Knowles notches maiden senior century in record stand with Munday

Byron Knowles together with Graham Munday after their double century partnership for Sidmouth III in

Byron Knowles together with Graham Munday after their double century partnership for Sidmouth III in the meeting with Seaton II at Newton Poppleford - Credit: Archant

Sixteen-year-old Byron Knowles scored a maiden senior cricket century as Sidmouth III recorded an emphatic win in their Tolchards Devon League 2nd XI B Division East meeting with Seaton II at Newton Poppleford.

The teen, batting with Devon Over-50s player Graham Munday, scored an unbeaten 124 and played a huge part in an unbroken partnership of 238 for the fourth wicket with Munday unbeaten on 93 at the close of the Sidmouth innings.

Knowles, who starts at Exeter College this autumn, faced 105 deliveries in a 134 minute stay at the crease. His innings was a cultured one and there was no ‘slogging’ to be seen. Indeed, he only struck the one six as he carefully stroked the ball to all parts of the Newton Poppleford ground.

The youngster, watched by Mum Serena and guardian Fi, together with Byron ‘s girlfriend, came to the wicket from the number five berth with Sidmouth wobbling on 20-3, but that was to be the end of any success for Seaton’s bowlers and young Knowles and the evergreen Munday scored run, after run, in the sun!

Mum Serena said: “I have to say that I have never seen Byron bat with such patience and grace as he did on Saturday.

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“All helped of course by his father figure of cricket, Graham [Munday]. His encouragement and belief in Byron’s ability certainly helped Byron along the way.”

The first milestone was a ‘first senior half century’ and then the big one – that first senior ton!

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Completing a superb all-round contribution, young Knowles also picked up a wicket with his right arm seam bowling as Seaton were restricted to 232-8, leaving the Fortfield men winners by a margin of 26 runs.

Byron, who lives in Culmstock, started playing cricket at the age of seven, representing his then school, Claremont School in Sussex.

His first club was Crowhurst Park CC in Sussex who are still, to this day, very supportive and keeping a keen eye on his progress. Byron represented Sussex in colt’s cricket before a family move to Devon where, from the age of nine, he initially played his cricket in the junior section at Culmstock CC.

Before Saturday’s wonderful innings the youngster had only scored one other big score, that a knock of 103 when aged 13 and a pupil at Blundell’s school in Tiverton where he went on to become the sports captain in the senior school and he also became a national champion in Fives.

Byron first played representative cricket here in the south west when he played in the East Devon Under-10 side and he ultimately moved up to play for Devon Under-14s.

His cricket has been limited this season as he recovered from injury and all at Sidmouth where keen to see him back in action.

Graham Munday, his partner in that epic innings on Saturday at Newton Poppleford, had once quipped that he wanted to see the youngster reach a his first senior century before he could hang up his boots, though one suspects that Graham will not be stopping his own game any time soon - keen, no doubt to see many more runs – and wickets – from the burgeoning all-round talent that is Byron Knowles.

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