Ajuan Lamb century powers St David’s to big win over Willow Cuts
Somerset Cricket Club (St David’s won toss; St David’s beat Willow Cuts by103 runs)
It might have been the first match of a new campaign but Ajuan Lamb appeared in midseason form, notching his maiden, top-flight century, while leading St. David’s to a comfortable win over a battling, but outmanned Willow Cuts at Somerset Cricket Club.
Dropped when in the 20s, the right-handed opener made the home side pay dearly for the mistake, smashing balls to all parts as he decimated an attack lacking venom.
After losing fellow opening batsman, Dean Simons (2), with the score on 18, Lamb found a solid foil in the likes of teenager Aaron Paynter, the pair putting on 45 for the second wicket before the latter edged a Kwasi James delivery to wicketkeeper Shaquille Bean.
Veteran O.J. Pitcher (4) and Ricardo Brangman (14) would each fall cheaply, giving Willow Cuts hope of containment, however, their efforts were severely dented by a century, fifth-wicket partnership between Lamb and all-rounder, Derrick Brangman.
The pair put on 129 before Lamb finally succumbed for a career-best 126, caught in the deep while going for another big hit off Kamal Bashir, his knock having included 14 fours and six sixes.
Derrick Brangman went on to crash seven boundaries in his tally of 56 before he was out, bowled by Bashir, while team captain, Justin Pitcher also got among the runs, with a quickfire 53 from just 35 balls.
Speaking of his landmark knock, Lamb said: “I just tried to keep my head down for the team and I had a good innings.
“I got a little lucky early on, but was able to pull through and it turned into a good innings.
“This is my first ever century. It feels good and I really enjoyed it.
He pointed to the success of his approach and was extremely happy with his and the team’s positive start to the campaign.
“My approach is always to be aggressive and it worked out today. The field was playing well, the pitch was playing well and true,” he said.
“It’s definitely a good way to start, especially for the mental aspect, this being the first game of the season, now it’s for us to push forward.”
The best bowler for Willow Cuts was Bashir, who took three for 54, while captain James returned figures of two-for-57.
Having been set a daunting target of 311, with a required run rate of more than six runs per over, Willow Cuts got out of the gate slowly and were never able to find the necessary scoring pace to truly threaten the visitors.
Willow Cuts opener Sergio Raynor did his best to match his counterpart, with a run-a-ball 55, while Antonio Darrell notched an unbeaten 49 from 97 balls but solid fielding combined with four ducks undermined the home side’s chances.
In the end, Willow Cuts were all out for 208, with the Islanders’ evergreen George O’Brien snatching four for 27 from his 10 overs, while Derrick Brangman claimed two for 35 and Justin Pitcher two for four.
Raynor, the grandson of Cup Match legend Lee Raynor, was still in good spirits despite the result.
“I think both teams did well,” said Raynor, who was guilty of dropping Lamb. “I think we can still hold our heads up and look forward with positivity.
“If we had held onto our catches it would have definitely been a bit closer match. So we need to focus on tidying up our fielding, but most of all just continue to be positive and the results will come.”