Somerset end season on high by thrashing St David’s
Somerset Cricket Club (St David’s won toss): Somerset beat St David’s by ten wickets
Somerset capped off their 2023 Athene Premier Division T20 campaign in fine fashion, routing an outmanned St David’s yesterday.
From the moment St David’s appeared at the venue with only nine players the writing was etched on the wall and what played out on the field unfurled as a mere formality, with their relegation to the First Division emphatically confirmed.
An uneventful first over promised only to deceive as to the fate that awaited St David’s, with the next three yielding as many wickets after Azar Morrissey and eventual man of the match Dominic Sabir instigated an early-order collapse that never relented.
Once Chris Pitcher fell victim in the second over to a shoelace catch by Jermel Proctor at mid-off from the bowling of Sabir for one, a non-stop procession to and from the sidelines commenced, with the opener soon followed by Aaron Paynter (five) and Isaiah O’Brien (six), leaving the Islanders reeling at 20 for three.
Respite came in the fifth and sixth overs but would be brief as apart from a battling, top knock of 16 from Eugene Ball, the middle fell out and the tail wagged only a touch, with captain Justin Pitcher (13) and Cejay Outerbridge (four not out) delaying the inevitable with an eighth-wicket stand of 13.
Three Somerset bowlers took a brace apiece, with Greg Maybury leading the way with figures of two for two, while Sabir (two for eight) and Jermel Proctor (two for 15) joined in the fun.
If the batting was miserable, the fielding was made only more bearable by the speed in which Somerset executed the chase of a below-par target, needing just 7.1 overs to complete victory.
The urgency was the result of a brilliant display of power hitting by Sabir, who hit 47 runs from a mere 26 balls, including a six and six fours.
The opener’s only mistake was that he miscalculated the number of balls left in the seventh over, turning down a single that would have given him the strike to start the eighth and with it went the opportunity to reach a well deserved half century.
Instead it was Matt Fullerton (seven) who, without trying, hit his lone boundary to mercifully end the affair.
“It was always a small total to chase, 62, and I wasn’t on fully but I played some good shots towards the end,” said Sabir, who produced a strike-rate in excess of 180.
“I miscalculated the balls in the second-last over, but it was nothing dramatic. I’ve made a lot of fifties in the past, so it was not a big thing for me not to reach it, but to have both of us not out at the end of the last game of the season was a good way to finish.”
Similarly pleased with the manner in which his men brought down the curtain was Somerset captain Jordan DeSilva, who expressed satisfaction with what he calculated as a third-place finish.
“T20 has been a format where we have fund our niche the last couple of years,” said DeSilva, who captained his final game for Somerset after announcing his relinquishing of the position recently.
“I think we have finished in the top three the last three or four years running and I believe this win guaranteed us third place.
“That’s a good way to finish, where we had full teams for both matches this weekend and we’re able to put together a strong performance yesterday and again today.
“We still want to work on the 50 overs for next year, but we can’t have too many complaints about the Twenty20.”
Conversely, the St David’s camp was one of disappointment in the minds of players and coaches alike, with the once dominant club that has cricket at its core, not remotely resembling the proud heritage they have long been known for.
A T20 season that seemed to offer promise, following promotion from the lower reaches, delivered little success as they registered just a single victory in nine matches, with Sunday’s result a carbon copy of the rest.
Coach Ricky Brangman told of a season of pure struggle, where work commitments, overseas migration and frequent unavailability of senior players critically disabled the roster and the team’s chances of survival.
“We have a young team and are rebuilding, but I’m very disappointed this year, because our senior players are working and haven’t been around,” said Brangman, who enjoyed major success as a player for Southampton Rangers and Bermuda.
“We’re trying our best to bring the youngsters through but they need guidance from playing with the senior players.
“The senior players have to be good to their clubs as mentors and by showing the youngsters the way.
“I understand work commitments, but we can’t progress how we would like, constantly playing short, which is frustrating for other players that are committed and giving their all.
“It’s been our problem all year being short, and there’s little you can do about that.
“So I tell our players to keep their heads up, ‘We’ve gone down to the First Division but remain in the 50 overs, and the hope is that everybody will be back next year to help us out.”
A Paynter b Morrissey 5
C Pitcher c Proctor b Sabir 1
I O’Brien b Sabir 6
E Ball c Richardson b Maybury 16
†S Robinson c Richardson b Maybury 1
Z Gibbons-Deshield b Proctor 3
E Minks c Sabir b Richardson 6
C Outerbridge not out 4
J Pitcher c Maybury b Proctor 13
Extras (nb 2, w 5) 7
Total (8 wkts, 14 overs) 62
Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-16, 3-20, 4-32, 5-35, 6-41, 7-49.
Bowling: Caesar 1-0-10-0; Sabir 2-0-8-2; Morrissey 2-0-14-1; Maybury 2-1-2-2; Albertze 2-0-7-0; Proctor 3-1-15-2; Richardson 2-0-6-1,
D Sabir not out 47
M Fullerton not out 7
Extras (b 8, w 3) 11
Total (0 wkts, 7.1 overs) 65
JD Albertze, S Caesar, J DeSilva, K Leverock, G Maybury, A Morrissey, J Proctor, A Richardson and I Richardson did not bat
Bowling: Outerbridge 3-0-16-0; J Pitcher 3-0-20-0; Ball 1-0-17-0; Gibbons-DeShiels 0.1-0-4-0
Umpires: R Dill and J Pitcher
Match referee: C Waldron