picked him up at his school gates before the end of the school day, him having been given special permission to play. Although in the side for his wicket-keeping, he proceeded, after overcoming some difficulties with the new ball, to make 64 not out. He shared a 93-run eighth-wicket stand with Keith Newell (45) which took his side to an all-out total of 498, this still being his county’s highest innings against Yorkshire. The home side then wilted in the face of Glamorgan’s seam attack exploiting the conditions to full advantage. The scoreboard soon showed 15 for three and the innings never really recovered. Steve Watkin’s medium-fast bowling took three of the first four wickets to fall, seven wickets were down by the time there were three figures in the total column and the home side were dismissed for a paltry 140. Watkin finished with four for 35, Richard Harden (39) top-scoring for Yorkshire. Following on, the second innings began in a similar way with the score slipping to 18 for three – all three to Owen Parkin’s medium pace. The top three in the order – Matthew Wood, Michael Vaughan and skipper David Byas – had made a combined total of 22 in their six innings. Wicket-keeper Richard Blakey, however, managed to lead something of a recovery and the score was 93 for five at close of play, 18 wickets having fallen in the day’s play.
The third day began with a good passage of play for the home side in that Blakey and Gary Fellows shared a half-century partnership – Yorkshire’s first of the match. Thereafter wickets fell regularly again until the ninth wicket fell with the score on 228. With Blakey on 92, the first job for last man Ryan Sidebottom was to see him through to his first century for three years. This was achieved and the pair then went on to share a tenth-wicket stand of 78 before Blakey was eventually bowled by Stuart Thomas for 123 in what was a defiant display and had restored some pride. Sidebottom had gone on to smash 48 not out from 48 balls, including 30 from two overs of Croft’s off-spin. However, the all-out total of 306 (Parkin finishing with four for 54), although more than double the first-innings effort, was 52 runs short of what was needed to make Glamorgan bat again. It remains the Welsh county’s only innings-victory over Yorkshire in their 111 matches together and was achieved with a day to spare.
Yorkshire, despite this heavy defeat, finished the season in sixth place. Although this was a drop of three places from the previous season, at least the county had the consolation of being able to play in the new first division in the year 2000. Glamorgan also dropped from its 1998 position, finishing in 14th place and thus being allocated a place in the second tier.
The only player to emerge with any credit from this match was Richard Blakey. He had first played for Elland, as well as Rastrick Grammar School, before making his Yorkshire debut at the age of 18. This was in 1995, him having been born in Huddersfield in January, 1967. His promise was already being fulfilled in 1987 when he became the county’s youngest player to score a double-century and was awarded his county cap in the same season. However, in the following season he was asked to keep wicket in the brief absence of David Bairstow and when the latter retired in 1990 Blakey’s new role became permanent.
Having been well-coached, Blakey had a sound defence but batted with an attacking approach. This was particularly productive in limited-overs matches and he averaged over 50 in the Sunday leagues in both 1989 and 1993. His competition career average after that latter season stood at 43.89 (2,941 runs) and, amongst England-qualified batsmen only Mark Ramprakash and Graeme Hick were ahead of him. His batting gradually suffered, though, from the attention given to his new role and, having made four centuries in 1987, he scored only nine more over the remaining 15 years of his career.
An efficient wicket-keeper, Blakey worked in a quiet and unobtrusive manner and, with him having a good season with the bat, he made his international debut in 1992 in an ODI against Pakistan at Lord’s. Taken on the tour to India and Sri Lanka in the succeeding winter he played in two more ODIs – both against India – and two Tests against the same opponents. Although he conceded a mere five byes in India’s combined total of 1,151 runs his lack of runs – seven in four innings – told against him and that was the end of his short career at the highest level.
Blakey continued to always give of his best for Yorkshire and was rewarded with a benefit in 1998. In 2002 he had the honour of captaining Yorkshire in six Championship matches by deputising for Darren Lehmann. Although the county ended the campaign by being relegated to division two he led it in the only two matches in which it experienced victory. In addition he also captained the side in nine List A matches; there were only four victories but one of these was the memorable C & G Trophy final in front of a packed house at Lord’s when Yorkshire defeated Somerset by six wickets with two overs to spare.
Two years later came his final season in which, ironically, he made his highest score – 223 not out against Northamptonshire at Headingley. However, as his more one-dimensional career had developed he was sometimes positioned as low as number nine in the batting order so his opportunity to demonstrate his original hugely promising talent was being more and more denied.
On retirement Blakey spent three years on Yorkshire’s coaching staff but in 2007 went into a business promoting sport. With a total of 428 victims (369 catches and 59 stumpings) he holds the record for most dismissals by a Yorkshire ‘keeper in List A cricket – just seven more than David Bairstow but secured in 30 fewer matches. With that format now not being played so frequently it may be the case that his record will stand for ever. He also scored 7,361 runs in the same format – a total exceeded only by Geoff Boycott and David Byas. In his 339 first-class matches for the county he scored 14,150 runs and effected 824 dismissals (768 and 56). But it could have been so different.
Results (home and away)
Played 111, Yorkshire won 53, lost 13, drawn 45
At Headingley: Played 14, Yorkshire won 4, lost 1 and drew 9
Highest innings totals
Yorkshire 580-9dec Scarborough 2001
At Headingley 429-7dec 1922
Away 536-8dec Cardiff (SG) 1996
Glamorgan 498 Headingley 1999
At home 482-7dec Cardiff (SG) 1996
Lowest innings totals
Yorkshire 83 Sheffield (BL) 1946
Away 92 Swansea 1956
Glamorgan 48 Cardiff (AP) 1924
Away 52 Hull 1926
At Headingley Yorkshire 140 1999
Glamorgan 55 1964
Highest individual innings
Yorkshire 213 MD Moxon Cardiff (SG) 1996
Glamorgan 202* H Morris Cardiff (SG) 1996
At Headingley Yorkshire 173 PA Jaques 2004
Glamorgan 186 MP Maynard 1999
Highest wicket partnerships
Yorks 362 (1st) MD Moxon (213) & MP Vaughan (183) Cardiff (SG) 1996
Glam 233 (1st) WE Bates (146) & AH Dyson (88) Sheffield (BL) 1930
Best bowling in an innings
Yorkshire 9-60 H Verity Swansea 1930
At home 8-68 TF Smailes Hull © 1938
Glamorgan 9-43 JS Pressdee Swansea 1965
Away 8-75 PF Judge Bradford (PA) 1939
At Headingley Yorkshire 6-21 JH Wardle 1951
Glamorgan 5-53 SL Watkin 1989
Best bowling in a match
Yorkshire 15-123 (8-70 & 7-53) R Illingworth Swansea 1960
At home 14-103 (6-35 & 8-68) TF Smailes Hull 1938
At Headingley 12-73 (6-29 & 6-44) AG Nicholson 1964
Glamorgan 12-76 (7-30 & 5-46) DJ Shepherd Cardiff (AP) 1957
Most dismissals in an innings by a wicket-keeper
6 (all ct) DGL Evans Glamorgan Swansea 1967
6 (5 ct, 1 st) RJ Blakey Yorkshire Cardiff (SG) 1994
6 (all ct) RJ Blakey Yorkshire Headingley 2003
Most dismissals in a match by a wicket-keeper
8 (all ct) AJ Hodd Yorkshire Headingley 2012
8 (7 ct, 1 st) MA Wallace Glamorgan Headingley 2004
Most catches in an innings by a fielder
5 RC Ontong Glamorgan Cardiff (SG) 1987
Most catches in a match by a fielder
6 JV Wilson Yorkshire Headingley 1951
6 PM Walker Glamorgan Swansea 1961
6 MP Maynard Glamorgan Middlesbrough 1993
A century and five wickets in an innings in the same match
E Robinson 124* & 9; 5-56 & 2-41 Yorks Swansea 1926