July 27, 1969 – When Brian Langford bowled eight overs without conceding a run in a One-Day match

July 27, 1969 – When Brian Langford bowled eight overs without conceding a run in a One-Day match

This bowling effort from Langford took place during the Player’s County League 1969.

Brian Langford
Brian Langford, MCC (Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images)

The year 1969 saw the launch of 40-over Sunday competition named Player’s County League as part of the English domestic season. Essex toured Yeovil to face the home team Somerset on July 27th at the Johnson Park. The Essex team was cruising in the competition having lost just one of the ten matches they played until that point. However, the Somerset team managed to win only two of the nine completed matches before they hosted Essex.

The Somerset captain Brian Langford got lucky with the coin toss and chose to bowl first. The Essex team kept struggling as they failed to earn quick runs and instead, the wickets kept falling like nine pins. The visitors were three wickets down for only 19 runs on the board in 13 overs. The Somerset skipper Langford, an off-spinner, brought himself as 2nd change on a pitch that seemed to be aiding the spin bowlers.

A world record spell from Langford!

Opener Brian Ward and co, found it tough to get going against Brian Langford as a result the Somerset skipper kept bowling maiden over after the other. As the match was 40 overs-a-side, five bowlers could bowl a maximum of eight overs in an innings. Langford bowled through his quota of eight overs which ended without him conceding even one run.

Langford considers himself lucky to have bowled only three balls to Keith Boyce, the hard-hitting all-rounder from West Indies. It was Boyce’s 46-run knock that got Essex to 126 before they were bowled out in 38.2 overs. Stuart Turner and Brian Ward contributed 23 runs apiece for the visitors during a struggling inning. The only run that came off Langford’s eight overs was a leg-bye that went towards long-leg.

The byes and leg-byes don’t get mentioned in bowlers’ account as Brian Langford ended up with the analyses of 8-8-0-0. The eight overs bowled by Langford are still the most number of overs bowled by a player in a List A match without conceding a run. This record is likely to remain forever considering how the limited-overs matches are being played in the present day.

A thrilling contest!

Chasing only 127 runs to win, the Somerset team reached 63/3 before losing five wickets for just 19 runs. The hosts were reduced to 82/8 with Brian Langford (1) being the 8th wicket of the innings. However, Graham Burgess (26*) and Peter Robinson (24*) added 45 runs during an unbeaten 9th wicket partnership to see Somerset over the winning line with only five balls to spare. Essex went on to lose two more matches after a narrow defeat against Somerset that cost them the title.

They finished one win short of clinching the title from Lancashire. Essex earned 45 points from 11 victories and a no-result while Lancashire had 49 points from 12 wins and an abandonment. Essex, however, was top on the run-rate column as their RR of 4.3 was the best among the 17 teams in the season. Somerset went on to win two more matches later on but couldn’t stop themselves from finishing at No.16 out of the 17 teams in the tournament.