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Hodsoll and Burgess dig deep

Nervous moment: a difficult return catch from Bailey’s Bay batsman Pierre Smith, which almost hit Somerset bowler Micah Simons in the face, goes down during a top-flight match at Sea Breeze Oval yesterday (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Tail-enders Kyle Hodsoll and Zeko Burgess led a spectacular fightback to propel Bailey’s Bay to a one-wicket win over Somerset Cricket Club in a thrilling low-scoring match at Sea Breeze Oval yesterday.

Despite being restricted to 150 for six in their allotted overs after electing to bat, Somerset appeared to be cruising to a first win of the season with Bay on the ropes in their reply at 68 for eight in the 29th over.

But Bay’s tail wagged with Burgess and Hodsoll coming to the rescue with a vital 81-run partnership that ultimately proved to be the straw that broke Somerset’s back.

Displaying the technique and discipline required to bat in trying conditions on a track with uneven bounce, the pair steadied the ship and then, after getting on top of the bowling, launched a vicious assault on the visiting side’s bowling attack to carry Bay to the brink of victory.

Burgess was the more aggressive of the two batsmen, clearing the ropes with some powerful hitting, with Hodsoll providing solid support at the opposite end.

Somerset squandered a golden opportunity when Alje Richardson dropped Burgess off of his cousin Isaiah Richardson’s bowling with Bay still 61 runs shy of their target.

It proved costly as Burgess shifted into overdrive to keep his team in with a shout while Somerset heads began to drop.

Burgess’s luck finally ran out when he went for one big hit too many and holed out in the deep off of the bowling of spinner Joshua Gilbert with Bay on the brink of victory. The No 9 batsman scored 43 from 51 balls with five sixes during a well-calculated innings.

The game hung in the balance when last man Kearon Trott joined Hodsoll at the crease with Bay still two runs shy of their target and Somerset needing one more wicket.

Hodsoll ended the game in a hurry as he smashed Gilbert’s next delivery over long off to clinch his team’s improbable win in dramatic fashion.

The No 10 bat struck four fours and two sixes in his unbeaten innings of 46 from 43 balls.

“Zeko and Kyle batted extremely well and pretty much won the game for us and I am very proud of them,” Rodney Trott, the Bay captain, said.

“Normally they are there to bowl but they can also hold the bat and congrats to both of them who played extremely well today.”

DeSilva led the Somerset attack with three for 12 off his ten overs, including four maidens.

Earlier, Somerset struggled to find runs after electing to bat on a deteriorating track.

Somerset found themselves in a spot of bother after slipping to 31 for two in the fourteenth over.

Alje Richardson and Gilbert produced a 70-run partnership for the third wicket to stop the bleeding but struggled to keep the scoreboard ticking over as the run rate dipped to three per over.

Richardson departed in the 37th over after gathering 36 from 97 balls with one four.

DeSilva, Dalin Richardson and Isaiah Richardson were then all dismissed cheaply trying to accelerate the run rate before the overs expired.

Gilbert remained unbeaten with 42 from 103 balls with no boundaries.

Hodsoll and Jermaine Usher led the Bay bowling with two wickets each.