Maundy Thursday saw a dramatic start to the LV=County Championship season in the East Midlands with twenty wickets tumbling at Trent Bridge, while a few miles to the south at Leicester fifteen wickets fell on the first day of the contest at Grace Road between Leicestershire and Glamorgan.
Indeed, the game at Leicester began in sensational fashion as Huw Waters, Glamorgan’s probing new ball bowler, nearly started his Championship season with a hat-trick with his first three deliveries.
The mayhem began as firstly Gareth Rees took a superb catch at short-leg to send Greg Smith straight back to the pavilion, before next delivery the 25 year-old bowler trapped Jacques du Toit lbw. as he propped half-forward.
A scoreboard reading 0 for 2 and a hat-trick looming was an inauspicious way for Ramnaresh Sarwan to make his Leicestershire debut, but the vastly experienced West Indian survived the hat-trick before scoring Leicestershire’s first run of the season as he clipped Waters to wide mid-on.
Had Waters secured a hat-trick, it would have been the second time on the ground that an innings had started with wickets falling from the first three deliveries, as this is precisely what Alan Walker did on Monday June 25, 1956, when opening the bowling for Nottinghamshire in Leicestershire’s second innings.
The Australian trapped Gerry Lester leg before with his first delivery, before hitting Maurice Tompkin’s off-stump with the second and having Gerald Smithson caught behind off the third as Leicestershire plummeted to 0 for 3.
The 30-year-old left-arm pace bowler had also taken the last wicket of Leicestershire’s first innings, so he completed a remarkable sequence of four wickets in four balls, besides posting a feisty fifty before his second innings efforts which culminated in figures of 5 for 75.
Walker’s efforts with both ball and bat helped Nottinghamshire secure a comprehensive nine-wicket victory more than half a century ago, but as far as the 2012 contest at Grace Road was concerned, Glamorgan were not so fortunate as they subsequently slipped to a 52-run defeat.
Visit http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Scorecards/22/22059.html to see the scorecard of the match in 1956 between Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.