Celebration: Dexter Basden gets congratulated after reaching his century against PHC on Saturday. *Photo by Ras Mykkal
Celebration: Dexter Basden gets congratulated after reaching his century against PHC on Saturday. *Photo by Ras Mykkal

WEDNESDAY, JULY 6: Facing the new ball was the last thing Willow Cuts’ stalwart Dexter Basden expected on the eve of his team’s recent Western Counties clash with PHC.

As one of the most senior players in the team, Basden had originally planned to bat further down the order.

But with so much at stake, Cuts’ coach Rodney Fubler urged his evergreen nephew to open the innings and “lead from the front” in the absence of suspended skipper Malachi Jones.

As it turned out, Fubler made the right call as Basden responded with a swashbuckling century, to lay the foundation for Cuts’ 30-run win at Somerset Cricket Club.

Suspended

Basden said: “I have been batting at number seven this season.

“But the coach said if I am going to play I am going to have to open the innings because I am not a number seven or eight batsman.

“He said we didn’t have a leader at the time because Malachi is ineligible to play and so he felt I was the man to do the job.

“The coach said I had to lead from the front, and I did just that.”

The former Somerset Cup Match skipper and selector blasted 12 fours and seven sixes in a game-high knock of 115 from 129 deliveries.

Basden’s century arrived off 117 deliveries in 150 minutes on a freshly cut batting strip.

The veteran batsman said his latest milestone ranks right up there among his career best.

“It’s always special to score a century because a lot of players play for years without getting one.

“Whenever I score a century it’s always special — no matter who I’m playing against.”

Along with Bermuda international Chris Douglas (58), Basden produced 137-runs for the first-wicket in 27 overs to give the challengers a solid platform to build upon.

He said: “Chris showed a lot of maturity, he is an excellent batsman. He talks to you and knows when the run is on.

“He is easy to bat with and he actually coached me along when I was close to my century.”

Superb

Cuts eventually posted 292 for eight in their allotted 50 overs.

Kamau Leverock (two for 45) and Keishon Wilson (two for 72) were the pick of the PHC bowlers.

In their turn at the crease PHC replied with 262 for nine, with skipper Jason Anderson gathering an unbeaten 94 from 129 balls in 208 minutes to lead the run chase in a losing cause.

Pace ace George O’Brien jr led the Cuts’ bowling with superb figures of three for 36 from ten overs.

The Bermuda international claimed two-wickets in his first spell before grabbing another in his second to earn the praise of Basden.

“It makes a big difference when you have bowlers like George in your team. A lot of our bowlers feed off of him and if he gets early wickets the whole team feeds off that.”

O’Brien was ably supported by Deunte Darrell, who bagged three wickets for 53 runs.

Cuts will now defend their crown against Somerset Bridge in this Saturday’s third round at Somerset.