Western Stars aim to bounce back
Holders Western Stars will be missing three senior players for tomorrow’s Central Counties Cup first-round clash with Tuff Dogs, although they have plenty of options in filling their two guest player spots as they look to rebound from being dismissed for only 19 runs last weekend.
Stars, who were skittled out for that meagre total by St George’s in an Open League match, were due to select their team for the clash at Devonshire Rec last night, but captain Jekon Edness, Jacobi Robinson and Andre Manders were all ruled out as they will be abroad.
The guest player options available include former Stars players Treadwell Gibbons and Temiko Wilson, of St George’s, as well as Brian Hall, Tre Manders and Dalin Richardson, who left Stars at the start of the season. Others considered were Dion Stovell, of Southampton Rangers, and Allan Douglas of St David’s.
Gibbons and Stovell were their guest players last year as Stars posted mammoth totals of 367 for five against Devonshire Rec in the first round and 323 for eight against Tuff Dogs in the second round, two of their biggest totals of the season.
However, last weekend ten-man Stars crashed to a paltry total in just 14.4 overs and will obviously want to strengthen their batting against their Evening League opponents, who have spinner Derrick Brangman, of Bailey’s Bay, and Jordan DeSilva, the Somerset captain, ready to make an impact as their two guest players. Dean Minors, the former St George’s and Bermuda wicketkeeper, is the most experienced player for Tuff Dogs.
“We will have a couple of guest players but they are not yet confirmed,” said Stars coach Arnold Manders, who is a registered Tuff Dogs player himself. “It was a young team that we played on Sunday and the ball was moving around considerably. They weren’t used to that.
“We talked to them about what they could have done better, the obvious one was to go outside their crease by a foot or two to cut down on the swing and make the bowler change his length. They are young and still inexperienced.”
Tuff Dogs will be boosted by the inclusion of Brangman and DeSilva, who also played for them last year in the competition. Brangman, of Bailey’s Bay, has already been in good form with the ball, taking six for 26 against St David’s in the season-opener and then five for 52 last weekend against St George’s.
DeSilva, the Somerset captain, scored back-to-back centuries recently and will also be one of the main strike bowlers for Tuff Dogs in the 55-over match, which starts at 10am.
“As for the fact that they got bowled out for 19 last week ... every team has one of those bad days,” said Terrance Corday, the Tuff Dogs captain. He knows the difference one player can make, after Gibbons’s knock of 166 against them in last year’s second round. “Two years ago we were 15 for seven against Bailey’s Bay. Luckily we fought back to make it respectable in the end. As much as we’d have loved for that 19 all out to be against us this weekend, we know how strong a side Western Stars are, and how well they are coached. We expect a huge bounce back from them on Saturday. ‘We also know that we haven’t beaten them before so going into this match they are still, rightfully, massive favourites. We just hope that on the day we can give them a good run and hopefully sneak out a victory.”
All the matches in this year’s series will be played at Devonshire Rec, with the winners meeting the host team in the second round on June 9 before North Village play in the final on June 23.
Tuff Dogs: Terrence Corday (capt), Tim Davies, Trevor Corday, Gary Ray, Azeem Khan, Jordan DeSilva (guest), Dean Minors, Justin Barritt, Derrick Brangman (guest), Durnferd Davis, Janaka Perreira. Res: Maurice Steede.
• The final round of First Division Open League cricket will also be played today with Flatts taking on Devonshire Rec at St David’s and Cleveland playing Willow Cuts at Wellington Oval.
The 50-overs competition begins tomorrow with three matches in both the Premier and First Divisions. St David’s, the defending champions, are at home to a Southampton Rangers team expected to be their main title rivals.
Rangers used the Open League to groom some youngsters with four players also away on international duty, but they are expected to field their strongest possible side, which could mean a first appearance of the season for veteran Janeiro Tucker.
Cup Match clubs Somerset and St George’s will meet at Somerset, while Bailey’s Bay take on Western Stars at Sea Breeze Oval. In the First Division, Cleveland play Flatts at Wellington Oval, Warwick and Willow Cuts meet at Southampton Oval and PHC are at home to Somerset Bridge,
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