• South Africans Lead The Way

    Posted on May 14th, 2009

    Leicestershire’s HD Ackerman and Lancashire’s Francois du Plessis currently head the challenge for this season’s Walter Lawrence Trophy after scoring 76-ball hundreds. Ackerman made his century against Ireland in the Friends Provident Trophy match at Grace Road, Leicester, on May 4, and du Plessis equalled the feat in the FPT game against Derbyshire, at Derby, on May 13. Opening the innings 36-year-old Ackerman, who has played in four Tests for his country, hit 13 fours and one six in his ton, while du Plessis, the 24-year-old all-rounder from Pretoria known as ‘Faf’, managed 12 fours in his hundred .

    Celebrating its 75th year, the Trophy, awarded for the fastest hundred of the season, is open to all domestic county competitions, with centuries scored in the Friends Provident Trophy (50-over format), NatWest Pro40 League (40-over format), and Twenty20 Cup (20-over format), as well as One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals, all eligible alongside those scored in the County Championship and Test Matches in England.

    The winner will be presented with the Trophy and a cheque for £5,000 at a special end-of-season lunch in the Long Room at Lord’s. Last year, Essex’s Graham Napier triumphed with a sensational 44-ball century in a Twenty-20 Cup match against Sussex at Chelmsford. Napier, whose hundred included nine sixes and nine fours, became the first winner of the Trophy with a limited-over innings.

    The front runner for the Walter Lawrence Trophy award, of a silver medallion and prize of £1,000, for the highest score by a batsman from the six MCC Universities against one of the other five University Centres of Cricketing Excellence or against one of the first-class counties is 20-year-old Jak Martin of Oxford UCCE. Martin, who was born in Kingston-upon-Thames and has played for Surrey Second XI, scored 118 against Cardiff UCCE at Newport on May 8, hitting 17 fours and one six in his innings.