Pitcher has opportunity to defy the odds
OJ Pitcher will not feel any extra pressure when he turns out for today’s final trial match at St George’s, as everything that has happened so far this season has already been a bonus.
Pitcher was taken to hospital with chest pains after collapsing on the field two years ago while playing for St David’s in the Eastern Counties first round against Bailey’s Bay.
He missed the whole of last year and the future was uncertain for the then St David’s, St George’s Cup Match and Bermuda captain.
Pitcher marked his counties return by scoring 64 in the drawn match, his reaction saying it all. “I’m just grateful to be back out playing cricket, period,” Pitcher said this week. “At one point I wasn’t sure if I was going to be playing any more cricket, so to be back out there doing what I enjoy doing is a great feeling.
“Obviously to return for my first county, especially at home and on the same field where my situation took place and against the same team and to go out there and perform for the club and community, obviously means a lot to me.
“Overall on the day I thought the guys did extremely well, showed a lot of fight and character, like true warriors.
“At one point it looked like Bay would end up getting the total, but guys fought right to the end.
“Justin [Pitcher] bowled extremely well as well as did Macai [Simmons]. There was one or two dropped catches earlier in Bay’s innings but the guys recovered from that and in the end it ended up not causing us.”
St David’s posted 226 for eight from their allotment of 65 overs and then restricted Bay to 206 for eight when the match ended at the designated time of 7.20pm Delyone Borden led the scoring with 79 in a third-wicket stand of 65 with Pitcher after Shannon Rayner scored a crucial 30 at the top of the innings.
“Shannon batted out of character, he’s more an aggressive- minded batsman, but he really put his head down and batted according to the situation on Saturday,” Pitcher said. “His innings was very important to the outcome, as well as Delyone’s.
“We all know what he can do and he really battled for the team.
“It was a good day in the end, and, yes, we would have preferred the victory but at the same time we didn’t want to lose the trophy.
“Now we look forward to the next two matches, Cleveland first and then Flatts, though we have to take it one game at a time. Cleveland have a few match winners so we can’t take anything for granted.”
Pitcher went off with a slight injury while fielding, but it is nothing serious, he says, as he prepares for today’s trial match.
“I felt a little niggle so as a precaution I decided to go off,” he explained.
“There are an important couple of weeks coming up with the final trial match this Saturday and then Cup Match as I’m looking to push for a spot.
“If selected this will be my first Cup Match back. I’m definitely looking forward to the final trial. Hopefully, it is a good day weatherwise and we can get a full day’s cricket in.”
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