‛It felt good to make history,’ says Rangers’ county hero Malachi Jones
Malachi Jones, the Southampton Rangers captain, rewrote the history books in his team’s landslide 280-run win over holders Willow Cuts in the Western Counties final at White Hill Field on Saturday.
The experienced all-rounder thumped the first double hundred in the competition's existing 50-overs format.
Jones stroked a career-best, unbeaten 202 from 127 balls in 213 minutes with ten fours and 15 sixes.
"It felt good to make history," he said. “It felt pretty good and was definitely top of the batting charts, for sure, being my personal best.”
Jones added: “I've been close to 200 on a couple of occasions, and it was disappointing both times not to get to that double hundred.
“I said it wouldn't happen today and I'm going to make sure I get to that double hundred."
Jones eclipsed the previous highest individual score of 182 held by former Somerset Bridge batsman Curtis Jackson en route to his historic and career-best double century.
Gladwin Edness, the former Willow Cuts wicketkeeper-batsman, was the first to score a double hundred (206) in the competition's original format played as 60-over matches in the first and second rounds and over two innings in a two-day final.
Jones also featured in record partnerships with Janeiro Tucker, the Rangers player-coach, and Charles Trott.
He added 205 with Tucker (103) for the third wicket and 186 with Trott (70) for the fourth.
“Early on the wicket was very damp and the ball was sticking and doing a lot of movement, so we were in a little trouble at 20 for two,” Jones said.
“When I joined Janeiro at the crease, it was basically like we just bat to 25 overs, no matter how many runs we have.
“Once the wicket dried out, it came on pretty good and played very well at the end.
“Charles batted really well; he came and he did his thing.
“It is his first fifty this season, so it’s nice to see him among the runs.”