Melbourne far too strong for hosts Somerset
Melbourne CC 229-4July 4 may be months away, but one could be excused for thinking it was last night as Melbourne Cricket Club put on a awesome fireworks display with the bat on the way to an emphatic 117 -run victory against hosts Somerset Cricket Club.
Somerset CC 112-8
Had this been a boxing match, the referee might’ve stopped the bout early as in truth the match as a contest was well and truly over by the 13th over of the first innings.
The visiting team from Kingston, Jamaica are now 2-0, having beaten Jamaican Cricket Association by 49 runs the previous night in their tour opener.
“What we did will be very difficult to repeat or surpass,” said Melbourne CC coach Robert Samuels of his team’s dominant display that was worth the $10 dollar admission fee — and then some. “It was an awesome display of batting, an awesome display of fielding and the bowling wasn’t bad either.”
After electing to bat on a good batting track, the visitors made the most of the ideal conditions and some slack bowling to virtually bat their rivals out of the match.
Opening pair Jon-Ross Campbell and Tarique White led the run feast with breezy half-centuries during a 147-run partnership. White topped scored with 87 (three sixes and eight fours) while Campbell also held his end of the bargain with a knock of 74 (five sixes and six fours).
Campbell’s half century arrived off 34 balls and Whites’ off 32 balls.
“These two have been opening for Melbourne for a couple of seasons now, so they know each other’s cricket,” added former West Indies batsman Samuels.
The pair were eventually dismissed in the space of two overs. But Somerset’s joy was short-lived as Melbourne skipper Andre McCarty launched a vicious attack of his own on the bowling to keep the scorecard ticking over at lightening speed.
The all -rounder thumped six sixes and two fours in a quick-fire knock of 49 and dominated an unbroken 56- run fifth wicket partnership with Taffiri Williams (6 not out) that carried his team’s total past the double century mark, leaving those around the ground awestruck.
McCarty was particularly harsh on Somerset debutant Dennico Hollis (2-46) and fellow seamer Kamel Eastson (0-43). Hollis went for 18 runs in the penultimate over and Easton 29 off the last as the visitors finished off their innings in a flurry.
Off spinners Joshua Gilbert (0-54) and Jacobi Robinson (0-39) also came in for rough treatment by the Jamaican’s batsmen who were sensible in their approach, rotating the strike with some excellent running between the stumps and punishing anything over pitched, short or wide with total authority. They also rode their luck at times as Campbell was dropped twice and White once.
After chasing leather in the field, Somerset were presented with the gargantuan task of scoring nearly 12 runs per over in their reply.
It was a task that ultimately proved far beyond them as their batsmen lacked the technique and footwork required to pick the gaps made all the more difficult by some tight fielding and a well-drilled four pronged spin attack that pitched the ball in the right areas.
The Jamaicans took only two overs to make the breakthrough after Somerset skipper Jekon Edness (6) was caught at slip off the off spin of Shamar Anderson (1-22).
Joshua Gilbert (24) and Ricky Hoyte (37) added 50 runs for the third wicket in seven overs.
But after Gilbert was caught in the deep off the fourth ball of left arm spinner Chris Lamont’s second spell, wickets continued to tumble at regular intervals before the overs expired with Somerset hanging on for dear life.
Jordan Desilva (17) was the only other Somerset batsman in double figures.
Lamont led the Melbourne bowling with figures of two for 27.
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