Advantage Somerset after rain-hit first day of Cup Match
Wellington Oval (first day of two; St George’s won toss:) Somerset, with nine first-innings wickets in hand, are 12 runs behind St George’s
Holders Somerset Cricket Club took control of the opening day of Cup Match at Wellington Oval today, dominated by three rain stoppages that influenced a declaration by St George’s with an insufficient first-innings total, albeit they had only two wickets standing.
The forecast for rain proved true as the match started 33 minutes late because of rain, had three rain delays and then ended 15 minutes early when another drizzle forced the umpires to lift the bails, leaving Somerset opener Chris Douglas two runs short of a maiden Cup Match hundred.
Because of time lost, playing conditions mandate that Friday’s play will start an hour early at 9am. Somerset will resume on 139 for one in reply to the 151 for eight declared by St George’s who were 80 to 90 runs short of what they had hoped for when they were 117 for three at lunch.
However, 11 minutes after the restart from lunch, things started to change for St George’s with opener Oronde Bascome departing for 42 after giving a catch to Alje Richardson inside the square-leg boundary with a pick-up shot off Malachi Jones to make it 127 for four.
In the space of 26 minutes, the home side lost three further wickets — Detroy Smith (20) and Allan Douglas (4) in the same over from Kamau Leverock, and Justin Pitcher trapped leg-before by Jones next over for a six-ball duck as they slumped to 133 for seven. When George O’Brien was bowled by Jones 12 runs later, it left only the two colts, Jamar Stovel and Isaiah Greaves, and wicketkeeper Sinclair Smith.
After an understandably nervous Stovel faced 12 balls without scoring and the game going nowhere, St George’s closed their innings so that they could make inroads into the Somerset batting on a damp wicket with occasional low bounce.
Somerset’s innings started at 4.34pm and there was some controversy with their only dismissal, Terryn Fray being caught at mid-on by Stovel and, after first walking towards the pavilion, turning around to return to the centre to approach the umpires over the legitimacy of his dismissal, claiming something came out of bowler Justin Pitcher’s hand at the point of delivery and distracted him.
It was suggested it might have been Pitcher’s Covid armband, with the Somerset vice-captain almost at the boundary rope before he turned around and returned to the middle, while new batsman Manders was already at the crease.
St George’s, led by captain Onias Bascome, quickly got involved in the dispute which escalated with Somerset players also coming on to the field along with a few spectators and security who tried to restore order as tempers frayed with some shoving and pushing between the players.
When order was restored, Douglas and Tre Manders set about putting Somerset in control with an unbeaten stand of 125 for the second wicket. Douglas is on the verge of his first Cup Match century while Manders has 31.
St George’s used eight bowlers in the 28 overs they bowled in between a stoppage at 5.45pm when Somerset were 72 for one after 15 overs.
Earlier, brothers Oronde and Onias Bascome led the St George’s batting with 42 and 40 respectively after St George’s won the toss and raced away to 37 in five overs with Temiko Wilson (16) and Oronde Bascome opening the innings.
Jones, who passed the 50-wicket milestone to rank sixth all time in Cup Match, and Leverock had identical figures of three for 37.
St George’s: First Innings
T Wilson c Richardson b Leverock 16
Oronde Bascome c Richardson b Jones 42
R Trott b Maybury 1
*Onias Bascome c Leverock b Stovell 40
D Smith b Leverock 20
A Douglas b Leverock 4
† S Smith not out 15
J Pitcher lbw b Jones 0
G O’Brien b Jones 2
J Stovel not out 0
Extras (b 8, nb 3) 11
Total (8 wkts dec; 41 overs) 151
I Greaves did not bat.
Fall of wickets: 1-37, 2-42, 3-100, 4-127, 5-131, 6-132, 7-133, 8-145.
Bowling: Jones 9-1-37-3; Maybury 5-2-25-1; Leverock 13-1-37-3; Brangman 7-1-21-0; Stovell 7-1-23-1.
Somerset: First Innings
C Douglas not out 98
T Fray c Stovell b Pitcher 4
T Manders not out 31
Extras (b 3, lb 2, w 1) 6
Total (1 wkt; 28 overs) 139
Fall of wicket: 1-14.
D Stovell, A Richardson, K Leverock, †S Bremar, *J DeSilva, M Jones, D Brangman and G Maybury to bat.
Bowling: O’Brien 7-1-40-0; Pitcher 4-0-15-0; Trott 4-1-5-0; Greaves 2-0-22-0; Douglas 3-1-16-0; Stovel 4-1-19-0; Onias Bascome 3-0-17-0; Smith 1-1-0-0.
Umpires: E Carrington and A Knight.
Third umpire: M Best.
Fourth umpire: S Caines.
Match referee: R Dill.