The St. George’s team are the winners of the Adventist Cup Match Cricket game. [Photo: Ricardo Clarke]
Prophecies ran wild as the 11 churches of the Bermuda Conference gathered at the end of July to witness the first-ever Adventist Cup Match Cricket. Held at the Shelly Bay Field in Hamilton Parish, Team Somerset (in the west) sporting red and blue colors, and Team St George’s (in the east) wearing light blue and navy, met in the spirit of friendship to battle for the Cup. Gerald Simons captained Team St George’s, while Kenneth Manders captained Team Somerset. Would St. George’s be the victors, or would Somerset triumph? Time would tell!
Adventist Cup Match was organized by David Steede, II, Bermuda Conference Youth Ministries director and pastor of the Hamilton church. He had planned basketball and football league games for the youth, but when Manders, Bermuda Conference president, suggested he also consider cricket, the idea of the Adventist Cup Match was birthed.
Cup Match is deeply embedded in the Bermudian spirit and is always played between Somerset Cricket Club and St George’s Cricket Club. It is undoubtedly the biggest and most popular public holiday of the year and is celebrated on the Thursday and Friday closest to August 1. The first day of Cup Match honors Emancipation Day, August 1, 1834, and the abolition of slavery in Bermuda. The second day, Mary Prince Day, remembers Mary Prince, a once enslaved Bermudian who became a hero of the abolitionist movement in Britain.
Cricket is played with a bat and ball between two teams of 11 players: batters, bowlers, and wicket-keepers. Two umpires officiate the game. The object is for the bowler to take wickets. He does this if the batsman is bowled, caught, stumped, or run out. (Wickets are three wooden stumps stuck in the ground and spaced so that a cricket ball would not pass through them). While the batting team tries to score runs by running between two sets of wickets at each end of the pitch, the fielding team tries to stop them and record outs. The side that scores more runs wins.
The Adventist Cup Match comprised 30 overs (a set of six legitimate balls delivered by a selected bowler to the on-strike batsman of the opposing team). There were unlimited outs and only one inning per team. St. George’s won the toss and sent the Somerset team in to bat first. Somerset got off to an impressive start with opening batsmen Rohan Simons and Malachi Jones. Their partnership racked up 118 runs before the first wicket fell. Jones retired (gave up his opportunity to bat on), having scored 100. Following this, wickets tumbled quickly. After 30 overs, Somerset had scored 203 runs for the loss of 14 wickets.
St. George’s went to bat next, with Gerald Simons, Jr., and Dejon Carey opening their batting. Their partnership, after six overs, produced 74 runs before the first wicket fell. After 24.5 overs, St. George’s scored 204 for three wickets lost. A crushing defeat for team Somerset; a glorious win for team St. George’s.
Steede congratulated the winning team and described the match as thrilling, refreshing, clean-fun, and a wonderful fellowship with friends and family. He thanked the umpires, the players, the commentators, the volunteers, the supporters, and the vendors, which included the Pathfinders fundraising for the International Pathfinder Camporee in August 2024.