Havant’s Rob Gibson has been named as this season’s Walter Lawrence MCC Universities Award winner.
Opening the batting for Durham, Gibson’s innings of 118 – the highest against one of the other five MCCUs or against one of the first-class counties – was achieved on the final day of the two-day Championship, against Cardiff MCCU in June.
Replying to Cardiff’s impressive total of 423 for seven, the 20-year-old all-rounder shared an opening stand of 167 with captain Cameron Steel and then 61 with Chaitanya Bishnoi, before being out lbw.
Gibson’s excellent 118, scored off 217 balls and including 15 fours, provided a platform for Durham to draw the game and finish on 348 for eight.
Born in Emsworth and educated at Portsmouth Grammar School, Gibson also bowls leg-breaks and played regularly for Hampshire’s Second XI last season.
A sports degree student, Gibson is the third Durham MCCU player in four seasons to win the prestigious award.
He will receive a special silver medallion and prize of £500 at the Walter Lawrence Trophy presentation dinner in The Long Room at Lord’s in November.
But Gibson’s quality will be needed for his club as they continue their quest to overhaul South Wilts in a fascinating title race.
Havant maintained the pressure with a four-wicket win over Hampshire Academy last weekend and will be keen to build on that result at St Cross this weekend.
The leaders host Lymington and will be expected to chalk up another win.
They boast a 100-per-cent record in limited-overs games in the league this season.
But for neutrals, the final-day title-decider between the top two sides remains on the horizon.
Elsewhere in the premier division, Ventnor host Bashley (Rydal).
The Islanders eased past Alton with a 98-run success last week and boosted their hopes of taking an impressive third place this year.
But that could all change as just a handful of points separate six teams with three rounds of fixtures remaining this season.