Warriors and Eastern Province all-rounder Kelly Smuts took the Lancashire League in England by storm at the weekend by smashing the highest score in its 125-year history.
Playing as Todmorden Cricket Club’s overseas professional, the 27-year-old clubbed 211 out of a total of 323 for six against Enfield.
His new record surpassed former Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke’s effort of 200 not out for Ramsbottom in the 2002 season.
Smuts bludgeoned 23 fours and 11 sixes while only facing 139 balls. And if that was not enough to impress his captain, he then took four for 16 with the ball as Todmorden ran out easy winners by 182 runs.
Clarke took to Twitter to comment and congratulate Smuts, tweeting: “This means I need to have another year with Rammy [Ramsbottom].”
The league is one of the strongest in England and has had a host of internationals playing for various teams, including Allan Donald, Viv Richards, Jacques Rudolph and even Shane Warne.
“It was really nice to start the season with a bang. It was special breaking Michael’s record,” Smuts said yesterday.
“I knew he had scored 200 in the league but wasn’t sure if it was the record.
“Then being told it was a new league record was an awesome feeling. Michael sent his congratulations on Twitter (not that I have Twitter) but that was pretty cool too.”
Smuts said he made the most after surviving a chance early in his innings.
“I actually struggled a bit up front and I was dropped early. I think I was only on four at the time.”
It is not the first time Smuts has made headlines for breaking records.
Last year, the former Graeme College star wrote his name into cricket’s history books by eclipsing an 88-year-old world record for a collective individual first-class performance in Paarl. Playing in a Sunfoil 3-Day Cup match against Boland, Smuts took seven wickets for 36 runs in Boland’s first innings of 205.
He then scored 108 in EP’s first innings of 442.
He further satisfied his hunger for success with six second-innings wickets, four of which came off consecutive deliveries to give him a hat-trick plus another.
He finished the match with the incredible figures of 13 wickets for 71 runs.