• Wham-Bam Willey, The Winner

    Posted on September 26th, 2015

    David Willey has won this year’s Walter Lawrence Trophy with a breathtaking 40-ball hundred. The 25-year-old all-rounder thrashed 10 sixes and 7 fours in his century for Northamptonshire Steelbacks against Sussex Sharks in the NatWest t20 Blast quarter-final at Hove on August 12, pipping two world-class batsmen, Brendon McCullum (42-baller) and Chris Gayle (45-baller) to the crown .

    Willey took 3 for 22 before his stunning innings – the fastest in the T20 format by an English batsman – which included an explosive over in which he smashed 34. The left-handed bat and left-arm fast medium bowler, who was unsurprisingly named Player of the Match, commented: ‘I started quite slowly and didn’t pick up the pace of the wicket, but I used the wind and the short boundaries to my advantage. The guys know if I stand still and give myself a chance the boundaries aren’t always big enough’.

    Willey, the son of former England all-rounder and umpire Peter, has played in six One-Day Internationals and is a key member of England’s T20 International side which thumped New Zealand earlier in the season and beat Australia in a nail-biter recently. He has been selected for the England ODI and T20 squads to play Pakistan in the UAE in November.

    Willey, who joins Yorkshire next season after six years at Northants, is only the second batsman representing Northamptonshire to win the award since its inception: the first was Colin Milburn in 1966 (Milburn’s win in 1969 was for an England innings). He will receive the Trophy, along with prize money of £3,000, at the Walter Lawrence Presentation Dinner in The Long Room at Lord’s on November 3.

    Now in its 81st year, the Walter Lawrence Trophy, awarded for the fastest hundred of the season, is open to all domestic county competitions as well as One-Day Internationals, T20 Internationals and Test Matches in England.

    Sussex v Northamptonshire scorecard
    David Willey’s career statistics

    VIDEO:Sussex v Northamptonshire, NatWest T20 Blast Quarter-Final, 12August15

    Tiger Lilly Earns Her Stripes

    Lilly Reynolds of Essex Women has won this year’s Walter Lawrence Women’s Award with a thundering innings of 170 scored off 154 balls. Despite late challenges from Hampshire Women’s Charlotte Taylor (165 not out) and former winner Heather Knight (162 not out) on the final day of the season, Lilly’s knock secured the Award, which is won by the player who scores the highest individual score of the season.

    The 20-year-old, right-handed opening bat, hit no fewer than 27 fours in her innings, paving the way for a 68-run victory against Worcestershire Women in the Royal London Women’s One-Day Cup, Division 2 match at Garon Park, Southend-on-Sea on July 19.

    Lilly, who also bowls left-arm fast-medium pace, started her cricketing career in Suffolk at Mildenhall Cricket Club, eventually playing for the Suffolk Boys County team at U.11 before moving to Cambridgeshire to start girls youth cricket. While there she was selected to have a trial for the England U19 development programme, which she was a part of up until last year (aged 14-19), representing an England U-19 team in a tournament in Dubai. She first moved to Essex on loan three years ago but after two years was fully integrated so this was her first full season – despite missing the first four games due to her studies.

    Born in Bury St Edmunds, she is studying for an M.Sc in Biochemistry at the University of Birmingham, where she has been a sports scholar for the past two years, but is currently on a third year placement at GlaxoSmithKline in Stevenage, working in Research and Development. Thanks to her cricketing achievements, she was asked to run the Queen’s Baton through Suffolk for the Commonwealth Games in 2014!

    Lilly is the fourth winner of the Walter Lawrence Women’s Award since it was introduced and wins a special silver medallion and a cheque for £500, which she will receive at the Walter Lawrence Trophy Presentation Dinner in The Long Room at Lord’s on November 3.

    Lloyd’s Banker

    Lloyd Sabin of Oxford MCCU is this year’s winner of the MCC Universities Award with a highly impressive innings of 216. The 21-year-old from Banbury, Oxfordshire, hit 23 fours and 7 sixes in his knock made from 258 balls, against Cambridge MCCU at Fenner’s on May 12.

    Sabin, who started playing for Banbury CC at the age of 6, became a member of the Middlesex Academy before going to Oxford Brookes University from where he has just graduated with a degree in sports coaching and physical education. He has also played for Oxfordshire Minor Counties (2010-14) and Middlesex 2nd XI.

    Sabin, who is the second Oxford winner since the award’s inception in 2006, will receive a special silver medallion and prize of £500 at the Walter Lawrence Trophy Presentation Dinner in The Long Room at Lord’s on November 3.

    It’s Oscar Time

    Oscar Gutierrez of Leighton Park School, Reading, is the winner of this year’s Walter Lawrence Schools Award for his innings of 134, the highest score by a school batsman against MCC.

    Skippering the school on June 17, and facing an MCC total of 254 for 2 declared, Oscar hammered a typical whirlwind knock of 134, which included 19 fours and 4 sixes off 98 balls, enabling his team to earn a battling draw and finish on 206 for 9.

    The 17-year-old is a highly gifted sporting all-rounder who, in addition to his dashing cricketing prowess, plays full-back for Henley Hawks Colts, is the school cross-country champion and represents Reading Schools, and is expected to captain the school football team next term.

    Oscar is the fifth winner of the Schools Award and he 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 November 3.

    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.