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Somerset Over 50s back from South Africa

Somerset Over 50s cricket team have just returned from a tour of South Africa where they were able to play several matches before coronavirus put paid to their remaining fixtures.

In their opening match Somerset played against Claremont Cricket Club where they recorded an emphatic nine wicket victory.

Batting first in the 30-over match, Claremont posted 124 for eight. Adrian Proctor, Chris Golding and Andy Fussell each claimed two wickets.

When Somerset replied, openers Ian Thomas (54) and Mike Caddick with set about the Claremont attack with an opening stand of 78 which got the reply off to a great start. It was left to Kevin Rogers (20 not out) to see the side home.

Next up was the match against Cape Town, which marked Tony Scott’s 100th Somerset Seniors appearance.
On the hottest day of the tour, captain Clive Hamblin lost the toss and was asked to field.

Opening bowlers Tom Gliddon and Ian Smith were put under early pressure but Smith claimed two quick wickets, and whilst the runs flowed wickets also fell. Gliddon claimed his first tour wickets, the first thanks to a fine stumping by Andy Stevens.

Tony Scott was the pick of the bowlers, ending with three for 19 from his four overs whilst there were two wickets each for Gliddon, Smith and Chris Brewer. The hosts were eventually bowled out for 161 in 24 overs.

In reply, Somerset lost opener Kev Rogers for six, before a second wicket partnership of 33 between Andy Stevens and Graham Poulton steadied the ship.

Andy Sapey then came to the wicket. He remained there until he had seen Somerset home. The Trull batsman added 42 with Stevens (26) and 39 with Ian Thomas (12). Despite two further wickets Sapey stood firm and stayed unbeaten on 58 as Somerset won with two overs to spare.

With the impending ban on all sports throughout South Africa, the tourists final match was a hastily arranged friendly against Loughborough MCCU behind closed doors.

No scores are officially available from this fixture but Loughborough came out on top using the game and the facilities for a physical training camp for all players in their squad.

It was tweeted that this was potentially the only game going on in the world and Loughborough showed their appreciation by purchasing well earned refreshments after the game.

The final two matches of the Somerset Over 50s tour were both cancelled due to sports restrictions imposed by the South African government.

The Bowler of the Tour was Adrian Proctor (Nailsea CC).

The Batsman of the Tour was Andy Sapey (Trull CC).

Back row left to right:

Andy Barrett (Umpire), Viv Barrett (Scorer), Tom Gliddon, Tony Scott, Mike Caddick, Chris Golding, Adrian Proctor, Andy Sapey, Brian Stone, Andy Stevens, Clive Hamblin (Capt).

Front row left to right:

Eddie Kane, John Boddy (Water Boy), Kev Rogers, Andy Fussell, Ian Thomas, Richard Newport, Graham Poulton (Tour Manager), Chris Brewer, Ian Smith.

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