Somerset celebrate retaining the cup. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
Somerset celebrate retaining the cup. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead

St George's salvaged some pride as they ultimately held off a Somerset victory charge to earn a draw in the 2013 Cup Match at Wellington Oval.

The trophy, though, deservedly stays with Jekon Edness’ team after they outplayed the hosts in all departments over the two days.

After racking up 370 for five declared thanks to fine centuries from Tre Manders and Janeiro Tucker — who became the all-time leading Cup Match runscorer — Somerset bowled St George’s out for 191 on day two.

The pace of Malachi Jones and spin of Jacobi Robinson was too much for the home side’s batting line-up, who despite a resilient 48 from Rodney Trott, were all out still  179 runs behind.

Unsurprisingly, Somerset stuck them in again and, as before, they struggled to cope with the bowling attack, with only skipper Oronde Bascome (43) looked likely to provide resistance early in the innings.

Somerset removed opener OJ Pitcher cheaply thanks to a superb piece of bowling from Jones, while Treadwell Gibbons (17) was then the focal point of some unpleasant scenes after disputing the umpire’s decision to give him out caught at slip.

Unsavoury

Young Gibbons even made a charge for the Somerset player huddle before Oronde Bascome intervened to calm the situation down. Unsavoury and unnecessary.

Christian Burgess went for a duck and and then a stunning piece of fielding from Kamau Leverock, whose direct throw ran out Onias Bascome, typified the gulf in ability between the two sides.

Onias' brother Oronde was then plum lbw to the bowling of history-maker Tucker to leave St George's 83 for five.

But Lionel Cann and Rodney took the sting out of the Somerset attack late on in fading light to avoid the humiliating prospect of a heavy defeat in their own backyard to leave the visitors five wickets short of victory.

Earlier in the day, barely 45 minutes of play was possible in the morning session before thunder, lightning and heavy rain delayed Somerset’s victory bid.

Cann hits 1,000 mark

Lionel Cann did, though, get the one run he needed to reach the 1,000 Cup Match runs mark and join an elite group that includes only Tucker, Charles Marshall, Wendell Smith and Clay Smith.

However, any shoots of a St George’s recovery were nipped in the bud thanks to rampaging Jones. The paceman was too much for Cann, who got his line wrong and sent a leading edge into the hands of the cover fielder Manders for 19

It left the home team 113 for six and still very much up against it if they wanted to reach the follow-on mark of 270.

Allan Douglas Jnr didn’t help that mission when a loose shot outside the off stump caught the edge and Jekon Edness took a sharp catch to dismiss him for just five off the bowling of Jones - his fourth wicket.

Justin Pitcher was the next man. And after some enterprising shots, he went the same way as Douglas – albeit it to a smart piece of bowling. Jacobi Robinson sent down a quicker delivery that kept low and he was sent back to the hutch lbw.

St George’s were eight down and it should have been nine when Jones spilled new man Lateef Trott. Trott made him pay immediately with a four and then a dreamy flick of his hips, which looped on to the corporate boxes for a six.

After a brief rain delay, Lateef Trott was sent packing for 10 by Robinson before some lusty blows from Rodney Trott pushed the score on past 180.

Trott was then crestfallen as, just two shots short off his half century, his stumps were rearranged by a rapid Kamau Leverock delivery for 48 to end the home side’s innings.

Somerset, at that point, sensed a first win in St George's in 32 years was close but, after a shaky start back out in the middle, the home side refused to buckle.