Sam Northeast’s mammoth unbeaten 410 helped Glamorgan pull off a remarkable victory over Leicestershire on an extraordinary day of records in the county championship.
After Northeast’s heroics at the Uptonsteel County Ground, alongside Chris Cooke (191 not out), had allowed Glamorgan to declare on 795 for five in reply to Leicestershire’s 584, the Welsh county then dismissed their opponents for 183 in 59.4 overs to win by an innings and 28 runs.
“It’s truly special to be part of the list of names [of highest first-class run-scorers], you never thought it would have happened this week, it’s crazy and I’m truly grateful for everything which has happened today,” Northeast said to BBC Sport Wales.
The Leicestershire total of 584 is the highest in county cricket by a team that subsequently lost by an innings, and was one of a host of new marks set in the match. “That finish was unbelievable,” Northeast added. “To get the team win topped off a special day for me, the boys put in some tough yards and it’s a very special day.”
Glamorgan won after declaring with a lead of 211 at lunch on the final day, giving their opponents 65 overs to survive – a task that proved beyond them as Michael Hogan (four for 43) and Michael Neser (three for 60) combined with spinner Andrew Salter (two for 36) and James Harris (one for 27) to blow them away.
The victory – which lifts Glamorgan to second place in Division Two – capped an amazing day in which Northeast joined Brian Lara, Archie MacLaren and Graeme Hick as one of only four players in the first-class game in England to score more than 400 runs in an innings.
Northeast, whose best score previously was 191, now has the ninth-highest individual score in world cricket, behind only Lara’s all-time high of 501 not out for Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 1994 and MacLaren’s 424 for Lancashire at Taunton in 1895 as the third-highest in England.
Hick’s 405 not out for Worcestershire, also at Taunton, in 1988 is nudged down to fourth place. Northeast struck 45 fours and three sixes in his innings off 450 balls, sharing an unbroken stand of 461 with wicketkeeper Cooke.
It is the eighth-highest partnership in County Championship history and a record for Glamorgan, whose total is the ninth highest in the competition. Leicestershire will not need reminding that Cooke was dropped on three and 15 on Friday – both comfortable catching chances – or that they missed Northeast at slip on 96.
That error, one of only a handful in the entire marathon innings, seemed a distant memory as Northeast led the players off at lunch with almost every spectator on their feet prior to Glamorgan’s declaration after a morning session that saw 232 runs scored and a string of records set.
Northeast eclipsed Steve James’s 309 not out as the highest score by a Glamorgan player and replaced Kevin Pietersen’s 355 not out for Surrey at The Kia Oval in 2015 as the highest individual score against Leicestershire.
Glamorgan also passed their highest previous total – 718 for three declared in the James match at Colwyn Bay – and the partnership overtook the unbroken 425 by Adrian Dale and Viv Richards against Middlesex in Cardiff in 1993 as the county’s record for any wicket.
Cooke completed his hundred off 161 balls, having hit 12 of his 19 fours to reach that mark, later adding three sixes in what would be the second highest score of his career, behind his unbeaten 205 against Surrey last season.
Northeast, by nature a classical strokeplayer, reached the cusp of passing 400 having allowed himself the liberty of just one six. Only in the last over before lunch, presumably aware that it would be the last of the innings, did he throw caution to the wind.
It paid off as he whacked Roman Walker over long-on for six to go to 402 and a place in the top 10 highest scores of all time, followed by another over long-off to move up another notch by taking down Hick’s 405.
Glamorgan’s declaration at 211 in front gave them 65 overs to conjure a result, although the pitch was still offering precious little help to the bowlers. Yet off-spinner Salter dismissed Rishi Patel and Lewis Hill after Hogan had removed opener Louis Kimber via a fine catch by Northeast at second slip.
And when Hogan had Colin Ackermann and Joey Evison caught behind in the same over, Glamorgan sensed an opportunity with Leicestershire five down, still 83 behind and 27 overs remaining. Wiaan Mulder and Harry Swindells put on 42 over the next 14 overs, which seemed to tip the balance towards Leicestershire surviving, only for the momentum to swing back Glamorgan’s way as Neser dismissed Swindells and Ben Mike in the space of three balls, both leg before.
A fine catch at cover by Kiran Carlson accounted for Walker as Harris claimed a wicket before Hogan found some away movement from a ball 56 overs old to have Mulder caught behind. Neser then produced a perfect yorker to bowl Wright to finish the match and seal a breathtaking win for Glamorgan.