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Dion Stovell and JJ Nel star as Eastern Counties win all-star match

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JJ Nel scored 74 for the Eastern Counties All-Stars (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

White Hill Field (ECCA All-Stars won toss): ECCA All-Stars beat WCCA All-Stars by 107 runs

A free-scoring Eastern Counties All-Stars stamped their names as the first winners of this fixture with a 107-run victory over their Western Counties opponents on Saturday.

Half-centuries from the east’s Jan-Johan Nel and Jarryd Richardson, scorers of 74 and 65 respectively, laid the foundation for a solid total of 254.

However, what seemed a not insurmountable task for the west’s batting line-up became the impossible on account of accurate bowling from an eastern attack led by experienced campaigners Dion Stovell and George O’Brien Jr.

Selected as much to act as mentors for the bands of youth as for their ability to perform, Stovell and O’Brien’s limited-overs savvy offered lessons in the art of restriction via wicket-to-wicket bowling that pressured batters into surrendering to rash strokeplay, thus facilitating a regular procession to and from the pavilion.

After the match Stovell was more gleeful towards the Western Counties Cricket Association having shaped such a great event from a negative situation, turning PHC’s withdrawal into a Saturday spectacular.

“I think the Western Counties did well to put the east select against the west select,” said Stovell of what was the brainchild of WCCA president Theresa Burrows.

“They were, obviously, two teams of up-and-coming youngsters and I thought it was a well played, even and exciting game.”

Wicketkeeper Ajani Lee appeals (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

“I thought Jarryd Richardson batted really well. Dalin [Richardson] batted well and there were guys from both sides that had outstanding performances, which indicates that we’re going in the right direction.

“It’s up to the guys to stick to it, with the right mindset to train hard in order to perfect their craft and really study the game, because the talent is there.”

The brilliance in the strategy of including Stovell shone brightest during the third-wicket batting partnership he shared with Nel, in which he showed a willingness to curb overt aggression in order to form a productive partnership at a vulnerable time.

The pair came together with ECCA at 54 for two following the sudden loss of openers Q’Shai Darrell (10) and Sharye Tavares (34).

The lithe, fleet-footed Nel and still spry Stovell (21), whose personal total contained just a single boundary, ran swiftly, smartly and effectively between the wickets, maximising the effects of an expansive outfield to keep the scoreboard ticking as they played their way to safety, together putting on 59 runs before Stovell’s job was done at 112.

Q’Shai Darrell picks up the trophy as captain of the winning all-stars match

Nevertheless, the undoubted lead batting role was played by Nel, who was a major provider of entertainment once he loosed the shackles, bashing two fours and five soaring sixes from his bat.

“It was nice to bat with Dion and Jarryd because they rotate the strike, said Nel, who plays league cricket for Flatts Victoria.

“I don’t like getting stuck down at one end and they both like to rotate the strike and keep things ticking over, which takes a lot of the pressure off. Apart from that I just played each ball on merit.

“As a top-order batsman I back myself and believe that if I stay at the crease for an extended period of time I’ll get a score at a run a ball.

“Again, it was nice to bat with Dion, because he’s quick between the wickets, we were able to turn ones into two and that really helped to build momentum.”

The flow of runs escalated further when Richardson joined proceedings, with he and Nel further fortifying their team’s position with 96 runs for the fourth wicket, taking the east past the 200 mark.

“JJ was just looking to take his time and pick out the bad balls, so when I went out there was a platform already set where I could just kick on and build an innings with him,” said Richardson, a member of Bermuda’s senior T20 unit.

“We were pretty solid together and were able to communicate well, work our way in and create a partnership.

“The situation when I came in allowed me to play with an open mind and hit the ball when I wanted to.”

Meanwhile, the top scorer of the match came from the WCCA All-Stars, with captain Dalin Richardson reminding of his pedigree with a ravishing 82.

Bowlers of note for the west were Antonio Darrell, who collected three for 33, Samir Tavares with two for 38 and Kevon Fubler, who registered figures of two for 29.


Eastern Counties

Q Darrell lbw b Fubler 10

S Tavares c Wilson b A Darrell 34

JJ Nel c Tavares b Raynor 74

D Stovell c Lee b McIntosh 21

†J Richardson b Tavares 65

I O’Brien b Fubler 0

J Darrell run out 0

G O’Brien lbw b A Darrell 10

J Burgess b Tavares 0

S Robinson c Richardson b A Darrell 7

J Douglas not out 0

Extras (w 30, nb 6, b 2, lb 3) 41

Total (48.1 overs) 262

Nekoda Bascome, Zakao Hart, Shaquille Pitcher and Keith Whorms did not bat

Fall of wickets: 1-53, 2-54, 3-113, 4-209, 5-212, 6-215, 7-235, 8-243, 9-262.

Bowling: Tavares 7-0-38-2; Wilson 4.1-1-35-0; A Darrell 6.1-0-33-3; Fubler 10-0-29-2; McIntosh 4-0-36-1; Douglas 8-0-39-0; Horan 3-0-13-0; Basden 2-0-18-0; Richardson 0.5-0-9-0; Raynor 3-0-7-1.

Western Counties

N Raynor c Richardson b G O’Brien 7

O DeShields lbw b Whorms 24

Z Tomlinson lbw b J Darrell 0

D Richardson b Stovell 82

A Darrell b G O’Brien 11

L Horan b Stovell 3

C Basden b Stovell 0

K Fubler run out 2

†A Lee b I O’Brien 0

K Wilson not out 0

S Tavares b I O’Brien 2

Extras (w 13, nb 2, b 1, lb 7) 24

Total (38.4 overs) 155

Jaloni Albuoy, Luke Fulton, Callum McIntosh, Shawn Riley, Jayden Spencer, Noel Woods, Cadence Douglas did not bat

Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-13, 3-79, 4-135, 5-149, 6-149, 7-151, 8-153, 9-153.

Bowling: G O’Brien 10-4-23-2; J Darrell 4-1-15-1; Douglas 3-0-17-0; Burgess 4-0-13-0; Tavares 2-0-14-0; Whorms 4-0-16-1; Pitcher 3-0-19-0; Stovell 7-1-26-3; I O’Brien 1.4-0-3-2

Umpires: A Knight and D Smith

Third Umpire: R Dill

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Published August 28, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated August 28, 2023 at 8:00 am)

Dion Stovell and JJ Nel star as Eastern Counties win all-star match

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