A casual observer of local cricket may be forgiven for thinking Ed Brown’s record-breaking knock of 269 in the Waddilove Cup on Sunday was the work of a “ringer”.
It took just 119 balls for the Burley skipper to plunder 21 fours and 24 maximums, in doing so surpassing Yorkshire opener Alex Lees’ incredible 227 not out for Lightcliffe against Bradford and Bingley in the Bradford League the day before.
Brown’s was the overwhelming contribution in another record total of 499-8, as his side won by a whopping 425 runs. Leeds Modernians, performing well in the second tier, were the hapless opposition.
Unlike Lees, Brown is no first-class superstar dipping into league cricket. Having moved back to England from South Africa as a teenager, the flash-bladed strokemaker cut his teeth in the Aire Wharfe’s lower reaches with Olicanian before making the move to Burley five years ago.
From there, he has gone from strength to strength, and he says having his name written into the history of the league is a big honour.
“I’m hugely proud,” the 26-year-old said. “It’s pretty well known that I’m a bit of a badger for stats and cricket in general.”
“I knew what the batting records were but I didn’t know which way round they were [league and cup]. I knew Andy Siddall’s 214 was the score to beat and that Otley’s score in the final last year was the highest cup score ever. Once they were in my sights I just kept going.”
Batting at four, Brown joined new signing Nicky Bulcock in the middle with his side in a spot of bother at 22-2.
“There was no pre-conceived idea for us to go out and smash it,” he explained. “But I got a bumper second ball, got a top edge, it caught the wind and it sailed for six. We got a couple of singles and the next over we managed to get a few away. From then on in it was all about instinct.”
Brown featured in three century stands, 170 with Bulcock, 107 with Jason Wright (45) and 125 with new boy Redmond Bolton (70). For Mods, Scott Harrison’s two wickets cost 108 in just nine overs, whilst Jarran Cook bowled nine overs for 105.
The other eyebrow-raising result in the Waddilove came courtesy of bottom-tier Harden, who knocked out high-flying first division side Guiseley, Paul Quinlan the star man with 35 and 3-24.
The previous day, reigning champions Beckwithshaw piled on 327-6 against Ilkley (229-9) thanks in the main to Ross Sedgley’s 149 not out. In reply, skipper Will Spivey hit 107 in their 229-9. Aussie Tom Nixon scored 107 and Nigel Danby 71 as Colton (227-9) returned their second win in as many weeks with a 28-run win against lowly Collingham (199), whilst Guiseley (305-7) hammered Horsforth (176) by 129 runs thanks to a Gavin Hamilton ton.
Otley (276-8) beat North Leeds (177) by 99 runs, with openers Dave Hester (72) and Ben Morley (67) doing the damage.
Bilton (186-9) also saw off Rawdon (163).