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Tucker in no mood to rethink retirement

Paying homage: Somerset fans gather around Tucker after he scored his fifth Cup Match hundred (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

After keeping the St George’s attack at bay for nearly two sessions en route to yet another Cup Match century this year, Janeiro Tucker was equally as defiant when asked about the possibility of reconsidering his decision to retire.

“Not right now,” was the Somerset star’s sharp reply after notching his first hundred on home turf and record fifth overall. “It’s way too early for that right now.”

In the lead up to the match Tucker announced that this year would be his last appearance in the classic and expressed a desire to score a century in Somerset, something he finally achieved on the second day.

“It was special to get a hundred at Somerset for the first time,” Tucker said. “Twenty-one years of playing Cup Match, I finally got a hundred in Somerset.”

Tucker’s polished knock of 113 took his record overall run tally in the classic to 1,487 and laid the foundation for Somerset’s first innings total of 336 for nine declared.

He added 113 runs for the fourth wicket with Stephen Outerbridge and a further 109 runs for the fifth wicket with Jekon Edness as the champions recovered from a precarious 36 for three.

“Great players know when to go and I think it is the right time to go out on top,” Dexter Basden, the former Somerset captain, said of Tucker’s spectacular curtain call. “Scoring a century in Somerset and bowing out would be the perfect ending for me if I was him.

“Janeiro is in a class of his own and you have to give him what he’s due.

“He knows when to attack and knows when to play straight and defend and not too many guys can do that and do it on the big day. You have guys that can score runs all throughout the season and come Cup Match can’t get 20 runs but this guy is proven.

“Janeiro can handle the pressure and he is definitely one of the greatest in my era. His stats speak for themselves.”

Basden was among the many Somerset supporters who ran onto the pitch to personally congratulate and reward Tucker for his latest milestone in Cup Match.

“I don’t normally go on the field to give out money, I usually give it to somebody coming around with a hat,” Basden said.

“I had to give him the props because not many guys score centuries like him. Janeiro is one of a kind and I have to take my hat off to him.”