The day a league batting record was smashed

by | Sunday May 31st 2020 | Cricket, The Vault

Today, the 3rd XI were due to travel to Darcy Lever in the first round of the Sunday Premier Cup.

They are no strangers to Prestwich, having played many games together in the Lancashire and Cheshire League.

One of the most significant matches against Darcy Lever was back in 1985 when a 34-year-old batting record was broken by a 17-year-old Prestwich player.

Here is how the Prestwich & Whitefield Guide reported on the game. The scorecards are at the end, but some individual Darcy scores are missing due to a “ripped” cutting.

“On a record-breaking day at sunny Prestwich, Tim Orrell established a new mark for the highest individual score by an amateur in the last 34 years of first division Vaux Lancashire and Cheshire League cricket.

In doing so, he took his prodigious talent onto a new plateau of excellence.

Retrospectively, it would appear that Darcy captain Noel Nicklin made a slight error of judgement in inviting the home side to make first use of a rather benign wicket. After McFarlane and Orrell senior had laid the foundations for a large total, Tim joined “man-of-the-moment” Gethin and struck his second ball for four as a portent of things to come.

Thereafter he left trailing in his wake an onslaught of savage butchery.

In an electrifying partnership, Gethin and Orrell passed the fifty landmark at roughly the same time. Occasionally, professional Qureshi had the temerity to beat Orrell outside the off-stump and was then unceremoniously despatched for four or six next ball for his gross impertinence; such was the totality of Orrell’s command.

Gethin, after 93 balls and two hours, moved on to 70 (12 fours, one six) and the partnership onto 199 before being caught on the edge. He had batted exquisitely but was so overshadowed by Orrell’s awesome power that he later confessed to slight twinges of embarrassment at having to bat at the other end.

Meanwhile, Orrell progressed on his merry way with unbounded “joie de jouer”, alternately dallying with and then flaying the Darcy fodder. He brought up his second ton of the season with a towering six over midwicket, and then repeated the trick to become the first-ever Prestwich player to score 150.

After two and a half hours, 108 balls, 13 (yes, thirteen!) sixes and 12 fours, Tim Orrell left the field to a standing ovation with an undefeated score of 182. Awestruck Prestwich “habitues” were left in no doubt that they had just been privileged enough to witness one of the most comprehensive displays in the art of batsmanship. Incidentally, Prestwich, at a mammoth 303 for five, had notched up their highest ever total.

Darcy’s reply was inevitably riddled with anti-climax. Knevett, however, bowled admirably well and figures of 4 for 31 take his haul of wickets this season to 45. Though Father Time might have reduced Bob Hinchliffe’s pace, he still bowls with limitless guile and his figures of 4 for 20 mean that he has now claimed over 800 wickets in first and second team cricket. Darcy were all out for 79 and Prestwich had romped home by a staggering 224 runs.

An appropriate footnote? The entire Prestwich side has only thrice scored more than 182 all season. All hail the conquering hero, Tim Orrell…!!!


Prestwich 1st XI:

I McFarlane b Smith 8
S Orrell c Harrison b Qureshi 0
P Gethin c Smith b Eva 70
T Orrell not out 182
N Wright c Harrison b Eva 16
T Birtwistle c Qureshi b Eva 10
B Lorenzini not out 0
Extras 17

TOTAL (for 5) 303

Darcy Lever 1st XI:

S Walker b Hinchliffe 3
P Swanton c T Orrell b Hinchliffe 2
B Stansfield c Hinchliffe b 7
A Qureshi c Gethin b Knevett 2
N Nicklin c Taylor bb Knevett 19
S Mort c S Orrell b Knevett ?
R Dearden c T Orrell b Hinchliffe ?
D Bailey c Gethin b Hinchliffe ?
M Harrison b Lewis ?
R Smith c McFarlane b T Orrell 14
M Eva not out 0
Extras 12

TOTAL (all out) 79

B Knevett 4-31; R Hinchliffe 4-20; H Lewis 1-9; T Orrell 1-7.