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Bears opener Paul Stirling has been confirmed as the the Walter Lawrence Trophy winner, following his thrilling hundred off just 46 balls against Northants Steelbacks.

A destructive force in limited-over-cricket, Stirling’s 119 was his third and highest T20 score, featuring 9 fours and 10 sixes – including 34 runs off one over, paving the way for a Bears’ victory, by 125-runs.

The trophy, rich in history, was instigated in 1934 and is given to reward the batter who scored the fastest century from the fewest balls received, (excluding wides). Centuries scored in The Hundred, Vitality Blast, Royal London Cup and the LV= Insurance County Championship, all qualify as well as Test Matches, One-Day International matches and International T20 matches played in England. 

Of his winning knock, Stirling commented : ‘You’re never quite sure how your first game’s going to go, so it couldn’t have gone much better. It’s a case of getting in, and if it’s your day, it’ll come out of the middle of the bat, and I think that’s what happened – it just happened to be my day!”

The Walter Lawrence Trophy was first introduced in 1934 by master builder Sir Walter Lawrence, who was so passionate about cricket that he created his own cricket ground at Hyde Hall, near Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire. A

Hyde Hall played host to most of the county sides of the day, and visitors to the ground were entertained in the true tradition of country house cricket. In 1934 he offered his personal patronage to the game by introducing an award for the fastest hundred scored in an English season in a first-class innings.

Previous winners of The Walter Lawrence Trophy, now in its 88th year, include Ken Barrington, Ian Botham (twice), Viv Richards, Andrew Flintott and Adam Gilchrest. To find out more, please visit their website by clicking here.

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