We can shock some people, says Warwick coach
Southampton Rangers have made once change to their team for the second round of the Western Counties today, replacing James Celestine with veteran Jason Wade for the match with Warwick Workmen’s Club.
Rangers easily beat Somerset Bridge in last weekend’s first round, with four players posting half-centuries as they amassed 333 for six before dismissing Bridge for 122 in 25.1 overs.
The first task for challengers Warwick is to restrict the free-scoring Rangers batsmen, says coach Lorenzo Tucker, who watched last weekend’s game. New-ball pair Stephan Dill, the captain, and Chare Smith, who has just returned from Britain, will lead the Warwick attack.
Stephen Bremar, the Cleveland captain, is again a guest player for Warwick as is Jahcobi Butterfield, though he plays in the league for Warwick. Butterfield is one of four colts in the Warwick team, along with batsmen McKario Burch and Akeem Ible and all-rounder Josi Butterfield.
“I watched the game last weekend when they scored 333 against Somerset Bridge and it is a very talented batting line-up,” Tucker said. “But if we perform well in all facets of the game we can shock some people.
“One of the things you don’t account for is pressure and if we can get a couple of quick wickets and put them in a pressure situation anything can happen. We’ve got to keep them under pressure.
“We are more of a bowling team than a batting team so I’m looking to my bowlers to restrict Rangers. I think my bowlers are good enough to do it. Early wickets is the key for me.”
Tucker added: “Chare Smith is huge, he’s been playing in the UK and surprised us when he came back early. He’s going to be very important for us, he and Stephan Dill sharing the new ball.
“Last year they knocked us down for 69 and lost four wickets getting it. Now that we’ve got Chare in there I think we can cause some damage with the ball.”
It will be an important weekend for Rangers, who play St George’s as they close in on the One 50 Overs Premier Division title. Rangers lead the standings by 25 points over defending champions St David’s with a couple of games remaining. However, the Bermuda Cricket Board is still deciding on whether the recent rained out match between St David’s and Bailey’s Bay will be rescheduled.
That match will have a bearing on the title race, as a win over Bay keeps alive the St David’s hopes of a third straight title. An available date to play the match will be difficult to find as the next two Saturdays will be used for the Eastern Counties and the final Cup Match trials.
“Whatever they decide to do with that game we just have to concentrate on us, that’s all,” said Ricky Brangman, the Rangers coach, who knows the title is in their own hands with matches to come against St George’s tomorrow and Bailey’s Bay next Sunday at Sea Breeze Oval.
“We’re going to concentrate on the [county] match on Saturday, hoping we come out victorious, and then on Sunday we’ll focus on St George’s.”
St George’s, third in the standings, have survived in their first season back in the top division and could have a say in the title race between Rangers and St David’s. St David’s play Western Stars at St John’s Field while winless Somerset, bottom of the tables and 24 points adrift of Stars, take on Bailey’s Bay at home.
Somerset will look to their loss against Bailey’s Bay in their last meeting on June 3 as a defining moment in their season. Somerset scored 150 for six and then had Bay reeling at 68 for eight before a ninth wicket stand of 81 between Kyle Hodsoll and Zeko Burgess carried Bay to the brink of victory, eventually winning with one wicket in hand.
The battle for the automatic promotion spot remains close with just four points separating the top three teams. Leaders Cuts, who lost to Cleveland last weekend, have a bye on Sunday so both Cleveland and Flatts will be eyeing the top spot.
Cleveland play Somerset Bridge at Wellington Oval while Flatts welcome Devonshire Rec to St David’s in the other match.
Southampton Dion Stovell (captain), Shannon Rayner, Gerald Simons, Kwame Tucker, Ricardo Brangman, Janeiro Tucker, Jason Wade, Lamont Brangman, Vernon Eve, Tayo Smith, Kevin Tucker.
Warwick Stephan Dill (captain), Kion Butterfield, Shomari Boyles-Simons, McKario Burch (colt), Kyle Swan, Stephen Bremar, Jahcobi Butterfield (colt), Josi Butterfield (colt), Akeem Ible (colt), Chare Smith, Dwayne Adams. Reserves Dajon Richardson, Dominic Sabir.
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