Lord’s (St George’s won toss): St David’s beat St George’s by three wickets

Dean Simons has promised to notch a century in the Eastern Counties Cup after falling just short as he helped St David’s to hand St George’s their first league defeat of the season.

Simons was dropped twice on his way to scoring 94 from 113 balls for an energetic St David’s side, who have now won two in a row in the Premier Division 50 Overs, but he made full use of those two lives provided by the St George’s fielders.

The opening batter’s departure in the 40th over led to a nervy end for St David’s, who eventually scrambled the winning run off the last ball.

Abdul Salam had the hopeless task of bowling that final over with St David’s needing one to win, but St George’s effected two run-outs amid a tense atmosphere before Justin Pitcher and Isaiah O’Brien got home safely to send the ground into pandemonium.

While those around him keep encouraging him to have belief in his talent, the 22-year-old Simons, who missed last season as he was at school overseas, was keen to make amends after being dismissed for three in his team’s win over Bailey’s Bay in their first match of the season.

“I went into this game not knowing what I was going to be able to do,’’ Simons said.

“My team-mates keep telling me to back myself as I’m a seasoned cricketer. I’ve been playing cricket for as long as I can remember but it feels good to know that I can do what I did.

“I know as an opening batsman I take a while to get off, but when I do, I get off. It was a great game, 50 overs in the field and then 40 overs batting. I was tired but after missing last year, it feels good to be back.

“After a year off cricket I felt like I had lost my style. I lost everything, but when I came to training, I worked to the best I can and realised that it was natural for me.

“For St David’s this is a major comeback and I’m loving it. It’s the energy, everything about St David’s, and they feel young again. Playing with a bunch of seasoned cricketers, they give me the energy that I need and I feel like they’re younger than me.

“It’s been a while since I made a lot of runs for St David’s. I’ll save the hundred for the Eastern County Cup. I’m just starting as it’s the second game of the season.”

Makai Young, who picked up three wickets, including the key dismissal of St George’s top scorer Nzari Paynter, displayed a lot of exuberance in the field.

The 32-year-old also took two catches, one of those a great effort when he ran some metres to take a catch off his own bowling to dismiss Onias Bascome, the St George’s captain, one run short of his half-century.

“I used to play for St George’s a few years back, so when you play against the top dogs you’ve got to bring your energy,’’ Young said.

“Onias is one of the top batsmen in the league and I’ve to put in 100 per cent, be it bowling or fielding against him.

“Nzari scored a fifty before I got his wicket. That was kind of a bad ball but he misjudged it, and it feels good to get a victory over the leaders.

“No matter who I play for, people look forward to the vibes I bring. I’m at St David’s to pay respect to my grandfather’s team. St David’s is in my blood, my grandfather was one of the players for the club and captained them.

“The coach is putting us through our paces and last year they had a rough time, but it will get better this year.

“We don’t want to count our eggs before they hatch but we should be all right. With the group of guys we’ve got, we should be fine because it’s all positive energy and lovely.

“We’ve been missing this, even the fans said that’s what we’ve been missing. They like the energy and if we keep showing up, right to the guys that carry the water for us, we’ll achieve a lot.”

Clay Smith, the St George’s coach, while disappointed with the match outcome, backed his team to recover quickly from the defeat.

“It’s a tough loss but we’ll bounce back, I’ve no doubt about that,’’ Smith said.

“After the start that we got with the bat, I thought we were about 50 runs short of what we should have got, but St David’s fought hard today and they gave it all on the field. They stopped boundaries and made it tough for us at the end.

“I take my hat off to my boys because we showed tremendous character right up to the last ball of the game.

“My boys didn’t give up and we just showed true championship qualities. We’ll come back even tougher next time and we look forward to the next match.”

Scorecard

St George’s

N Paynter c Simons b Young 64

Oronde Bascome c D Brangman b Paynter 25

J Smith b D Brangman 7

*Onias Bascome c and b Young 49

M Simmons c R Brangman b Young 9

C Trott lbw b O Pitcher 13

†S Smith c D Brangman b Stephens 16

A Salam c Paynter b O Pitcher 37

Z Burgess c Young b D Brangman 12

C Darrell c J Pitcher b D Brangman 16

S Darrell not out 1

Extras (b 4, lb 5, nb 1, w 12) 22

Total (49.3 overs) 271

Fall of wickets: 1-35, 2-60, 3-142, 4-165, 5-170, 6-190, 7-209, 8-227, 9-265.

Bowling: Stephens 10-0-57-1; Paynter 4-0-29-1; D Brangman 10-0-40-3; J Pitcher 7-0-32-0; Young 10-1-45-3; I O’Brien 3-0-29-0; O Pitcher 6-0-30-2

St David’s

M Scotland c C Darrell b Salam 15

D Simons st S Smith b Trott 94

O Pitcher c J Smith b Burgess 39

Okera Bascome run out 21

†R Brangman b Burgess 38

*D Brangman run out 41

D Stephens run out 7

J Pitcher not out 1

I O’Brien not out 0

Extras (b 4, lb 2, nb 1, w 9) 16

Total (7 wkts; 50 overs) 272

A Paynter and M Young did not bat

Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-124, 3-161, 4-199, 5-256, 6-271, 7-271.

Bowling: Burgess 10-0-56-2; S Darrell 10-1-41-0; Salam 10-1-37-1; J Smith 8-0-44-0; Paynter 2-0-23-0; Simmons 3.3-0-27-0; Trott 6.3-0-38-1.

Umpires: E Carrington and S Caines