The BBC’s national music day saw a host of concerts and impromptu performances across the nation and, to the delight of Glamorgan’s supporters, the sound of their players singing the team song echoed around The SSE SWALEC on Friday night to crown an evening which witnessed some audacious hitting by nineteen year-old Aneurin Donald who, during the early stages of his turbo-charged innings, looked set to post the fastest-ever fifty in Twenty20 cricket for Glamorgan.
Donald had arrived at the crease with his side on 9/2 chasing a target of 142 and he announced his arrival by immediately striking Gareth Berg through the covers and mid-off for four. He then harpooned Darren Sammy’s first ball high over mid-wicket for six, before dispatching the second delivery through extra cover for four before the fifth was pulled to deep square-leg and the sixth was mowed to deep mid-wicket for further fours.
The teenager then turned his attention to another West Indian star as clipped Tino Best to the ropes at fine-leg, before hoisting a full toss from the Caribbean veteran high into the Grandstand for six. After this flurry of fours and sixes, Donald then secured a series of singles as he completed a 24-ball fifty, thereby equalling the record for the fastest half-century for Glamorgan by a home-grown batsman in the Twenty20 competition, held by the late Tom Maynard against Essex at Chelmsford in 2010, as well as Richard Grant against Somerset at Cardiff in 2006 and David Hemp, against the same opponents at Taunton in 2006.
Aneurin’s efforts have only been bettered in Twenty20 cricket by the 18-ball half-centuries struck by the Kiwi pairing of Brendan McCullum and James Franklin in 2006 against Worcestershire at Sophia Gardens, and versus Warwickshire at Edgbaston. In List A cricket, Stewart Walters struck a 19-ball fifty against Lancashire at Colwyn Bay in 2011, whilst Matthew Maynard and Jamie Dalrymple each struck 21-ball fifties against Lincolnshire at Swansea in 1994, and Surrey at The Oval in 2010.
Back in 1975, Majid Khan bludgeoned a 22-ball fifty against Northamptonshire in a Sunday League match at Wellingborough School, whilst in first-class cricket Don Shepherd clubbed a 21-ball fifty against the 1961 Australians at Swansea, with David Harrison also posting a 21-ball fifty against Leicestershire at Grace Road in 2008. His efforts saw Glamorgan surge to the top of their T20 group table and if he repeats his hurricane hitting in subsequent Twenty20 matches, Aneurin Donald could erase these feats from the Club’s record books.