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St George’s in pole position after first day

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All-round joy: Rodney Trott seems extra excited after bowling Somerset’s Stephen Outerbridge, his Bailey’s Bay team-mate. Macai Simmons and wicketkeeper Temiko Wilson rush to congratulate him. All three players scored fifties in the St George’s first innings, Trott made 68, Wilson 66 and Simmons 54 not out (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Wellington Oval (first day of two; Somerset won toss): Somerset, with six first-innings wickets in hand, are 178 runs behind St George’s

Cup Match is evenly balanced after the first day at Wellington Oval as bat dominated the ball.

St George’s, sent in by Somerset, scored 297 for six before they declared going into the tea break. They batted for 66.3 overs before Somerset replied with 119 for four at the close.

The first three hours of play today will have a huge bearing on the outcome of this match, with St George’s looking for early wickets, while the champions know that occupying the crease up to lunch will work in their favour.

Somerset have considerable batting depth with Dion Stovell retiring hurt yesterday as St George’s picked up the wickets of Chris Douglas, Terryn Fray, colt Alje Richardson for a fluent 30, which included two sixes, and Stephen Outerbridge.

Douglas hooked the first ball of the innings from Justin Pitcher for six to signal Somerset’s intent as they began their run chase. He and Fray put on 49 for the first wicket in 13 overs before Douglas was run out for 25 after driving a Mackih McGowan ball through extra cover where Treadwell Gibbons got his hand to it before Justin Pitcher followed up to throw to wicketkeeper Temiko Wilson with Douglas caught well short after being sent back by Fray.

Fray added 23 before he was caught on the square-leg boundary by Justin Pitcher, giving colt McGowan his first wicket in Cup Match, the score 61 for two.

Richardson, who had a nervous start after replacing the injured Stovell, was caught at short leg by Macai Simmons off a waist-high no-ball from Pitcher before settling down to play some impressive boundary strokes. He got off the mark with a four off Pitcher and then next ball lifted him over mid-wicket for a six. He was soon out for 30, caught at the square-leg boundary off by Allan Douglas off Onias Bascome.

Grey Maybury and captain Jordan DeSilva are the two overnight batsmen, both in single figures after two wickets fell in the space of two runs as St George’s fought back before the close.

Earlier, the home side had four batsmen reach fifty after losing opener Treadwell Gibbons in the second over of the game, caught and bowled by Malachi Jones after he tried to turn a sharply rising ball to leg and got a leading edge.

Rodney Trott (68) and Temiko Wilson (66) had the perfect response, adding 138 for the second wicket. Bascome and Macai Simmons picked up the scoring pace in the middle order, both scoring 54 after Allan Douglas was out for a duck.

Bascome hit two fours and two sixes, and Simmons three fours and three sixes. He and Justin Pitcher were together when the declaration was made at 4.23pm. Pitcher blasted four sixes in his unbeaten 28.

Jones, clearly showing the effects of an injury he carried into the game, claimed three for 49 and left-arm slow bowler Derrick Brangman two for 48 for Somerset.

Umpire Emmerson Carrington is well placed to see that Malachi Jones’s heel has broken the wicket in this run-out attempt against Onias Bascome, of St George’s, who was one of four St George’s batsmen to score a half-century (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)
No nerves: Alje Richardson, the Somerset colt, played some exciting shots on his Cup Match debut, blasting four fours and two sixes to score 30 runs from 31 balls in the first innings (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)
Near miss: St George’s batsman Rodney Trott looks back to see Terryn Fray put down a difficult chance at mid-off from Temiko Wilson (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)