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Smith-Mills among the wickets as Somerset are brushed aside

Full stride: Nirobi Smith-Mills of Southampton Rangers claimed a four-wicket haul (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Somerset Cricket Club (Southampton Rangers won toss): Southampton beat Somerset by 125 runs

Southampton Rangers made it a weekend of double delight, following a strong start to their Western Counties Cup title defence on Saturday against Somerset Bridge, with another emphatic victory over Somerset in the Premier Division yesterday.

Similarly to the day prior, the contest was one in name only, as Rangers showed little regard for an opposition exposed as below the required standard, winning by an extensive margin.

As has been the case for much of the season, Dion Stovell’s all-around abilities with bat and ball set the standard and platform for Southampton’s victory, with up-and-coming paceman Nirobi Smith-Mills more than a mere sidekick for the cause.

Rangers fortune began as they won the toss and decided to bat on a fresh, grassy wicket, but from there chance was replaced by talent, as Stovell, while more sedate than that which has been recent custom, took the West Enders’ bowling attack to task, scoring 72 while acting as the lead protagonist in three early order partnerships.

Stovell and Jaloni Albuoy (14) put on 55 for the first-wicket before the latter was trapped leg before by Greg Maybury.

This was followed by partnerships of 46 and 49 for the second and third, where Stovell engaged Alister Lynch (29) and captain Dalin Richardson (28) as capable partners, before he was ultimately the sixth wicket to be dismissed at 195, caught driving into the covers and picking out Azar Morrissey.

Few others appreciably troubled the scorers, as the visitors collapsed to 219, veteran Kwame Tucker being left as the last man standing on 14 not out.

For the home side, Morrissey continued his wicket taking form with three for 27, while captain Jordan DeSilva took two wickets and Maybury and Terrence Corday one apiece.

After witnessing, as well as experiencing, mountains of runs being scored at the ground — totals exceeding 300 have been commonplace at Somerset Cricket Club throughout the season — the hosts believed themselves well within the realm of being able to chase a total not nearly so intimidating.

Yet they were found to be mistaken in such judgment, as Smith-Mills and Stovell, in particular, had ideas vastly different, and the rest of the band followed the pair’s lead in the field.

Smith-Mills’s pace seared, moved and unnerved, while Stovell’s guileful variation fooled, the pair combining for seven wickets — four for Smith-Mills, three for Stovell — with only opener Jacob Albertze (29) offering significant resistance, batting through much of the innings before becoming the lone victim, and seventh batsman to fall, of the more gentle medium of Tayo Smith.There was offered a brief cameo towards the end by Isaiah Richardson, who banged two fours and a six at No 8, by which time the result was in little doubt.

At the end, Richardson expressed pleasure regarding the result, one which maintained the club among the division’s upper echelon, and somewhat satisfied with the day’s work.

“We could have made a few more runs today, but I still think we batted well enough,” said Richardson.

“In the field, we fielded well and kept the extras low, so it was a good overall performance.

“I believe that we should be even better going forward, because me and Charles Trott were away with the national team, so we have some of our better players back in the team, which should allow us to compete that much more.”

Asked of the demonstration put on by Stovell and Smith-Mills, Richardson gave glowing praise and gratitude.

“We’re very thankful for Dion Stovell and what he brings to the table,” said the young captain who has leant on the experience of Stovell and player-coach Janeiro Tucker for guidance. “I don’t know what I would do without him.

“Dion is a rock in our team that helps us a lot and we need him all around.

“I think that if the rest of the team takes up what he demonstrates and bases their performance and approach on how he plays it would help all of us.

“He’s performing at a level where all of us would want to be and his example helps to drive us to want to get better.

“Nirobi Smith-Mills is a real talent and I can’t say anything but good things about Nirobi.

“I captained him with the under-19s team and have watched him bowl a lot and seen him grow and continually improve his craft.”

Conversely, Somerset find themselves at the opposite end of the league spectrum, without a single win for the season and prime candidates for relegation.

Nevertheless, DeSilva identified aspects of light, albeit diminished, on a day when darkness coated much of his side’s performance.

“I thought we did well in the first aspect,” said DeSilva.

“We lost the toss and they got a good start, but I think 219 was a good score and one we could chase.

“We fielded well, didn’t drop and catches and, overall, it was a good day for us in the field.

“But, obviously, the batting continues to let us down.

“We’ve only had one good day with the bat, against Bailey’s Bay, so we just have to do better.

“We had some decisions that went against us with the bat. The umpires cut us short an over in the power-play and there were a few others, but we have to be better.

This was another game where we failed to make a hundred and 126 last week and 220 today are both scores we should be able to get to win the game.”

Southampton Rangers

D Stovell c Morrissey b DeSilva 72

J Albuoy lbw b Maybury 14

A Lynch c Eve b Morrissey 29

*D Richardson lbw b Morrissey 28

J Tucker c Corday b Morrissey 4

C Trott b Corday 4

†K Tucker not out 14

T Smith c A Richardson b DeSilva 0

G Simons b I Richardson 2

N Mills b Maybury 6

K Astwood lbw b Maybury 0

Extras (b 8, nb 1, w 37) 46

Total (9wkts; 43.1 overs) 219

Fall of wickets: 1-55, 2-101, 3-150, 4-160, 5-167, 6-195, 7-196, 8-205, 9-219.

Bowling: Maybury 9.1-0-46-3; I Richardson 7-1-37-1; DeSilva 8-0-33-2; Corday 10-0-47-1; Morrissey 7-0-37-3; Watson 2-0-11-0.


P Carr lbw b Mills 4

J Albertze b Smith 29

A Richardson b Stovell 0

*J DeSilva lbw b J Tucker 1

M Watson lbw b Stovell 1

G Maybury lbw b Mills 12

I Richardson c J Tucker b Mills 19

T Corday b Mills 0

A Morrissey not out 3

†J Eve absent -

Extras (lb 5, w 10) 15

Total (27 overs) 94

Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-32, 3-32, 4-41, 5-43, 6-72, 7-74, 8-75, 9-94.

Bowling: Mills 6-0-21-4; Trott 3-0-11-0; Stovell 6-1-22-3; J Tucker 6-0-13-1; Smith 6-0-22-1.

Umpires: C Brangman and A Cumberbatch.

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Published July 04, 2022 at 7:53 am (Updated July 04, 2022 at 7:53 am)

Smith-Mills among the wickets as Somerset are brushed aside

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