• Hotshot Delport Adds Vitality To Essex

    Posted on September 27th, 2019

    Cameron Delport of Essex has won this year’s Walter Lawrence Trophy with a 38-ball century scored on the second night of this season’s Vitality Blast T20 competition, at Chelmsford on July 19. The 30-year-old South African put Surrey to the sword, finishing his innings on 129, scored off 49 balls and including 7 fours and 14 sixes.

    Cameron Delport

    Cameron Delport
    Photograph by Nick Wood – Unshaken Photography

    Delport’s swashbuckling performances in the Vitality Blast were a key factor in Essex’s success in the competition this season, which climaxed with a thrilling, last-ball win for the club on Finals day, beating Worcestershire by 4 wickets.

    The Durban-born all-rounder, who holds a British passport, bats left-handed but bowls right-arm medium and is a global hired-gun in T20 competitions. He joined Essex on a two-year contract this season following two seasons with Leicestershire in 2017/18. Delport made his first-class debut in 2009 and T20 debut in 2010, and in the ensuing period has represented a lengthy list of teams, including South Africa A, Sydney Thunder, Chittagong Vikings, Islamabad United, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Lahore Qalanders, Kolkata Knight Riders and Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel.

    Delport joins a stellar list of batsmen, including Ian Botham, Viv Richards and Andrew Flintoff, to win the Trophy since its inception in 1934. He is the fifth Essex batsman to win the Trophy: Ray Smith won in 1948, 1951 and 1955, Colin Griffiths in 1952 and Robin Hobbs in 1975, all timed on minutes, and Graham Napier in 2008 with a 44-ball century. The competition rules changed from timed minutes to balls received in 1985. Delport is the fifth South African to win the Trophy: Roy McLean in 1960, Ray White in 1962, Graeme Pollock in 1969 and Mike Procter in 1979, while South African-born Basil D’Oliveira won in 1967 with an innings playing for England.

    Delport, who will be playing for Paarl Rocks in the Mzansi Super League T20 competition in South Africa in November and December, will be presented with the Trophy, along with a cheque for £3,000 and a special medallion, at the Walter Lawrence Trophy Presentation Dinner in The Long Room at Lord’s on November 13.

    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.

    Essex v Surrey scorecard
    Cameron Delport’s career statistics

    VIDEO:Essex Eagles v Surrey, Vitality Blast T20, 19 July 2019

    Knight’s Double

    England captain Heather Knight has won this year’s Walter Lawrence Women’s Award after scoring a sparkling unbeaten 159 for Berkshire against Cricket Wales. Knight’s innings, which was scored off 125 balls and included 15 fours and 1 six, saw her side home by 3 wickets after chasing down Wales’ total of 232 for 9 in the Division 2 match at Pontarddulais CC on May 26.

    Knight has been an England regular since her debut in 2010, attaining the captaincy in 2016, and to date she has played in 7 Tests, 98 One-Day Internationals and 63 T20 Internationals. The 28-year-old all-rounder led her country to a thrilling win in the 2017 Women’s World Cup, which climaxed with a nail-biting victory over India at Lord’s. Following the team’s success she was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2018 New Years Honours list and in April 2018 was named one of the five Wisden Cricketers Of The Year.

    Despite England Women’s hugely disappointing attempt to win back the Ashes from Australia this summer, Knight finished her season in style, captaining Western Storm to victory in the Kia Women’s Super League and winning Player of the Match for an unbeaten 78 in the final against Southern Vipers at Hove on September 1st.

    Knight joins her England colleagues, Nat Sciver and Tammy Beaumont as a second-time winner of the award, having previously won with a score of 157 for England against Australia in 2013. She 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 13.

    Batchelor Batters Cardiff

    Oliver Batchelor of Leeds/Bradford MCCU is the winner of this year’s MCC Universities Award with a mighty 215 not out, scored against Cardiff MCCU in the 3-day drawn match at Usk CC on April 25. During his remarkable innings, which included 29 fours and 1 six, he shared a 3rd-wicket stand of 247 with Ben Pearson and helped his side post a total of 458 for 5 declared.

    Reflecting on his winning innings, Olly recalls, ‘I was seeing the ball like a beach ball but when I’d reached around 170 bad light stopped play and when we continued the following day it was a wet, stop/start affair, but eventually I was delighted to complete the double hundred.’

    The 23-year-old right-handed batsman had an outstanding season across all formats scoring 870 runs at an average of 58.. Not only did he become MCCU’s highest scorer in 2/3-day cricket with his 215*, he also made the highest individual score in the BUCS 50-over competition with an unbeaten 131.

    His coach, Andrew Lawson, commented: ‘ “Batch” is an extremely talented cricketer and this season he has showed what he has to offer on and off the field. I wish him all the very best and congratulate him on a great season and hope to follow him playing some county cricket next season.’

    Batchelor, who was born in Chelsea and educated at Charterhouse School, graduated from Leeds this year with a 2.1 in Accounting & Finance, but is keen to pursue a career in cricket. His passion for the game was sparked by England’s 2005 Ashes victory and he heads off to New Zealand in the autumn to play for Eastern Suburbs in Wellington. He has previously played for Surrey at Under 13, Under 14, Under 15, Under 17 and 2nd XI level, as well as 2nd XI cricket this year for Essex and Yorkshire. Olly is also a keen follower of horse racing.

    The third Leeds/Bradford winner since the Award’s inception in 2006, Olly 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 13.

    Dani Delivers For Norwich

    Dani Long-Martinez has won this year’s Walter Lawrence Schools Award for his powerful, unbeaten 158 for Norwich School against MCC on June 25. In the shadow of Norwich Cathedral, following MCC’s declaration after posting a total of 229-3 off 48 overs, Dani opened the batting and carried his bat in a match-winning innings which came off only 119 balls with 19 fours and 6 sixes. Norwich School finished on 233-3 in the 45th over.

    Dani, who was 17 and in his Lower Sixth year for the MCC match, had a very strong season opening the batting for Norwich School 1st XI in all formats, as he did in his Fifth Form year, during which he scored over 500 runs. Spurred on by the school’s team of coaches, including Joe Gatting, Richard Sims, Rod Bunting and David Thomas, who have all played professional/semi-professional cricket, Dani has built a reputation as a fast-scoring batsman capable of putting away the bad ball ferociously, while his move to opener in recent years has added focus and application allowing him to build bigger innings under pressure.

    Dani is an impressive all-round sportsman having played hockey and tennis, as well as cricket, to county level and above, along with being an impressive sprinter and athlete. However, his main sporting focus is now rugby. After a meteoric rise over the last year for school and club, Holt, Dani debuted for Eastern Counties and London and the South-East U.18s over the winter, leading to his being scouted by Northampton Saints to join their U.18 programme as a winger. He was recently selected to join the full academy and professionals in the Premiership season curtain-raiser sevens tournament at Franklin’s Gardens, which was televised on BT Sport.

    Dani is the ninth 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 13.

    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.