CAPTAIN John Evans continued his summer to remember with a magnificent unbeaten 114 as England Over 70s opened the three-match Silver Ashes series with a 54-run victory at Colchester and East Essex CC.

The Frocester chair and Gloucestershire stalwart, batting at three, led from the front to dominate his side’s challenge of 256-7 after losing the toss.

‘Evo’, as he is universally known, faced 125 balls and struck 13 fours - including reaching his first international ton with a drive to the mid-wicket boundary. The next highest scorer was Andy Peters on 35.

In reply, Australia struggled to reach 202-5 from their 50 overs, St Mary Redcliffe seamer Steve Sheppard dismissing both openers to finish with 2-39 from ten while Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Nigel Belletty, of Stoke Bishop, claimed a stumping.

It was Evans' fourth century of a remarkable season which also includes hitting 177 and sharing a seniors record unbroken stand of 326 with Keith Daniels for Gloucestershire O70s against Wales.

He said: "I’m very proud and chuffed to bits. I was actually quite nervous going into the game as I had had a bad couple of weeks after sitting out a couple of matches because of a foot infection and then missing out in a couple of games.

"My previous best for England was 81 in Sydney, so to get a hundred as captain in the first match of the series was very special."

The three-match series continues on August 13 at Wellington - where Evo lived close by as a youngster for 18 years but never played - before concluding at Maidenhead & Bray CC on August 20.

Next, though, Evo has been selected for Gloucestershire O70s who will be home at Apperley on Thursday (10th) in the quarter-finals of the ECB Championship against Essex.

Gloucestershire O50s 2nds, meanwhile, are also preparing for an ECB championship quarter-final, against Wales at Corse & Staunton on Wednesday.

Gloucestershire O60s 2nds’ quarter-final against  Middlesex at Stowell Park has been rescheduled for August 15.

And Gloucestershire O50s’ quarter-final trip against Wales will take place at Llanelli on August 13.