Tod pro smashes record

Cricket - Todmorden v Walsden pre-season friendly. New Todmorden pro, Kelly Smuts from South Africa.
Cricket - Todmorden v Walsden pre-season friendly. New Todmorden pro, Kelly Smuts from South Africa.

Kelly Smuts made a sensational debut for Todmorden yesterday, hitting the highest ever score in the 125-year history of the Lancashire League.

The 27-year-old South African powered to 211 against Enfield at Centre Vale, helping Andrew Sutcliffe’s side to a 182-run win.

The left-hander, when came in when Ben Pearson was out in the first over, hit 23 fours and 11 sixes from 139 balls.

He eclipsed the previous best set by Michael Clarke, who made 200 not out for Ramsbottom in 2002. Enfield were on the receiving end again then.

Smuts shared in stands of 133 with Ben Sutcliffe (37) and 158 with Kristian Garland (47) as Tod piled up 324 for seven after being sent in. He was out with four balls of the innings remaining.

He then came on as first change bowler and took four for 16 to complete a tremendous afternoon’s work.

Skipper Sutcliffe said Smuts had been destructive from start to finish and it had been a pleasure to witness such a special innings.

Smuts’ feat has attracted widespread attention with former Test captain Clarke and fellow Aussie Ashton Turner quick to comment.

Clarke joked that he would have to return to Ramsbottom to try to eclipse the new record while Turner, last year’s overseas player at Todmorden, posted on the club’s Twitter account: “It’s about time you had a good pro!”