Blown away! Dion Stovell propels Somerset to emphatic win
Somerset Cricket Club (final day of two; St George’s won toss): Somerset beat St George’s by ten wickets
Holders Somerset thrashed St George’s by ten wickets for the second straight year to tighten their grip on the coveted Cup Match trophy at Somerset Cricket Club yesterday.
Set a paltry target of 41 after dismissing the challengers for the second time in the match shortly after tea, openers Chris Douglas (22) and Terryn Fray (13) knocked off the required runs with minimal resistance.
Fray survived a chance when he was dropped by St George’s colt Jordan Burgess off his own bowling before Douglas thumped the winning boundary off Zeko Burgess to spark the traditional pitch invasion and celebrations among the home side’s jubilant players and supporters.
“It was a very good victory,” Jordan DeSilva, the Somerset captain, told The Royal Gazette.
“This was probably the first time under my captaincy where we really had to fight back and I was really proud of the boys for that.”
Laying a solid foundation for Somerset’s convincing victory was experienced all-rounder Dion Stovell, who thumped a maiden hundred and claimed match figures of six for 101 with his off spin to deservedly earn man-of-the-match accolades.
“Dion just again proved his quality; got wickets on both days and then the hundred that basically kept us well in control,” DeSilva added. “He showed his class as always.”
St George’s opted not to take the second new ball when Stovell resumed on his overnight score of 93 in Somerset’s first innings.
The Southampton Rangers stalwart took full advantage as he closed in on the milestone, which was reached off 117 balls after nudging a single off George O’Brien on the on side.
“Dion has had a couple of scores in Cup Match the last few years but hasn’t had the hundred,” DeSilva said. “So the whole team was happy for him, not just because of the situation, but for him personally to get that first one under his belt.”
Stovell led a remarkable recovery on the first day after Somerset slipped to 121 for five in reply to St George’s first-innings score of 113.
The top-order batsman played himself in as wickets tumbled around him and after getting set used his feet to good effect to pierce the gaps and keep the fielders chasing leather.
He dominated vital partnerships that carried Somerset to a healthy first-innings lead; adding 60 with last man Greg Maybury (five), 46 with wicketkeeper Khiry Furbert (28) and 42 with captain DeSilva (14).
Somerset also got solid contributions from openers Douglas (43) and Fray (57), who added 108 for the first wicket before the champions lost five wickets for 13 runs as St George’s mounted a fightback in the field before Stovell intervened.
Earlier, a virtually unplayable Stovell put Somerset in control as he exploited a turning wicket by varying his line and length on the way to superb figures of three for 28 as St George’s lost six wickets for 24 runs and never really recovered.
Seam bowler Kamau Leverock took three for 17 and left-arm spinner Derrick Brangman two for 13.
“I think we bowled brilliant on the first day,” DeSilva added. “We know that if we bowl a decent line or length, we will get wickets — and that’s basically what happened.
“We kept the pressure on, stuck to the plans and just let them make the mistakes.”
Opener Treadwell Gibbons Jr, who stroked 34, off spinner Rodney Trott with four for 60 and colt Jonté Smith with three for 16 were among the standout performers for St George’s during the first innings.
The East Enders had their work cut with a deficit of 182 and got their second innings off to the worst possible start when colt Smith was given out leg-before without bothering the scorers after being promoted up the order in place of Allan Douglas Jr, who failed in the first St George’s gamble of the match.
They did manage to erase the arrears to force Somerset to bat again and avoid an innings defeat. But by then the damage had already been done, having lost seven wickets in the process with a battling Trott the last recognised batsman at the crease and the challengers trying desperately to save the match.
The experienced all-rounder added 60 for the eighth wicket with Zeko Burgess before Stovell and Brangman mopped up the tail in quick succession to thrust Somerset on the verge of another landslide victory.
“St George’s fought and were not going to lay down for us,” DeSilva said. “But the guys fought hard for those last three wickets after Zeko and Rodney got stuck in.
“They mowed them down and got the runs. It was a very good victory and I am proud of the boys.”
Gibbons again topped St George’s batting with 66, Zeko Burgess blasted 51 from 50 balls while OJ Pitcher added 34 and Trott an unbeaten 30.
Brangman was the pick of the Somerset bowling in the St George’s second innings with three for 48. Stovell was the other chief wicket-taker as he claimed three for 73 runs to cap his best Cup Match by a distance.
“It was a long two days and I feel like we fought hard,” Onias Bascome, the St George’s captain, said. “We didn’t get the result we wanted. But we are going to go back to the drawing board, put in the work and next year come back stronger.”
St George’s: First Innings
T Gibbons c Manders b Leverock 34
A Douglas Jr b Leverock 0
OJ Pitcher c Manders b DeSilva 17
J Smith c sub b Leverock 12
*O Bascome run out 0
M Simmons lbw b Stovell 0
R Trott c Richardson b Stovell 13
†S Smith c DeSilva b Brangman 2
Z Burgess c Richardson b Stovell 3
G O’Brien lbw b Brangman 11
J Burgess not out 1
Extras (b 1, lb 18, nb 1) 20
Total (40 overs) 113
Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-49, 3-72, 4-72, 5-74, 6-74, 7-89, 8-96, 9-107.
Bowling: Leverock 9-3-17-3; Maybury 3-0-16-0; DeSilva 3-0-9-1; Jones 5-1-11-0; Stovell 14-4-28-3; Brangman 6-2-13-2.
Somerset: First Innings
C Douglas c Smith b Trott 43
T Fray c Gibbons b Trott 57
T Manders c Gibbons b Trott 0
A Richardson b O’Brien 0
D Stovell not out 111
K Leverock run out 4
*J DeSilva b Smith 14
M Jones c J Burgess b Smith 0
D Brangman c O’Brien b Smith 9
†K Furbert b Z Burgess 28
G Maybury c Gibbons b Trott 5
Extras (b 10, lb 7, nb 7) 24
Total (71.4 overs) 274
Fall of wickets: 1-108, 2-108, 3-113, 4-117, 5-121, 6-163, 7-163, 8-189, 9-235.
Bowling: Z Burgess 8-0-37-1; O’Brien 21-1-81-1; Bascome 6-1-18-0; Trott 19-1-60-4; J Burgess 3-0-15-0; Douglas 9-0-51-0; Smith 6-1-16-3.
St George’s: Second Innings
T Gibbons Jr b Brangman 66
J Smith lbw b Maybury 0
M Simmons b Stovell 14
OJ Pitcher c DeSilva b DeSilva 34
A Douglas Jr b Stovell 5
O Bascome b Leverock 6
R Trott not out 30
†S Smith c Sabir b Jones 4
Z Burgess lbw b Brangman 51
G O’Brien Jr b Stovell 0
J Burgess b Brangman 11
Extras (lb 1) 1
Total (2 wkts, 67.1 overs) 222
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-75, 3-87, 4-92, 5-106, 6-145, 7-150, 8-210, 9-211.
Bowling: Leverock 10-3-48-1; Maybury 4-0-15-1; Brangman 22-11-48-3; Jones 12-3-33-1; Stovell 16-1-73-3; DeSilva 4-3-4-1.
Somerset: Second Innings
C Douglas not out 22
T Fray not out 13
Extras (b 9) 9
Total (0 wkts; 8.5 overs) 44
Bowling: O’Brien 3-0-8-0; Bascome 1-0-7-0; Z Burgess 2.5-1-10-0; J Burgess 2-0-10-0.
Umpires: M Best and A Knight.
Third umpire: M McCormack.
Fourth umpire: S Caines.
Match referee: R Dill.