Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021


It’s August 1968 and St. Helen’s, Swansea is the venue as the great Sir Garfield Sobers becomes the first player to hit six sixes in an over – off Malcolm Nash – for Nottinghamshire in the County Championship match with Glamorgan.

That feat understandably still ranks as one of the most iconic and remembered in cricketing history but, wind the clock forward nine years, and the same ground witnessed another incredible feat, a world record performance this time by a Worcestershire CCC player.

Beginning on the evening of 29 June 1977 and continuing the following day, Worcestershire opener Glenn Turner hit an unbeaten 141 out of a total of 169 all out in the Championship match against the Welsh County.

It set a world record in first-class cricket – which still stands today – for the highest percentage of runs scored by one batsman in a completed innings of a staggering 83.4%.

Amongst Turner’s many magnificent feats during 16 years at New Road, this ranks as one of the very best.

To set the scene, Glamorgan opted to bat first and, during a time when a first innings was limited to 100 overs per side, totalled 309-4.

Their side contained four survivors in Alan Jones, Eifion Jones, Tony Cordle and Nash himself from the side on the receiving end of the Sobers onslaught while another member of the team in Collis King would later play for Worcestershire.

Worcestershire went into bat during the closing stages of the day and reached 44-2 with Turner already dominating proceedings in making 39 not out.

Night-watchman Jim Cumbes (5) departed from the middle the next morning after adding a useful 33, and it quickly became Turner versus Glamorgan as wickets tumbled regularly at the other end.

No-one could offer substantial support in terms of runs. However, some valuable stickability from captain Norman Gifford helped Turner add 57 for the ninth wicket to avoid the follow on.

Turner reached his century out of 128 for eight and gave just one chance on 92 when dropped at second slip by Rodney Ontong off Nash.

When the innings came to a close, the New Zealander had struck one six and 18 fours.

Gifford (7) was the next highest scorer, and there were only 14 scoring shots from the other ten batsmen who managed 27 between them – plus one extra.

The last day was washed out to halt any chances of a positive result, but Turner’s heroics ensured anyone present on day two will never forget the occasion.

Worcestershire CCC’s current Cricket Steering Group Chairman, Paul Pridgeon, played in that game at Swansea and said Turner produced an extraordinary quality performance.

The former seam bowler, who is also the County’s current Vice-Chairman, said: “It was a fantastic performance by Glenn. To get that percentage of runs in an innings was incredible.

“At the time, you are focused on the game but, when you reflect and look back, you realise just how special a performance it was from someone who became a world-class player.

“To score 141 not out from a total of 169 all out is an unbelievable effort.

“I remember it was a difficult wicket, and their bowlers were a handful, but Glenn played magnificently.”

The Worcestershire CCC side on that occasion 43 years ago was: Glenn Turner, Barry Jones, Phil Neale, Ted Hemsley, Basil D’Oliveira, Dipak Patel, David Humphries (wicket-keeper), Vanburn Holder, Norman Gifford (captain), Paul Pridgeon, Jim Cumbes.