• Gung-Ho Guptill!

    Posted on July 30th, 2018

    Martin Guptill has stormed into pole position in this year’s Walter Lawrence Trophy after thumping a 35-ball hundred for Worcestershire against Northants in the Vitality Blast match at Northampton on July 27. The New Zealand opener’s fiery innings was the second fastest in domestic T20 games, 1 short of Andrew Symonds’ 34-baller in 2004, and the joint-fourth fastest T20 century of all time.

    Guptill’s fourth domestic T20 hundred came off 12 fours and 7 sixes and propelled Worcestershire to a 9-wicket victory with 41 balls to spare. Earlier in the month Northants were also the opposition when the previous leader for the Trophy, Dan Christian, slammed a 37-ball hundred at the same venue.

    The 31-year-old Aucklander has played in 47 Tests to date, and in January this year became the second New Zealand batsman, and the ninth overall, to score a century against each of the nine full-member Test-playing countries. He has played in 159 One-Day Internationals, during which he made 13 hundreds, including an unbeaten 237 against West Indies in the quarter-final of the 2015 World Cup, as well as 75 T20 Internationals.

    In addition to his national side and Worcestershire, Guptill’s illustrious career has seen him represent, among others, Auckland, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab, Sydney Thunder and St Kitts & Nevis Patriots. His nickname within the New Zealand team is Two Toes, owing to an unfortunate accident when, at the age of 13, he lost three toes on his left foot following an accident with a forklift truck.

    Now in its 84th 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.

    Northamptonshire v Worcestershire scorecard
    Martin Guptill’s career statistics

    Nat’s The Superbat

    England all-rounder, Natalie Sciver leads the chase for this year’s Walter Lawrence Women’s Award after scoring an awesome 180 not out, off just 98 balls, for Surrey Women against Derbyshire Women at Spondon CC on May 27. In the ECB Women’s County Championship, Division 2 match, her whirlwind knock, which included 33 fours and 1 six, set up a crushing 354-run win, in which she also took 3 wickets for 6 runs.

    The Tokyo-born 25-year-old, who won the Walter Lawrence Women’s Award in 2014, has become one of the world’s great women’s players and, along with two of her 2017 World-Cup-winning team mates, was named one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of The Year.

    Evans Above!

    Sam Evans is this year’s winner of the Walter Lawrence MCC Universities Award with a score of 217 for Loughborough MCCU. Evans pipped his Loughborough team-mate Hassan Azad, who scored 204 in May, to post his double-century against Leeds/Bradford MCCU at the Haselgrave Ground. His spirited innings, on June 14, came off 281 balls, including 30 fours and 3 sixes.

    A product of the Grace Road Academy, the 20-year-old Leicester-born opener joined the county’s staff on a three-year contract last year and made his County Championship debut against Northants in the final game of 2017. Earlier in the season, Evans had scored 114 for Loughborough against the same opposition in just his second first-class innings. In addition to representing his county and university, Sam has spent his whole career playing club cricket for Leicester Ivanhoe CC.

    His Loughborough coach, the former Leicestershire and Northern Transvaal batsman Russell Cobb, was delighted for Evans and was full of praise for the Walter Lawrence award, which began in 2006, expressing his thanks ”for your continued support of such a great scheme for our talented cricketers who wish to secure a degree. Sam is a great lad, full of humour, but doesn’t always smile! Although he still has a lot to learn, his method of batting is presently bringing him success. His family support him well and MCCU Loughborough think very highly of him and, of course, we are all proud of his achievement. Congratulations, Sam, ‘Enjoy it’!”

    Evans, who is currently in the 2nd year of a geography degree, is the second Loughborough winner, following Rob White in 2016. 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 on November 6.

    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 One-Day 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.