Updated: Jul 24, 2022 2:14 AM
St George’s have again sounded the changes in a bid to end Somerset’s recent Cup Match dominance.
Beaten by ten wickets in the ‘Pandemic Classic’ at Wellington Oval in 2021, the East Enders made six changes, including the first call-ups of mid-order batsman Jonté Smith and seam bowler Jordan Burgess.
Jonté Smith, who was last seen on the big stage playing football for Bermuda, will make his Cup Match debut next week
Around this time last year, Smith was planning the pre-season of his professional football career. But coach Clay Smith’s son was one of the few to impress with the bat in a terrible final try, where the President’s XI was beaten for 69 in under 30 overs.
Jordan Burgess (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)
Set an artificial 250 to chase to give second set players a reasonable chance to impress, VP’s XI could only muster 153 overall, Smith scoring a team high 29 to set up a storyline event where the sons of both coaches will take to the field at Somerset Cricket Club this week as part of the country’s biggest sporting and cultural event.
Burgess, a very promising left-hand man who plays his cricket at Bailey’s Bay, gave a glimpse of what he can do but his selection would have been reasonably certain before yesterday.
There are recalls for OJ Pitcher, Treadwell Gibbons Jr, Macai Simmons and Zeko Burgess.
Pitcher, who struck two centuries for St David’s this season, did not feature in the trial due to sudden illness but given the carnage on display his stock would have risen in absentia – further exposing the myth that he must play in the final try to be considered for selection.
Gibbons and Simmons, so unlucky to miss last year when they injured themselves in the race for the annual Classic, were virtual shoo-ins – especially after Oronde Bascome’s season was cut short by injury and that Detroy Smith was ruled out in the past fortnight for reasons that remain unexplained by the club.
Burgess, the remaining recalled player, made his selection a certainty in the first hour of the trial when he collected four of the first five wickets to fall as the chairman’s XI collapsed to a shambolic 28 for seven on one good ground before Mackih McGowan and Dean Simons staged a temporary fightback.
Those who lost their places outside of Bascome and Smith were Temiko Wilson, 2021 colts Jamar Stovel and Isaiah Greaves, and 2019 MVP Justin Pitcher, who also missed the final try but did not receive the same license as his teammate from St David.
Somerset, meanwhile, remain a model of stability in selection with Western Stars captain Khiry Furbert replacing Steven Bremar as wicketkeeper in the champions’ only change.
Terryn Fray scored the only half of the day in the two test matches (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Stick quality on their last try was significantly better than what happened in the East End – but not significantly. The President’s XI went 171 all out and knocked out the Vice President’s XI for 137, Terryn Fray the only East or West hitter to reach fifty before retiring.
Those disappointed to miss out would include Dominic Sabir, who gave up his hand because of his inability to keep the ball on the ground early in his innings – although it took an exceptional comeback from Greg Maybury Jr. and the Rangers pacemaker from Southampton Nirobi Smith-Mills will have to wait another year after cracking their second victory.
Somerset: Jordan DeSilva (captain), Terryn Fray (vice-captain), Tre Manders, Chris Douglas, Kamau Leverock, Alje Richardson, Dion Stovell, Malachi Jones, Greg Maybury Jr, Derrick Brangman, Khiry Furbert (colt). Reservations: Dominic Sabir, Antonio Darrell, Macquille Walker.
Saint Georges : Onias Bascome (captain), Rodney Trott (vice-captain), Allan Douglas Jr, Sinclair Smith, Macai Simmons, Treadwell Gibbons Jr, George O’Brien Jr, Zeko Burgess, OJ Pitcher, Jonté Smith (colt), Jordan Burgess (colt ). Reservations: Zeri Tomlinson, Rohan Richards, Jarryd Richardson.
Referees: Mr Best and a knight.
Third referee: Mr McCormack.
Fourth referee: S Caines.
Match referee: Dill R.