Weather, specifically persistent rain showers, stood as the dominant factor on day one of Cup Match, with frequent match stoppages the order of the day.
During the moments when play was possible St. George’s offered promise early but such efforts were rebuffed by Somerset led by the brutally, elegant stroke play of centurion Chris Douglas. In the beginning Bascome brothers Oronde and team captain Onias, scored freely against a loose Somerset attack when all seemed well.
Oronde, surprisingly recalled as an opener despite never having lived up to expectations in previous editions of the Classic, found his stride producing an array of fine drives, while Oronde took his moment to carve up an attack featuring Greg Maybury, Malachi Jones and Kamau Leverock.
The pair came together for the third wicket after both Temeko Wilson and Rodney Trott found themselves banished to the pavilion, leaving the home team at 46-for-two. But the Bascomes proceeded to rectify matters with a half-century partnership before Onias was dismissed by orthodox left-arm spinner Derrick Brangman, who induced a catch to Leverock.
Looking to erase horror filled memories of a ‘pair’ achieved on debut Detroy Smith morphed into alter ego ‘Destroy’, as he and Oronde kept the scorers busy until the lunch break.
But, while the first session tilted the way of the challengers, such was a promise borne of deception as post lunch witnessed the champions engineer a swift collapse as Smith spectacularly had his off and middle stumps sent cartwheeling by Leverock, Allan Douglas and Justin Pitcher were cheap victims and Bascome agonizingly missed what would have been his maiden half century.
Leverock, who ended with two wickets in total, was joined in the taking of scalps by Jones who, in his second spell, decimated the lower order taking four quick wickets and severely impacting what had the promise of a formidable first innings total.
Dion Stovell was responsible for the other wicket to fall. What had earlier looked like a stroll toward the region of a triple century turned into a murky plod of desperation to reach half that.
St. George’s declared their innings closed at 145-8 while holding hope that they could make a meaningful dent into Somerset’s Defence, but even as Terryn Fray was given out early in harsh circumstances, fellow opener Douglas slashed and crashed balls to the far reaches of Wellington Oval and beyond beginning with a pulled six out of the grounds to totally erase such utopian based hopes.
Fray was given out caught after playing at a waist high full toss from Justin Pitcher, but the umpires had missed a distracting foreign object flying off from Pitchers bowling arm at the point of delivery which should have rendered the play dead.
Tre Manders joined Douglas and the pair dominated all bowlers on their way to an unfinished century second wicket partnership that well placed the side at 138-for-one going into DaysTwo.
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