Chris Douglas: ‛there’s always next year for a 2-to-1’
Chris Douglas always backed himself to score a maiden hundred in Cup Match this year.
Brimming with confidence, the Somerset opening batsmen stroked 128 off 136 balls, with 13 fours and seven sixes, to lay the foundation for the cup-holders’ crushing ten-wicket victory at Wellington Oval last Friday.
“Being honest, I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” Douglas told The Royal Gazette. “Kind of came easy, really.
“I don’t think I took risks; I played the ball on its merit and before I knew it I was going across 40 and I looked again it was pretty much 80, 90 and then it was close of play for the day. Then first ball the next day, it was there.”
Somerset were 139 for one overnight replying to St George’s first-innings 151 for eight declared with Douglas left on 98 not out.
The left-handed batsman brought up his century with a streaky back cut, scampering through for two runs on a misfield at short third man off the bowling of spinner Rodney Trott.
“I saw the ball come off the edge of the bat and it dropped just in front of the player,” Douglas said. “It spun a bit and as soon as I saw him misread it I said ‘that’s two; I’m coming back right now’.
“I just knew right there and then that was the hundred. Not much celebration from it because I guess it’s just long overdue.”
Asked would he have preferred to score his hundred on the first day, Douglas said: “That did not bother me at all. I have never been worried about personal accolades, so getting to a hundred or not on the first or second day wasn’t really a thought for me.
“But I was confident, no matter on the first or second day, that I was going to get it. I have been telling people for probably the last three weeks that I’m getting 106 this year.
“I kind of went a little bit across that, so that’s good. I’ll take that.”
Asked was there any pressure on him facing the first ball on the second day on the verge of the milestone, Douglas said: “That ball was the same as getting the first ball of any innings for me, where it’s just ‛see ball, hit ball’ more on instinct than anything.
“It wasn’t much thought to it; I never got nervous. I don’t really get nervous in cricket at all.”
At one stage it seemed as though the 31-year old could potentially eclipse the record for the highest individual score of 186 achieved by former Somerset all-rounder Janeiro Tucker at the same ground 20 years ago.
“A few guys mentioned it to me overnight with the score that I had,” added Douglas, who also dominated a 136-run second-wicket partnership with Tre Manders (38). “But I wasn’t too concerned with the record itself.
“It was just let me get to the hundred and after that just continue on as best as I can because I got a bit of an injury close to the end of play on day one. Messed up my foot a bit ,so I couldn’t run as good as I wanted to.
“Maybe if I got to the 150, I would’ve really been thinking about the record. But I wasn’t thinking of it at all.”
Somerset were denied a second innings victory in four years by the narrowest of margins.
St George’s were dismissed for 130 in their second innings with the aggregate scores level, leaving Somerset to score just one run in their second turn at bat to clinch victory.
“I think it’s a bit unfortunate we didn’t get it [innings victory] because I know the players wanted it, the fans wanted it and the whole Somerset Cup Match community wanted it,” Douglas said.
“We could’ve batted another ten overs comfortably for another 50, 60 runs and had that much greater of a total and easily got a two-to-one. But we always have next year to try it again.”