Shakir makes bow for youthful PHC
PHC have named four colts, including the captain of the Bermuda Under-14 football team, for the Western Counties final against champions Southampton Rangers today.
Eijaz Shakir, who just returned from Cayman Islands, where he helped Bermuda to the Caribbean Football Union Boys’ Challenge Series title, has been included for his debut along with Wendell Dottin, Antwan Russell and JaiOnni Outerbridge.
The challengers know the magnitude of the task of trying to dethrone the champions, although they have beaten them before in a cup final.
“Without a doubt, but that’s the challenge they have in front of them, a good opposition and the chance of beating them,” coach Cal Waldron said. “If you’re going off form, we had a disastrous 50-over campaign, so this is an opportunity for the players to go out there, perform and get it right. We just have to stick to the game plan that we’ve come up with.
“Eijaz is only 13 or 14 and we had to pick him due to player unavailability. He just came back last night with the Bermuda Under-14s.”
PHC will be captained by Dev Hanuman, their Trinidadian all-rounder, while bowler Kyle Lightbourne is a former Cup Match player. Dalin Richardson, of Somerset, is their guest player and will be a key all-rounder for the challengers.
PHC’s most memorable victory over Rangers in recent times came in 2010 when they beat them by 13 runs in the Belco Cup final to deny them a sixth straight title. Kevin Tucker, who is playing for Rangers today, was in that PHC team, along with captain Lightbourne, with Tucker taking four wickets that day as PHC defended the 243 for five that they posted.
Waldron also played in that match for PHC, who were playing in the Belco Cup for the first time. The following year they reached the final again, but this time Rangers avenged the 2010 loss by reclaiming the title with a two-wicket win.
Allan Douglas Jr of St David’s has been included in the Southampton Rangers team, replacing captain Dion Stovell, who is not available this weekend.
Douglas made his debut for Rangers against PHC in the third round last year, scoring 64 not out.
“He can replace Stovell and is a good all-rounder,” said Ricky Brangman, the Rangers coach. “He’s played for us before and is a good person to have in our team.
“We’re not taking PHC lightly.”
The all-rounder will be a big boost to the Rangers batting and bowling as they look to end another series as champions and secure a place in the Champion of Champions competition. They were dethroned as champions last year by Bailey’s Bay who beat them in the semi-final match.
Rangers will also welcome back Janeiro Tucker who has just returned from vacation. The club will make a decision today on who will captain the team in Stovell’s absence.
• St David’s will be looking to make it three wins out of three in the Twenty20 Tournament tomorrow when they host Bailey’s Bay at Lord’s.
St David’s had two wins last weekend, beating Rangers and then winning by default over Somerset, and lead the Premier Division tables.
Rangers meet Somerset at Southampton Oval while St George’s play Western Stars at St John’s Field in the other matches.
Four matches are also scheduled in the First Division where PHC play Cleveland in the first game of a double header at White Hill, followed by Somerset Bridge against an Evening League Select at 3pm. Also starting at 11am are Warwick against Willow Cuts at Southampton Oval and Flatts against Devonshire Rec at St David’s.
The Premier Division competition will be played on a league format with the team with the most points winning the title, while the First Division, which has more teams, will see two semi-finals and a final involving the top four teams on September 16 after the final round of league matches.
Southampton Rangers: Gerald Simons, Kwame Tucker, Jason Wade, Allan Douglas, Ricardo Brangman, Janeiro Tucker, Kevin Tucker, Hasan Durham, Lamont Brangman, Tayo Smith, Vernon Eve.
PHC: Dev Hanuman (captain), Kevin Lambe, Johnny Ball, Tyrique Smith, Jaloni Albouy, Kyle Lightbourne, Wendell Dottin (colt), Eijaz Shakir (colt), Antwan Russell (colt), JaiOnni Outerbridge (colt), Dalin Richardson.