• Stevens Serves Up A Stunner!

    Posted on October 2nd, 2013

    This year’s Walter Lawrence Trophy, awarded for the fastest hundred of the season, has been won by Kent’s Darren Stevens, who battered a blistering 44-ball century against Sussex in the Yorkshire Bank 40 match at Canterbury on June 19.

    Chasing a formidable Sussex total of 336 for 5, the 37-year-old all-rounder hit 10 fours and 6 sixes in his hundred, in 53 frenzied minutes, to propel Kent to victory by 3 wickets with 9 balls remaining. A consistent match-winner with bat and ball, Stevens finished with 118 off 53 balls, including 12 fours and 7 sixes, and chipped in with two key wickets.

    Stevens made his debut for Leicestershire in 1997 before joining Kent at the end of 2004. He has also played for the England Lions, while his limited-over prowess has seen him signed up by Dhaka Gladiators and Otago. In first-class cricket he has scored 11,578 runs at an average of over 35, including 28 centuries – the most recent of which was a match-winning, unbeaten 205 on the last day of the season – and taken 202 wickets at 30 apiece. In limited-over matches Stevens has scored 9,651 runs averaging over 30, and taken 161 wickets at under 30 apiece.

    Stevens is the joint-second fastest Trophy winner – in terms of balls faced – along with Graham Napier and Kevin O’Brien who also scored 44-ballers, whilst last year’s winner, Scott Styris, remains the fastest with his hundred off 37 balls. Stevens will receive a cheque for £3,000 along with the Trophy at the Walter Lawrence Trophy presentation dinner in The Long Room at Lord’s on October 15.

    Now in its 79th year, the Walter Lawrence Trophy is open to all domestic county competitions as well as One-Day Internationals, Twenty20 Internationals and Test Matches in England.

    VIDEO:Kent Spitfires v Sussex Sharks, Yorkshire Bank 40, 19June13

    Kent v Sussex scorecard

    Darren Stevens’ career statistics

    England’s Shining Knight

    Heather Knight is the worthy winner of this year’s Walter Lawrence Women’s Award, which is won by the batsman who makes the highest individual score in a season. Having led the competition since May 6, when she made an unbeaten 153 in the LV Women’s County Championship, Knight eclipsed that score with a battling innings of 157 for England Women in the Ashes Test match against Australia Women on August 13.

    Playing in only her second Test, opening bat Heather rescued her side from a precarious situation with a marathon knock, scored off 338 balls and including 20 fours, and shared a record England seventh-wicket partnership of 156 with Laura Marsh at Sir Paul Getty’s Ground, Wormsley.

    The 22-year-old brought up her century in 263 balls before being run out on 157, the seventh highest score by an Englishwoman in Tests, for which she won the Player of the Match award. Rochdale-born Heather has also played in 39 One-Day Internationals and 11 T20 Internationals for England.

    Heather, captain of Berkshire Women, has enjoyed a prolific season scoring 604 runs in the County Championship averaging 100.66, as well as 225 runs in the T20 County Championship at an average of 56.25. She is the second winner of the Walter Lawrence Women’s Award since it was introduced last year and wins a silver medallion and a cheque for £ 500, which will be presented at the Walter Lawrence Trophy presentation dinner in The Long Room at Lord’s on October 15.

    Heather Knight

    Heather Knight
    Photograph by Matt Bright

    Hobson’s Choice

    Following his 129 against Cambridge MCCU, Ivo Hobson of Durham MCCU is this year’s Walter Lawrence MCC Universities Award winner, which is for the highest scorer in an innings played against one of the other five MCCUs or against one of the first-class counties.

    The 22-year-old, right-handed opener hit 11 fours and 1 six in his innings, scored off 216 balls, in the drawn 2-Day MCCU Championship match at Fenner’s on June 11 . The Eton-educated Hobson enjoyed a fine season, scoring 708 runs at an average of 33.71, which has seen him being selected for the MCCU squad to play in the Second XI Championship.

    Hobson, who is a Human Geography graduate, is the second Durham University player to win the award, following fellow opener Chris Jones in 2011, and the eighth recipient since its inception. He will receive a special silver medallion and prize of £500 at the Walter Lawrence Trophy presentation dinner in The Long Room at Lord’s in October.

    Repton’s Rising Star

    Nitish Kumar is the winner of this year’s Walter Lawrence Schools Award, introduced in 2011, for the highest score by a school batsman against MCC, who play over 280 schools in their busy season of out-matches. Chasing an MCC total of 236-5 off 50 overs on May 7, Nitish made a scintillating, unbeaten 154 for Repton School, to see his side romp to victory by 8 wickets. His innings came off just 102 balls and included 22 fours and 1 six.

    Now 19, Nitish is a Canadian International cricketer who became the youngest player to debut for his country in a first-class match, and subsequently the second youngest One-Day International player in 2010 at the age of 15 years and 273 days. Following this year’s school season – in which he scored 909 runs, including three centuries – he returned to Canada and scored his maiden first-class hundred against UAE in August.

    Nitish will receive a special medallion and a Gray-Nicolls cricket bat at the Walter Lawrence Trophy presentation dinner in The Long Room at Lord’s on October 15.

    The quartet of Walter Lawrence Trophy awards, supported by Veuve Clicquot, encompass four distinct areas of the game: the Walter Lawrence Trophy, for the fastest century of the season; the MCC Universities award for the highest score by a batsman from the six MCC Universities against the first-class counties or in the MCCU Championship; The Walter Lawrence Women’s Award for the batsman who makes the highest individual score in a season from the ECB Women’s County Championship, the ECB Women’s County T20 Cup and all England Women’s matches played on home soil, and, finally, the Walter Lawrence Schools Award for the highest score by a school batsman against MCC.