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St George’s bounce back into title contention with win over Cleveland

Q'Shai Darrell, right, produced superb spell of bowling

Wellington Oval (Cleveland won toss): St George’s beat Cleveland by five wickets

St George’s continued to demonstrate their might against would-be challengers as they brushed aside Cleveland by five wickets to affirm their championship aspirations in the Premier Division 50 overs competition.

With St David’s having lost their first match of the season on Saturday but winning on Sunday, both east-end sides appear primed for a second-half title challenge.

After St George’s dispatched defending champions Bailey’s Bay before 4pm last Sunday, Cleveland found themselves put to the sword half an hour earlier than their Eastern Counties counterparts.

“We just didn’t bring it as a team and as a whole today,” Cleveland captain Mackih McGowan said of his side’s capitulation on the day, noting there has been a season-long struggle to fill the player roster.

“It’s been an up-and-down season and very different from last year. It’s something that we have met with each other and have been talking about as a team and something we would like to rectify.

“Quite often there are situations where life intervenes in ways that cannot be easily controlled or sorted out, so we’re just trying to get past this rough patch and end the season on a high.”

There was little to predict the coming collapse as Cleveland began with two modest partnerships. Dion Stovell and Treadwell Gibbons put on 30 runs for the first wicket before the former was caught by wicketkeeper Sinclair Smith off right-arm seamer Abdul Salam.

Gibbons (34) and Steven Bremar (ten) marched the score to 57 when in-form Zeko Burgess undid Gibbons, trapping him in front and triggering a Cleveland calamity.

From 57 for two the men from Harris Bay tumbled to 120 all out, with Q’Shai Darrell exacting the most measure against his former team with remarkable figures of three for three from just five overs of medium pace, including three maidens.

“Going out there and looking at the wicket, it was nice and hard with a lot of grass on top, so I knew that you would get quite a good bite or movement off the seam,” Darrell said.

“I’ve been bowling well, just looking to hit my targets and stay consistent. It paid off today.”

Burgess and Salam joined in the wicket-taking exercise, claiming three scalps apiece, the latter costing 29, while the former gave up 44 runs.

Turning to bat, St George’s, as has been the case for much of the year, started in a patiently aggressive fashion, with Oronde Bascome (ten) and Nzari Paynter in no rush to reach the sub-par target.

Bascome’s dismissal brought in Jonté Smith (42 not out), who pounced on anything loose and of length. Smith’s unbeaten innings was a thing of beauty with straight drives to both long on and long off punctuated by angled punches through cover and the occasional leg-side clip, none of which offered options to the fielding side.

Even as Onias Bascome gave his customary slog-sweep cameo, causing more than a few spectators on the boundary to run for cover, it was Smith’s innings that won the day, a massive pull for six followed by a perfectly weighted drive to the long-off boundary ending matters.

“We went into today’s game knowing what we had to do after St David’s had that slip-up yesterday,” said Onias Bascome, the St George’s captain.

“It was very important that we came prepared, got ourselves in the right mindset and took the game seriously. Everybody knew that we had to go out there and get the job done.

“Up front Cleveland did get off to a pretty good start, but we worked hard and stuck to the task, using the bowling variation that we have.

“Abdul got the wicket of Dion Stovell for the second time this year, which is always vital. He’s just been superb for us this year, bringing something different to the table and he’s very controlled and effective.

“Q’Shai bowls a bit slower with some more spin and he did something today a lot of people probably didn’t think he could do, but he brings many things to this team and he showed it today.

“As for the batting, our top order have really set the tone this year for us and made it a lot easier for the likes of myself coming in at four. Being able to come in knowing we have a good start allows me to bat more free.”


Cleveland County

D Stovell c Smith b Salam 14

T Gibbons lbw b Burgess 34

†S Bremar c Simmons b Salam 10

K Whorms c Simmons b Q Darrell 1

*M McGowan c Burgess b Q Darrell 1

A Douglas b Burgess 6

J Darrell b Burgess 6

T Tucker not out 26

I Greaves b Salam 1

K Trott b Q Darrell 1

T Robinson c Salam b Simmons 6

Extras (lb 3, nb 2, w 9) 14

Total (32.3 overs) 120

Fall of wickets: 1-30, 2-57, 3-62, 4-69, 5-69, 6-82, 7-83, 8-96, 9-109.

Bowling: Burgess 10-1-44-3; S Darrell 6-0-35-0; Salam 10-1-29-3; Q Darrell 5-3-3-3; Simmons 2-1-6-1.

St George’s

N Paynter b Greaves 36

Oronde Bascome c Bremar b Greaves 10

J Smith not out 42

Onias Bascome c Bremar b Greaves 25

M Simmons b Greaves 1

A Salam c Whorms b Stovell 0

Q Darrell not out 0

Extras (w 7) 7

Total (5 wkts; 18.5 overs) 121

†S Smith, Z Burgess, C Darrell and S Darrell did not bat

Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-67, 3-107, 4-110, 5-111.

Bowling: Douglas 3-0-14-0; Stovell 6-1-20-1; Greaves 6.5-0-60-4; Gibbons 2-0-11-0; Tucker 1-0-16-0.

Umpires: R Dill and A Cumberbatch

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Published June 23, 2024 at 8:34 pm (Updated June 23, 2024 at 8:34 pm)

St George’s bounce back into title contention with win over Cleveland

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