Bay remain unchanged in Counties clash
Bailey’s Bay have retained the team that dethroned St David’s in the first round of the Eastern Counties a month ago, as they prepare to put their title on the line against Cleveland tomorrow at Lord’s.
When the teams last met in the counties two years ago at Lord’s, Cleveland retained the title in a drawn match that ended in controversy after time-wasting by the Cleveland players at the end of the match as Bailey’s Bay chased their opponents’ 127 to win. The scores were tied with Bay 127 for eight when the umpires ended the match at the cut-off time of 7.20pm.
“We’re just there to play cricket and enjoy the Eastern Counties, we have put it behind us, yes,” Irving Romaine, the Bay coach, said. “People will think about it as it’s at the same venue, but both teams will just be there to enjoy playing cricket.”
A month ago Romaine and his Bay team were nervously following a weather forecast that predicted some rain which never came. Now the forecast is calling for some rain today and tomorrow, which could put a dampener on the contest.
With the trophy back in their possession Bay are less concerned about the threat of rain, knowing that they do not have to win the match.
“It’s a little different now that we have the trophy,” Romaine acknowledged. “It will be in Cleveland’s hands now to make sure that we get all the overs in. This time we don’t have to win though we would like to win. A draw will do us fine, too.
“I hope it is a good day because people have paid for spots. The best team wins on the day and the people are there to see that.
“Over the recent years Cleveland have won, now St David’s and Bay and this is the most the cup has turned around in a while. Anything can happen with Cleveland and Flatts, which brings excitement to it.” Bay pulled off a shock by beating St David’s by 61 runs in the first round after the champions failed to chase down Bay’s 223. Selecting their team was straight forward, the new champions seeing no reason to change the line-up.
Spinner Derrick Brangman was outstanding on his debut, taking six for 40 as St David’s were dismissed for 162. Significant for St David’s was the controversial run-out of veteran Lionel Cann after being bowled off a no-ball, and then the inability of captain OJ Pitcher to bat after he was taken to hospital with chest pains during the Bay innings.
“It’s a lot of fun going down there and winning it, defending it is harder,” Romaine said. “It’s a different approach to the game when you can always get a draw, but as challengers you have to get the win.”
In the Eastern Counties, the holders usually send the challengers in to bat if they win the toss, although it did not work for St David’s in the last round.
Bay and Cleveland are coming off good victories last weekend in the Premier Division, with Bay thrashing Somerset by 199 runs after Malachi Jones hit a career-best 184 from 19 fours and ten sixes.
Cleveland picked up their first win with a 17-run victory over Southampton Rangers as captain Dennis Musson claimed five for 17 off nine overs. Both players are potential match-winners in tomorrow’s counties clash, with Jones likely to be retained as opening batsman, a position he has filled for Bay this season.
“It was an excellent innings, chanceless,” Romaine said. “Once a player like Malachi gets in on a good wicket like at Somerset, he was hitting through the line of the ball and clearing the fences by a mile.
“He played some good cricket strokes, you can tell by the number of fours he hit, hitting them on the ground as well.
“He also is an option for opening the bowling so he is a good allrounder.”
n St David’s retained their Premier Division league title after last weekend’s win over Western Stars left them with an unassailable 49-point lead over Bailey’s Bay. St David’s, still unbeaten, have 113 points from eight matches, while Bay have 64 points, both with two matches remaining.
St David’s are away to Southampton Rangers on Sunday while Bay play Western Stars at St John’s Field. Cleveland play Somerset in the other match at Wellington Oval.
An interesting top-of-the-table First Division clash is set for St David’s on Sunday when leaders St George’s take on Flatts. Both teams are battling for the automatic promotion spot, with just eight points separating them.
PHC, third, play Willow Cuts at PHC Field while Somerset Bridge meet Warwick at White Hill in the other matches.
R Trott (captain), T Fray (vice-captain), T Manders, D Brangman, M Jones, S Outerbridge, T Govia, K Hodsoll, Z Burgess, S Smith, C Durham. Reserves: D Hollis, N Mills, N Carmichael.
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