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St David’s in shock after west-end thriller

Somerset produced the season's biggest upset after upstaging St David's, the defending league champions, at Somerset Cricket Club yesterday.

The hosts defeated the previously unbeaten Islanders by six runs in a thrilling battle that went down to the wire.

St David's required 19 runs for victory off the final over with two wickets in hand.

Greg Maybury, the Somerset seam bowler, sent down a dot ball with the first delivery of the over. But the momentum quickly shifted back in the Islander's favour as the swashbuckling Rudell Pitcher lifted the bowler's next delivery over the long off boundary for six to bring up his half century off only 36 balls.

However, the pendulum swung yet again on the third ball of the over after number ten batsman Sammy Robinson was run out with the Islanders still 12 runs shy of their target.

Pitcher lashed Maybury's fourth delivery through the extra cover boundary for four to give his side renewed hope.

But Somerset were not to be denied the victory their fine all-round performance warranted as last man Del Hollis was run out on the penultimate ball of the match after Maybury whipped off the bails at the non-striker's end.

It was only fitting that Jordan DeSilva, the Somerset all-rounder, had a hand in the final dismissal which capped a superb performance in every department.

DeSilva thumped 23 batting in the middle order, claimed three wickets with his left-arm seam, held three catches — one off his own bowling — and had a hand in two run outs.

St David's, who suffered their first league loss in more than a season, appeared to be on course to reach their target at 191 for six with OJ Pitcher, the captain, dug in at the crease with a half-century under his belt.

But once DeSilva rattled Pitcher's stumps with a well-aimed yorker, the Islanders lost the plot as their remaining three wickets tumbled for 29 runs in the space of four overs.

Pitcher's cousin Rudell made a real fist of it, smashing four sixes and five fours in a whirlwind knock of 56 from 39 balls.

But in the end it was not to be as Somerset held their nerve when it mattered most with the game on the line.

Earlier, George O'Brien rescued St David's from a precarious 24 for three by blasting 65 from 53 balls in the middle order. O'Brien is better known for his seam bowling exploits but demonstrated that he can swing the bat too with some exquisite shots on both sides of the wickets that drew praise from coach Wendell Smith.

O'Brien smashed six fours and five sixes and added 93 runs for the fourth wicket with OJ Pitcher before he was stumped by Jekon Edness, the wicketkeeper, charging Jacobi Robinson, the off spinner.

He also lived a charmed life before his dismissal having been dropped three times.

DeSilva, who kept his nerve brilliantly at the death, was the pick of the bowling with three for 38. Robinson seized two for 47 and Maybury two for 38.

Earlier, Somerset posted just enough runs for their bowlers to defend after electing to bat on an even track, with Edness and Robinson both helping themselves to half-centuries.

Edness gathered 66 from 93 balls that contained eight boundaries and added 52 runs for the fourth wicket with DeSilva and a further 60 for the fourth with Robinson before he was bowled by seam bowler Justin Pitcher with three overs remaining in a match reduced to 43 overs per team following a delayed start due to rain.

Robinson stepped on the gas in the closing overs, smashing three successive sixes off Justin Pitcher in the penultimate over to bring up his half-century off 35 balls and carry Somerset past two hundred runs.

Robinson cracked eight fours and five sixes before he departed for a robust 73 from 44 balls after offering a soft catch off the bowling of O'Brien. Tail-ender Kwasi James went for a golden duck as O'Brien picked up a second wicket in the last over of the innings, but the damage had already been done.

O'Brien had figures of three for 41 while Justin Pitcher seized two for 67.

In the thick of it: DeSilva delivered an all-round display that was crucial for Somerset

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Published July 14, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated July 14, 2014 at 1:13 am)

St David’s in shock after west-end thriller

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