Rangers singing in the rain after title victory
Southampton Rangers wrapped up the One 50 Overs Premier Division title with victory over Bailey’s Bay by run rate after rain ended the match early at Sea Breeze Oval yesterday.
A heavy downpour at 4.55pm sent the teams off the field with Rangers just four runs short of victory, chasing the 163 posted by the home team. Shannon Rayner and Tre Manders, the pair at the crease, were trying to end the match with the rain moving in fast from the Grotto Bay side of the ground.
And although the rain lasted only about 20 minutes there was no chance of resuming after the wicket was not covered and got soaked.
Rangers were well ahead on run rate, thanks to an opening stand of 120 between Rayner and Malachi Jones in 17 overs.
Rayner, 58 not out, added a quick 40 runs in the next four overs with Manders before play was halted, one boundary from an outright victory. Manders finished on 19 not out.
“We came down here knowing that we had to beat Bay to win the league and that was what we were focused on,” said Ricky Brangman, the Rangers coach, who praised his team’s effort in achieving their goal for the season.
“I’m very proud of the players this year, they hung in there and it worked out well for us. I’m very pleased with the players who came in this year.”
It was the third straight title for both Rayner and captain Dion Stovell, after they won the league the past two seasons with St David’s.
“Congratulations to my skipper Dion and the rest of the team,” Brangman said. “We had about six guys in the team today who have never won the league before, so it is very encouraging for them.
“To get to 160 for one in just 21 overs was good. Thanks also to the president of the club, Jason Wade, the fans and the members and everybody on the committee who stuck with us. That’s what makes you a better team, when you hang in there and believe in one another.”
In the Rangers reply, Jones, who played for Bay in the first round of the Eastern Counties the previous day, was the more aggressive of the pair against his former team, hit 75 off 59 balls.
Left-arm slow bowler Jahzeiko White (15) picked up his first wicket in senior cricket when he bowled Jones off a short delivery. He was gracious enough afterwards to sign the ball for the youngster, the sixth bowler used by Bay as they tried to break up the opening stand.
After winning the toss, Bay posted 163 for five in a match that was reduced to 40 overs a side because of a 12.30pm start. Rangers had them in early trouble at 63 for four by the eighteenth over, before a fifth-wicket stand of 99 in 22 overs between middle-order pair Terryn Fray and Pierre Smith took them to what might have been a challenging total.
Fray top scored with 58 not out from 81 balls, hitting four fours and a six, while Smith scored 43 from five boundaries before he was out in the second-last ball of the innings, caught at long-off by Najiyah Raynor off Malachi Jones. Stephen Outerbridge scored 24 from 20 ball balls, hitting two fours and two sixes.
The stand between Fray and Smith, the No 5 and 6 batsmen, gave Bay some hope of an upset. Rangers had failed to score 153 set by St George’s last weekend while Bay could not reach the 157 put up by Cleveland on Saturday in the Eastern Counties.
This time, however, Jones and Rayner made sure they would be no stumble after news reached the ground between innings that St David’s had made short work of St George’s in the other match the could have decided the title. St David’s, the two-times defending champions, went into the match just ten points behind Rangers.
“We found out [about the St David’s win] between innings and knew we just had to win the game,” Brangman said.
Jones was at his fluent best, punishing Bay with his boundary-filled innings while Rayner hit four fours and three sixes in his 58 from 54 balls.
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