Alje Richardson puts Cuts to the sword and spoils all-round show by Kwasi James
Alje Richardson continued his sparkling form with the bat to help Somerset prevail by 25 runs over Willow Cuts in an entertaining Premier Division Twenty20 derby at Somerset Cricket Club yesterday.
The early-order batsman put the Cuts bowling attack to the sword on the way to a game-high knock of 61 from 34 balls, which included four sixes and six fours as the hosts posted 181 for eight after being sent to bat.
Richardson reached his half-century off 28 balls in 45 minutes during an aggressive innings reminiscent of his father, Jeff Richardson, the Somerset coach and former Western Stars middle-order batsman.
It was his second straight half-century having stroked an equally brisk 78 on his debut for champions Warwick Workmen’s Club in their 125-run win over Somerset Bridge in the first round of the Western Counties the day before.
Somerset’s top-order bats all came to the party to provide the bulk of the hosts’ total.
Chris Douglas (20) and wicketkeeper Jade Morrissey (26) took full advantage of the powerplay overs as they produced a 50-run opening stand that set the tone for more fireworks to come.
Richardson and middle-order bat Jerez Eve (16) then put on 57 runs for the fifth wicket before a late collapse saw four wickets tumble for 18 runs as Cuts fought back.
Cuts were costly in the field as they conceded 27 extras, which included 17 wides that ultimately came to haunt them.
Kwasi James, the Cuts captain, led his team’s bowling with three for 16 in his allotted four overs and also sent down the only maiden of the match.
Cuts suffered an early setback in their reply when opener Ras Solomon Burrows (6) was dismissed cheaply.
But a timely 54-run second-wicket stand between the swashbuckling James (42) and Joseph Basden (13) put the run chase back on track.
James produced plenty of fireworks at the crease with some powerful shots square of the wicket and down the ground to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
However, the match swung in Somerset’s favour after second-change bowler Terence Corday removed both batsmen in the space of 11 balls.
Cuts were further pegged back after losing Deunte Darrell (1) and Dean Stephens (16) in quick succession.
Middle-order pair Dwight Basden and Ryan Shepperd (11) added 31 runs for the sixth wicket to give their team a glimmer of hope.
But once DeSilva had Shepperd caught at long off it was virtually game over as Cuts fell way behind the run-rate and never recovered.
The visitors were 156 for six when the overs expired with Basden not out on 37 and wicketkeeper Shaquille Bean 14.
All -rounder Dalin Richardson was the pick of the Somerset attack with two for 31 while Corday took two for 37.
The win was Somerset’s second straight having beaten Cup Match rivals St George’s by four wickets in their season opener at Wellington Oval the previous weekend.