Somerset retain cup after St George’s hang tough for draw
Wellington Oval (St George’s won toss): match drawn
Champions Somerset retained their trophy after the 121st Cup Match fizzled out to a tame draw at Wellington Oval on Friday.
St George’s finished the match on 242 for six in their second innings, with a lead of 57, as they were forced to follow on after making 219 in pursuit of Somerset’s first innings of 404 all out.
The result was enough to ensure the coveted trophy takes up residence in the West End for at least another year, much to the pleasure of coach Jeff Richardson.
“It feels great to have retained the cup and I had no doubt as I always felt we were the stronger team ,” he told The Royal Gazette. “We just came here and did what we had to do to retain the cup.
“The onus is not on us to win the cup every time we come to St George’s. We try to win it and if we don’t win it, we’re not going to lose it.”
Jordan DeSilva, the Somerset captain, was also delighted to maintain custody of the trophy.
“It was unfortunate we didn’t get the win but going home with the trophy when you come down east is never a bad thing. I thought it was a good Cup Match and overall I am happy with the way the guys played.”
There was confusion surrounding the end of play when Somerset’s players left the field thinking the game was over after St George’s star all-rounder Delray Rawlins reached a second fifty on the day.
Play finally resumed after a lengthy delay following discussions between opposing teams and match officials.
“The umpires made a decision that they were not in power to make,” Richardson said.
“Essentially they decided to call the match without conferring with the two captains, so they conferred with the two captains and St George’s captain Onias Bascome said he wanted to bat the 20 overs, so we had to continue.”
St George’s then lost four quick wickets in the space of three overs, with Rawlins (73) and Macai Simmons (59) among the casualties before Zeko Burgess (39) thumped five sixes off left-arm spinner Derrick Brangman in the final over of the match to keep the crowd entertained.
St George’s top scorer Rawlins dominated a 112-run partnership with Simmons as the hosts set about wiping away their arrears.
Simmons reached his fifty off 53 balls and Rawlins off 22 before the pair were dismissed in the space of three balls. Brangman with three for 120 was Somerset’s chief wicket-taker in the St George’s second innings.
The East Enders were forced to follow on after being dismissed for 219 in their first innings, leaving them 185 runs shy of Somerset’s massive total.
Brangman and Dion Stovell inflicted the heaviest damage with the ball as they claimed eight wickets between them. Brangman again led the way with five for 48 while off spinner Stovell took three for 20.
Rawlins, the Bermuda captain and former Sussex all-rounder, also topped the St George’s batting in their first innings with 78.
The middle-order batter pierced the gaps with some robust strokeplay and rode his luck after being dropped twice, including down the ground by Tre Manders who only succeeded in helping the ball over the boundary rope for six to bring up Rawlins’s fifty off 46 balls right on the stroke of lunch.
Allan Douglas Jr (35), colt Azende Furbert (24), Simmons (24) and wicketkeeper Sinclair Smith (17) were the other St George’s batters making starts at the crease.
Somerset batted themselves in a strong position after being inserted on a damp pitch during Thursday’s opening day of play with Stovell leading the charge with a second straight hundred in the Annual Classic.
The right-hander thumped 139, which included fives sixes and nine fours.
Stovell led a fightback with some brilliant strokeplay around the wicket after Somerset had slipped to 36 for two, putting on 68 with opener Terryn Fray, 56 with fellow all-rounder Kamau Leverock and 90 with wicketkeeper Steven Bremar Jr.
Stovell reached his fifty off 90 balls and the hundred off another 60 balls. The player’s masterful innings was interrupted when he retired hurt after being struck on the right foot by a Burgess yorker, but he returned later to put a demoralised St George’s attack to the sword.
Stovell’s 178-ball stay at the crease was not without its share of luck as he survived two run-out attempts and offered two catches on the way to his highest score in the summer spectacle.
He was eventually the last Somerset wicket to fall in their only turn at bat 25 minutes before the scheduled cut-off time.
Somerset received useful contributions throughout their order with vice-captain Terryn Fray (65) and recalled wicketkeeper Steven Bremar Jr (64) stroking fifties. Also among the runs were batter Alje Richardson (44) and Leverock (38).
Seamer Burgess (four for 59) and off spinner Douglas (four for 95) were the pick of a St George’s attack that was called for seven no-balls with Rawlins among the chief offenders.
St George’s had plenty cause for optimism after removing star batters Chris Douglas and Tre Manders cheaply during the morning’s play but saw all of their hard work come undone as poor fielding and loose bowling took its toll.
After spending virtually the entire day chasing leather in the field, St George’s were left with one over to face and made the worst possible start when opener Treadwell Gibbons Jr was bowled when offering no stroke to Leverock from the second ball of the innings.
This brought nightwatchman Brian Hall to the crease, who along with fellow colt Furbert saw the hosts to stumps without further damage. However, wickets fell at regular intervals when play resumed the next morning as Stovell and Brangman kept the pressure on before St George’s were dismissed in their first innings just before tea.
This left Somerset with an entire session to try and claim the remaining ten wickets needed to achieve a third successive victory but that ultimately proved beyond their reach.
Somerset: First Innings
C Douglas c Smith b Burgess 3
T Fray b Douglas 65
T Manders c Simmons b Rawlins 9
A Richardson lbw b R Trott 44
D Stovell b Douglas 139
K Leverock c Rawlins b Burgess 38
†S Bremar c Simmons b Douglas 64
*J DeSilva c Smith b Burgess 7
M Jones lbw b Douglas 13
D Brangman c C Trott b Burgess 5
M Walker not out 2
Extras (b 2, lb 1, nb 6, w 1) 10
Total (94.2 overs) 404
Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-36, 3-94, 4-160, 5-216, 6-242, 7-277, 8-367, 9-372.
Bowling: Burgess 18-3-72-4; Rawlins 19-0-86-1; R Trott 15-4-44-1; C Trott 7-1-29-0; Hall 9-0-43-0; Douglas 18-1-95-4; Simmons 6-1-25-0; Gibbons 3-0-10-0.
St George’s: First Innings
T Gibbons Jr b Leverock 0
A Furbert st Bremar b Brangman 24
B Hall c Fray b Walker 4
M Simmons lbw b Stovell 24
D Rawlins b Brangman 78
*O Bascome c Brangman b Stovell 1
C Trott c Brangman b Stovell 9
A Douglas Jr c Walker b Brangman 35
R Trott b Brangman 7
†S Smith c Stovell b Brangman 17
Z Burgess not out 11
Extras (b 5, lb 3, nb 1) 9
Total (58 overs) 219
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-12, 3-33, 4-59, 5-67, 6-122, 7-149, 8-165, 9-190.
Bowling: Leverock 10-0-46-1; Walker 9-2-32-1; Jones 10-4-32-0; Brangman 14-2-48-5; Stovell 9-2-20-3; DeSilva 6-0-33-0.
St George’s: Second Innings
T Gibbons Jr lbw b Stovell 22
A Furbert c and b Leverock 1
M Simmons c Fray b Brangman 59
D Rawlins c Richardson b Brangman 73
A Douglas c DeSilva b Manders 21
C Trott c Fray b Brangman 16
B Hall not out 2
Z Burgess not out 39
Extras (b 8, lb 1) 9
Total (6 wkts; 30 overs) 242
†S Smith, R Trott and *O Bascome did not bat
Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-52, 3-164, 4-165, 5-189, 6-203.
Bowling: Leverock 3-1-8-1; Walker 3-0-12-0; Stovell 6-1-19-1; Brangman 12-0-120-3; Jones 4-0-42-0; Fray 1-0-11-0; Manders 1-0-21-1.
Umpires: E Carrington and S Caines.
Third umpire: M McCormack.
Fourth umpire: A Cumberbatch.
Match manager: L Williams.