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Run machine ‘Evo’ leads England O70s to Silver Ashes glory


CAPTAIN John Evans once again was the highest scorer for England O70s who defeated Australia by 91 runs at Wellington to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Silver Ashes series.

The Frocester chair and Gloucestershire Seniors stalwart compiled an unbeaten 114 which paved the way for a 54-run triumph in the opening clash.

And Evo, as he is universally known, followed up with 54 at the top of the order as England reached 236-8 in the second game ahead of the tourists being restricted to 145 all out, ensuring the retention of the Ashes.

It was an emotional day on many levels for Evo who grew up very close to the Wellington ground but had never played there before. His father Bill was, however, a fixture at the club and, to his great delight, Evo managed to find him in a 1947 team picture hanging in the pavilion.

He said: “The last few weeks have been an absolute joy and an unbelievable experience.

“My sister came down from Chester for the match and my youngest son and granddaughter were also there, while the Wellington groundsman said he could remember being taught by my father. Just an amazing day.”

The celebrations capped another memorable week for the 72-year-old former teacher who on Thursday notched up his fifth century of the summer, compiling 139 for Gloucestershire Over 70s who thumped Essex by 70 runs at Apperley to reach the County Championship semi-finals.

Evo dominated Gloucestershire’s total of 257-7 after winning the toss, Dave Collinson next highest scorer on 34 before Rick Carman (3-42), John Turton (2-32) and Graham Clarke (2-33, all from nine) got to work with the ball.

The 70s will be home to Kent in the last four on August 24, at a venue to be announced.

Evo, incidentally, has now scored 1,151 runs this season at an average of 82!

The Silver Ashes conclude at Maidenhead & Bray on Sunday.

Gloucestershire O50s’ quarter-final trip to Wales on Sunday fell victim to the weather and will now take place at Llanelli on August 20.

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