Frocester and Stroud legends John Evans and Keith Daniels are back in the headlines again this week after sharing an unbroken 326 opening stand for Gloucestershire Over 70s to beat Cricket Wales by 72 runs today, Thursday.
‘Evo’ made 177 off 122 and ‘Danners’ reached 141 off 137, the pair batting for 196 minutes and the entire 45-over innings at Brecon Cricket Club.
The pair cruised to 84 for no loss after 20 overs before reaching 171 off 30 and then upping the pace again to reach their centuries. Remarkably, the pair scored at more than a run a ball in each of the last sixteen overs as they set Cricket Wales 327 to win in the National Over 70s 1st XI Championship.
The pair have begun 2023 in scintillating form, with Daniels, 72, guiding his local club Stroud 3rd XI to a nail-biting victory against Stinchcombe Stragglers on Saturday off the penultimate ball, finishing 90 not out in the process. Daniels, 72, has also just become the highest runs scorer in first XI county Over 60s cricket, overtaking Hampshire’s Mike Swain.
Evans, now 71, is averaging 86 this season after passing 50 five times in 10 innings with two centuries. His form has earned him the captaincy of the England Over 70s squad for three one-day internationals in August against Australia, with Gloucestershire team-mate Nigel Belletty also selected as wicketkeeper.
Cricket Wales began brightly in reply to the sizeable total, their top three all making half-centuries to chip away at the target. Opener Gwyn Price made 70 before Evans, heading towards 90 overs in the field, took a catch to remove Alistair Lawson for 63 off the bowling of D Tugwell. Brian Skinner made 59 and Michael Cockell an unbeaten 40 but the required rate shot up to 11 and never came down with the home side posting 254 for three off their 45.
Howard Johnson took one for 44 from his nine overs and Phil Dickenson bowled Skinner as Stroud’s Rick Carman conceded just 34 from his nine to dry up the scoring.
Next up for Gloucestershire is a home fixture against local rivals Somerset Cricket Foundation on 29 June, with the visitors having won five of their last six.