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Swashbuckling Simmons and barnstorming Burgess put Western Stars to sword

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Zeko Burgess tore through Western Stars’ top order

Sea Breeze Oval (Western Stars won toss): St George’s beat Western Stars by 157 runs

St George’s assumed position at the top of the Premier Division after a demolition of would-be challengers Western Stars on the sunswept coast in Bailey’s Bay.

Stars’ second weekend as tenants at Sea Breeze was not as successful as the first, when they acted as ungracious hosts in beating reigning 50 overs kings, landlords Bay, in a thriller.

But on Sunday, St George’s, last season’s T20 league champs, administered a pummeling on their would-be challengers.

Coach Clay Smith, while acknowledging the result, continued to lobby for the league to be extended to two rounds rather than one.

“It’s put us in a good position, but to be fair we’re still pushing for two wins,” said Smith.

“You might think that in this position we would be satisfied with one round because our position would make it easier to win the league.

“But no, we want two rounds of 50 overs, because that’s what cricket needs in Bermuda. Even though we’re in this position, we still want two rounds of cricket.

“I’m very proud of the guys. They have been putting in a lot of work over the past few months and all people are seeing right now are the fruits of their labour from the commitment they’ve made.”

After Macai Simmons came in at No 5, with the score at 61 for three, an early slide was halted as he battered Stars’ bowling attack into submission.

With equal disdain Simmons spared no bowler and mixed patience and aggression during a positive innings, offering no chances on his way to 95, which featured an even boundary split of ten with five fours and five sixes.

Not even the fearsome Kamau Leverock was granted favour, with his three wickets earned at a cost of 97 runs.

“For me it boils down to the team,” said Simmons of his innings.

“I was batting for the team. Instead of being selfish I wanted us to get a respectable total to defend. Just staying in and sticking there to help the club make runs.”

Simmons partnered Sinclair Smith (20) for a 47-run sixth-wicket partnership to take St George’s to 144, when Smith became Seth Campbell’s lone wicket, giving a return catch to the seamer.

However, the respite was brief, as Simmons put on 34 for the seventh wicket with Charles Trott (13), before he and master blaster Zeko Burgess (56) commenced closing the innings with a torrent of maximums.

Simmons was eventually fell bowled by Leverock just three runs short of a deserved hundred.

“It’s a bit disappointing not to reach a hundred,” Simmons said.

“I wasn’t aware that I was in the 90s. I thought I was somewhere in the 80s. But, either way, once I get to 80 I expect to get a hundred.

“That’s how it goes, but there’s still many more games to go and do better.”

Burgess took the loss of Simmons as his opportunity to unleash, dominating a 33-run eighth-wicket partnership with Q’Shai Darrell, who did not contribute a run during a stand in which Burgess commandeered the strike for all but one ball.

“I used to play here for Bay, so I know the pitch and I know the field,” Burgess said of his fireworks. That gives me confidence and I back myself to do what I know how to do.”

New St George’s player Abdul Salam

Burgess kept the crowd excited as he created a nest for the ball over cow corner. Beautiful in its brutality, his lightning half century comprised seven sixes and two fours.

Stars appeared intimidated by the total of 280 and their nervous ambition proved costly against a St George’s attack given runs to work with and a craving for the top spot.

Early departures for Leverock (one) and Tomiko Wilson for a golden duck, left Stars reeling early at three for two.

With little abatement the collapse continued, as captain Tre Manders (nine) and Brian Hall (four) fell cheaply, while opener Jason Anderson (9) retired hurt for the first time.

Anderson’s right-hand was damaged by a quick delivery from Burgess that reared and struck the batter, earning the bowler a warning for pitching short.

Brian Hall is bowled by Zeko Burgess

Anderson would return in the 27th over with the score 85 for eight, but did not last long with the injury to his right hand too much to bear.

Stars were eventually all out for 104, with Jamori Manders top scoring with 21 from 40 balls, while Seion Darrell was next best with 13. Phillip Thomas (12 not out) and Campbell (10) were the only other batters in double figures.


St George’s v Western Stars

Sea Breeze Oval (Western Stars won toss): St George’s beat Western Stars by 156 runs

St George’s

N Paynter c Wilson b Leverock 22

Oronde Bascome b Thomas 13

J Smith b Smith 6

*Onias Bascome run out 16

M Simmons b Leverock 97

A Salam b Thomas 7

†S Smith c and b Campbell 20

C Trott c Leverock b Davis 13

Z Burgess c Wilson b Leverock 56

Q Darrell not out 0

S Darrell not out 0

Extras (b 4, lb 3, nb 4, w 19) 30

Total (9 wkts; 50 overs) 280

Fall of wickets: 1-36, 2-48, 3-61, 4-87, 5-97, 6-144, 7-178, 8-247, 9-280.

Bowling: Campbell 10-1-60-1; Leverock 10-0-97-1; Hall 10-1-26-0; Smith 5-0-25-1; Thomas 5-0-24-2; Davis 10-1-42-1.

Western Stars

J Anderson retired hurt 9

K Leverock b Burgess 1

T Wilson b Burgess 0

*T Manders c Oronde Bascome b Burgess 9

B Hall b Burgess 4

S Campbell c Burgess b Salam 10

S Darrell c Smith b Salam 13

N Smith b S Darrell 1

†J Manders b Trott 21

P Thomas not out 12

R Davis b Smith 9

Extras (b 1, lb 3, nb 5, w 6) 15

Total (9 wkts; 32.3 overs) 104

Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-3, 3-16, 4-20, 5-43, 6-45, 7-56, 8-85, 9-104.

Bowling: Burgess 8.1-1-29-4; S Darrell 10.1-4-15-1; Salam 7-0-27-2; Oronde Bascome 1-0-10-0; Q Darrell 2-0-4-0; Trott 2-0-5-1; Paynter 1-0-1-0; Smith 1.3-0-9-1.

Umpires: E Carrington and A Knight

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Published May 13, 2024 at 7:59 am (Updated May 13, 2024 at 7:59 am)

Swashbuckling Simmons and barnstorming Burgess put Western Stars to sword

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