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Somerset Cricket Club (Cleveland won toss): Somerset Bridge (10pts) beat Cleveland by 12 runs

Somerset Bridge captain Joshua Gilbert believes his side can challenge for promotion after putting down a marker in their First Division Twenty20 match with a 12-run victory against Cleveland County yesterday.

Returning to action after the start of the season was delayed because of Covid-19, the home side were put into bat and set a seemingly achievable total of 109 for eight, including what would proven a crucial 12 penalty points for a slow bowling rate in two overs, with only Shawn Riley (25) and Devon Wade (26 not out) scoring double figures.

In reply, Cleveland looked set to ease to victory, cruising to 56 for two halfway through their innings, before stuttering in the second half to fall disappointingly short of their target.

Opener Dennis Musson Jr proved their top scorer with just 21 as Somerset Bridge sealed a morale-boosting foundation to build on.

“We’re delighted to get that first victory out of the way and especially against a team we believe will be the most competitive,” Gilbert said. “They’ve got some strong players who have played at a higher level and so it’s great to start in a positive way.

“The only negative is that we took too long to get going with the bat and the ball. We could have scored more if we applied ourselves better and we didn’t show any intensity with the ball until we got a couple of wickets.

“However, on the flip side it was positive that we were able to kick on when we needed it most and those slow over rate penalties really helped because it could have been a much closer match. It gave us a greater total to defend in the final few overs and it was great to get the win.

“We have put down a strong marker by beating Cleveland and our aim is to win the league.”

Having been put into field, the home side got off to a sluggish start, losing three wickets with just 18 runs scored and four overs bowled. Captain Gilbert (4) was the first to be dismissed caught off the bowling of Jabari Darrell before the dangerous Tybrae Robinson claimed successive wickets, clean bowling Sharye Tavares for just one run, before luring fellow opener Adrian Burrows (8) into a looping shot that proved a simple catch for Kristian Singh.

Shane Hollis added seven before being caught deep off the bowling of Singh. With Somerset struggling at 36 for four midway through the tenth over, Riley and Wade steadied the innings adding crucial runs before the former was bowled by Makai Young, leaving the score at 73 for five with a little under five overs remaining.

However, Donnie Charles (4) and Clarence Trott (0) fell in quick succession with just four runs added to the total, before Noel Woods (1) came and went having faced four balls.

Wade and Jason Smith (4 not out) saw out the remaining overs to reach 109 for eight. Makai Young proved the pick of the Cleveland bowlers, claiming three wickets and giving up just ten runs in the process. In reply, Cleveland looked comfortable at 56 for three after ten overs with openers Q’shai Darrell (20) and Musson Jr (21) contributing positively with captain Mackih McGowan the other wicket to fall having scored a disappointing seven.

However, from that point on the run rate slowed dramatically as wickets fell in regular intervals, as Cleveland added just 32 runs for the loss of four further wickets in the proceeding eight overs. Jabari Darrell (2), Zeri Tomlinson (12), Singh (3) and Young (14) all attempted, but failed to add significantly to the chase as the visiting side’s hopes of victory faded.

Having dismissed Singh, Shane Hollis also claimed the remaining wickets of Keith Whorms (3) and Freeman Lema (1) with Isaiah Creighton (5no) proving the final batsman intact as Cleveland could only muster a total of 97 for nine from their allotted overs.

Karim Hollis and Charles ended with two wickets apiece, with the remaining coming from Gilbert and Riley.

Somerset Bridge

†Adrian Burrows c Singh b Robinson 8

*Joshua Gilbert c Q’Shai Darrell b Jabari Darrell 4

Sharye Tavares b Tybrae Robinson 1

Shane Hollis c Jabari Darrell b K S Singh 7

Shawn Riley b Makai Young 25

Devon Wade not out 26

Donnie Charles c Singh b Makai Young 4

Clarence Trott c Makai Young b Musson Jr 0

Noel Woods b Makai Young 1

Jason Smith not out 4

Extras (w 8, nb 7, lb 2, pen 12) 12

Total (8 wkts; 20 overs) 109

Karim Hollis did not bat

Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-13, 3-18, 4-36, 5-73, 6-77, 7-77

Bowling: Tybrae Robinson 4-1-10-2; Jabari Darrell 3-0-13-1; K S Singh 4-0-34-1; Keith Whorms 4-0-15-0; Makai Young 3-0-10-3; Dennis Musson Jr 2-0-13-1

Cleveland County

Dennis Musson Jr c C Trott Trott b Gilbert 21

Q’Shai Darrell c Adrian Burrows b Karim Hollis 20

*Mackih McGowan b Donnie Charles 6

Zeri Tomlinson c Jason Smith b Shawn Riley 12

Jabari Darrell b Donnie Charles 2

Makai Young c Jason Smith b Karim Hollis 14

KS Singh c Gilbert b Shane Hollis 3

Isaiah Creighton not out 5

Keith Whorms c Donnie Charles b Shane Hollis 3

†F A Lema st Adrian Burrows b Shane Hollis 1

Extras ((w 9, lb 1) 10

Total (9 wkts; 20 overs) 97

Tybrae Robinson, D Trott did not bat

Fall of wickets: 1-32, 2-39, 3-56, 4-61, 5-73, 6-88, 7-88, 8-95, 9-97

Bowling: Noel Woods 3-0-12-0; Shawn Riley 4-0-27-1; Donnie Charles 4-0-19-2; Karim Hollis 3-0-18-2; Joshua Gilbert 2-0-10-1; Shane Hollis 4- 0-10-3

There is no coverage of the cricket matches that took place at Wellington Oval this weekend because St George’s Cricket Club officials refused entry to Royal Gazette staff unless they paid a fee. It is believed to be a first in the long history of the newspaper covering sporting and other events that such an occurrence has taken place. We find this ethically unconscionable and have taken a stand on principle. It is to be hoped this impasse is resolved before next weekend so that normal service can be restored. - Dexter Smith, Editor

False dawn: Cleveland celebrate a wicket during their Twenty20 First Division match against Somerset Bridge at Somerset Cricket Club yesterday. Cleveland looked to be in a strong position after restricting Bridge to 109 for eight but ultimately lost the game by 12 runs (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Another one down: Cleveland's Tybrae Robinson, left, celebrates taking a wicket during his side's First Division Twenty20 match against Somerset Bridge at Somerset Cricket Club yesterday