• Wessels Wrestles Top Spot From Chasing Pack

    Posted on May 7th, 2019

    Following Easter’s flurry of Royal London One-Day Cup hot hundreds, the May Bank Holiday programme continued the trend with Worcestershire’s Riki Wessels leading the Walter Lawrence Trophy hunt with a 47-ball century. The match against Derbyshire at Derby on May 6, which featured no fewer than four centuries, saw the 33-year-old Worcestershire opener score a blistering 130 off 62 balls, including 13 fours and 8 sixes. Chasing a hefty Derbyshire total of 351 for 9, Wessels and Tom Fell shared an opening stand of 152, paving the way for a six-wicket victory with 10 balls remaining.

    Wessels, the son of former Australian and South African Test cricketer, Kepler, was born in Australia but grew up in South Africa, and qualified for England in 2016. He began his county career at Northamptonshire from 2005 to 2009, before joining Nottinghamshire in 2011 and then moving to Worcestershire on a three-year contract in October last year. A devastating big-hitter in the limited-over game, Wessels has also played for Kandahar Knights, Khulna Royal Bengals, Mid West Rhinos, Nondescripts CC and Peshawar Zalmi amongst others.

    Now in its 85th 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.

    Derbyshire v Worcestershire scorecard
    Riki Wessels’ career statistics

    Sophia Sets The Pace

    The ECB Women’s County Championship took full advantage of the May Bank Holiday weather with Sophia Dunkley emerging as the front-runner for this year’s Walter Lawrence Women’s Award after scoring a sparkling 138 for Middlesex against Worcestershire at Mill Hill School on May 5. Ironically, the following day, England captain Heather Knight, who won the Award in 2013, just failed to overtake Sophia’s score when she made 131 for Berkshire Cricket Board against the same opposition.

    Sophia’s innings, scored off 116 balls and including 14 fours, set up a 168-run victory in the Division 2 match, in which she also took 2 for 11,.

    The 20-year-old all-rounder, who is a right-handed bat and bowls leg-breaks, was born in Lambeth and has played in 10 T20 Internationals for England, making her debut in Bangladesh last November. As well as representing Middlesex, she was a member of the Surrey Stars, who won the Kia Super League in 2018.

    Batchelor Batters Cardiff

    Oliver Batchelor of Leeds/Bradford MCCU has taken over pole position for this year’s MCC Universities Award with a mighty 215 not out, scored against Cardiff MCCU in the 3-day match at Usk CC on April 25. During his remarkable innings he shared a 3rd-wicket stand of 247 with Ben Pearson.

    The 22-year-old right-handed batsman, who was born in Chelsea and educated at Charterhouse School, has played for Surrey at Under 13, Under 14, Under 15, Under 17 and 2nd XI level.

    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.