Borden douses Somerset
Lord's (St David's won toss): St David's beat Somerset by eight wickets
St David's got their title defence off on the front foot after cruising to an emphatic eight-wicket victory over a youthful Somerset in a match reduced to 39 overs because of a damp pitch at Lord's on Sunday.
Delyone Borden, the off spinner, claimed four wickets during a devastating seven-over burst to reduce the visiting side to 145 for nine after they were sent in to bat.
Fiqre Crockwell, the wicketkeeper, then thumped a whirlwind half-century as the islanders reached their modest target with 49 balls to spare.
Somerset lost opener Pierre Smith for a duck with only one run on the board.
Smith's dismissal set the tone for the rest of the innings as Somerset continued to lose wickets at regular intervals.
Joshua Gilbert, the Somerset all-rounder, tried his best to keep the innings together during a determined knock of 40 from 70 balls that contained four fours. But he could not prevent wickets from tumbling all around him as St David's chipped away.
OJ Pitcher, the St David's captain, brought Borden into the attack at the beginning of the 27th over and the tactic paid off, as the latter claimed the scalp of Gilbert, whom he had held at point, with his second ball to leave Somerset in deep trouble at 69 for four.
Borden struck again in his fourth over when he had Raoul Khan, the Guyanese all-rounder, caught at midwicket.
Jordan DeSilva tried to hit his team out of trouble, smashing five fours and a six in a ruthless knock of 37 from 33 balls. But he eventually became Borden's third wicket after he went for one big hit too many and was caught at mid-off.
Borden then claimed the wicket of Christian Gibbons, who failed to pick an arm ball and was stumped behind charging the bowler, with his very next ball to place himself on a hat-trick, which he was ultimately denied.
Borden finished with figures of four for 28 from seven overs that included a maiden.
“Delyone bowled extremely well,” Wendell Smith, the St David's coach, said. “When the pressure came where the overs were running out, we used our spinner who turns the ball most and it was an effective strategy.”
Angelo Cannonier, the medium-pace bowler, seized two for 28 to hold his end of the bargain.
St David's lost two wickets in their reply, but were never in jeopardy in a match that they dominated throughout.
Crockwell led the run chase with a boundary-filled 75 from 72 balls. The wicketkeeper hammered 14 boundaries, including one at long-off that brought up his half-century off 48 balls off the bowling of Gilbert, the Somerset off spinner.
With only two runs needed for victory, and four runs shy of a century partnership for the second wicket with Sammy Robinson, the St David's opener, Crockwell attempted to end the match in a flurry, but succeeded only in finding the safe hands of DeSilva fielding at mid-on.
“It was unfortunate Fiqre got out with two runs to go,” Smith said. “He is in fine nick and I hope he can continue.”
Robinson finished unbeaten on 31 after incoming bat Cannonier found the gap at mid-on and crossed for the winning single.