Stovell injury overshadows defeat
Dubai International Stadium (Hong Kong won toss): Hong Kong beat Bermuda by 24 runs
Bermuda coach Herbie Bascome has expressed confidence that captain Dion Stovell will be fit to start the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier after suffering a rib injury in the warm-up defeat by Hong Kong yesterday.
The game was stopped briefly after Stovell collided with Kamau Leverock on the boundary and needed to be helped from the field clutching his ribs.
It was a nasty-looking injury and one that will be closely monitored by the Bermuda backroom staff before their group A bow against Papua New Guinea at the ICC Academy Ground on Saturday morning (3am Bermuda time).
“Dion’s bruised his ribs. It looks like he’ll be fine, he’s sitting up getting treatment after the match, so he should be pretty cool,” the 55-year-old former international told The Royal Gazette.
“We’re just going to assess him in the evening and see how he makes out.”
The seemingly snakebitten Stovell missed the bulk of the qualifying tournament in Bermuda in August because of concussion protocol in the wake of being struck on the head on the second day of Cup Match.
There was further worry for Bermuda when Oronde Bascome, who also endured an injury-interrupted domestic season, limped off with a knee injury at the death of Hong Kong’s innings of 160 for five. But, equally, Bascome believes the eldest of his three sons in the Bermuda squad will be fit for Saturday’s game.
“He jagged his knee in the turf and strained his groin a little bit,” the coach said. “They should be all right for PNG; I don’t see why not.
“They’ll take it easy tomorrow, get some treatment, relax, get a massage and they should be OK.”
Earlier, Delray Rawlins, fresh from his stint with English County Championship side Sussex, featured for the first time, almost straight from the airport, making 20 not out from 18 balls at No 8 as Bermuda made use of the warm-up rules that allow the full use of your squad.
The Bermuda coach was pleased to see his 22-year-old star, who arrived late in Dubai, find his feet in a first knock since making 58 in Sussex’s final championship match of the season on September 23.
“[Rawlins] added a little excitement to the players when he joined and he just wanted to get a hit,” Bascome said. “This was the only chance he could get in the middle before the first match, so I thought I’d take the chance in just getting him out there.
“I wanted him to get a feel of the guys and the guys get a feel of him so it’s easier to digest everything. I thought he looked confident. In the beginning, you could tell he hadn’t had a hit in a few weeks because his timing was off, but it was good to see it come on.”
Despite having lost the toss and being put in the field, Bermuda started superbly, slow left-arm bowler Derrick Brangman trapping Aizaz Khan leg-before for two as the men in pink had Hong Kong five for two after two overs.
Leverock, who made 23 with the bat and took two for 14 with the ball in Monday’s 53-run win over Nigeria, was impressive once again and his pace will be a genuine threat to all opposition when the tournament proper starts on Friday, as will his ability with the bat in the Gombey Warriors’ top four.
He was the pick of the bowlers here, taking two for 27 from his four overs, and should have had a third, but for a simple dropped chance at mid-off in his final over before Malachi Jones picked up the key late wicket of Waqas Barkat for 33.
“I definitely thought [Leverock] looked good and Brangman looked good; he got some nice turn,” Bascome said. “If you can hit the deck like [Leverock] did today, then you’ll be very successful.
“What we need to do is look to bowl more dot-balls. In Twenty20 matches, if you bowl enough dot-balls then wickets will come. You get enough wickets, you get enough runs.”
In reply, Bermuda got off to the worst possible start, Okera Bascome stumped off the fourth ball of the innings, with the score still on zero. Vice-captain Terryn Fray, replacing his captain to open the batting, then fell for two inside the six-over powerplay, as did Leverock, for six.
It was 44-year-old Janeiro Tucker who provided the inning’s early impetus, but by the time he fell for 29 from 21 balls, Bermuda were struggling on 45 for four.
Deunte Darrell, with 24, and Jones, with 23, led the fightback, but in the end, Bermuda came up short. Bascome, however, is pleased with how preparations have gone so far and insists his team will hit their straps at just the right time.
“Everything is slowly coming together,” he said. “It’s hot down here and it’s a seven-hour difference from Bermuda, so it was always going to take some days to recover, but we’re just getting into it. Getting here early was a big plus.
“We just have to feel ourselves into the tournament and it’s coming at a good time. This was a good match. We just gave up an extra 20 runs in the field. You take the 20 runs off and we win the game.”
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