Rangers suffer shock defeat by St George’s
St George’s kept the One Premier Division title race open going into the final weekend when they beat leaders Southampton Rangers by 13 runs in a thrilling match at Southampton Oval.
It was the first loss for Rangers since champions St David’s handed them a two-wicket defeat in their first 50-overs match on March 20.
St David’s, grateful for the win by their neighbours, will now await the Bermuda Cricket Board’s ruling on whether their recent rained out match against Bailey’s Bay will be rescheduled. No umpires were appointed for that match.
A damp wicket delayed yesterday’s match, which started at 12.30pm and was reduced to 42 overs. It was a good toss for Rangers to win, restricting St George’s to 153 after sending them in, only to be dismissed for just 140 themselves in 39.2 overs.
“I just feel good because we won today, leading up to Cup Match, which gives us a bit of momentum,” Macai Simmons, the St George’s captain, said. “Some of the top Somerset players play for Rangers.”
Despite the modest total against a Rangers team that scored 333 against Somerset Bridge in the Western Counties the previous weekend, St George’s had a look of determination about them from the opening over when Malachi Jones was bowled the first ball he faced from Detroy Smith.
Three overs later St George’s struck again when Shannon Rayner, the other opener, was caught at cover point by Nzari Paynter to make it 19 for two.
St George’s penetrated three more times in the tenth, twelfth and thirteenth overs to remove Tre Manders, Charles Trott and Ricardo Brangman cheaply to have the home side reeling at 44 for five.
“That’s why I love my team, we’re a bunch of fighters,” Simmons said. “We don’t just lay down and accept it, we have fight and we work hard.”
However, the batting runs deep at Rangers and Brangman’s departure brought Janeiro Tucker to the crease to partner his captain Dion Stovell, the last of the two recognised batsmen.
The pair set about rebuilding the damage, sharing in a sixth-wicket stand of 65 between the thirteenth and 29th overs before a key bowling change by Simmons broke the stand. Slow left-arm bowler Isaiah Greaves got the wicket of Tucker first ball when he drove to mid-off where Smith held the catch.
Two overs later St George’s got another key wicket off Greaves’s bowling when Stovell, trying to sneak a second run down the leg side in order to keep the strike, was run out by Ryan Steede to make it 119 for seven. Simmons admits those two wickets turned the match for St George’s.
“Of course, those were two game-changing situations as they are two top-quality batsmen,” he stressed. “Two guys who they were looking to make the runs are now out.
“That’s why I brought the left-arm spinner on, just to try something and see if I could get a wicket. He gave me what I asked for, with a wicket first ball.
“As the skipper, that’s what I look for, for a bowler to come on and do his job. It was working in our favour with Dion having to chase the game and not leave it to the youngsters. It definitely gives us a boost, a small total on a small field. It was a big hill to climb but we climbed it.”
Tucker had a top score of 36 and Stovell contributed 30 before St George’s wrapped up the victory by taking the final three wickets for just 21 runs in a tense finish.
Onias Bascome, who shared the new ball with Smith, claimed three for 21 overs while Smith took two for 30 and Greaves two for 12 as Paynter held another sharp change close to the wicket to remove Vernon Eve.
Lamont Brangman was caught in the next over by Smith before Najiyah Raynor, their last batting hope, was bowled by Steede for 11 off a delivery that stayed low, leaving Rangers just short of their target. Temiko Wilson led the St George’s batting with 32. St George’s were in a good position at 69 for three when Wilson came in, only to lose partners regularly as they slumped to 117 for seven.
He was ninth out in the 41st over after facing 68 balls.
Opener Treadwell Gibbons scored 20 and Oronde Bascome 24 before the slump began. Stovell led the Rangers bowling with four for 25.
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