Cuts in ‘do-or-die’ survival clash
A top-four team last year, Willow Cuts are struggling to hold on to their Premier Division status after a season in which they have won just three of their ten games.
Cuts are second from bottom, level on points with neighbours Somerset Cricket Club but with an inferior net run rate. They are faced with having to win their last two matches in order to avoid the drop.
The Premier Division will be reduced to six teams next season, with two teams automatically relegated while the fifth-placed team will be involved in a play-off with the side that finishes second in the First Division.
Cuts have two matches remaining, including a tough clash tomorrow with unbeaten Southampton Rangers who could clinch the title with a victory. Cuts also have to play Flatts on September 13.
Dwight Basden, the Cuts captain, came out of retirement this season to help the club who have struggled after the loss of five key players.
He questions the decision by the Bermuda Cricket Board to rearrange last weekend's fixtures and bring forward those matches scheduled for September 13, which is understood to have been made to accommodate Rangers who are planning a tour next month.
“How can the Board change the fixtures due to Rangers' request because they are going away?” Basden said. “They wanted to make sure the league was won before they went ahead with their tour.”
Cuts were also deducted 13 points along with Somerset and St David's for outstanding umpiring fees, fees that have now been paid by the clubs, although Cuts have taken their case to the ICC in the form of an e-mail sent from Basden this week.
Tomorrow's make-up match, on the same day as the Eastern Counties, is a crucial one for both teams, with Rangers hoping to wrap up the league title while Cuts need the points to climb out of the relegation zone.
The rearranged match was called off a second time two weekends ago because of Rangers having four players playing in the second round of the county and also the funeral of captain Janeiro Tucker's aunt was held on the same day. Rangers will likely be without opening batsman Dion Stovell, who is expected to play in the Eastern Counties final tomorrow.
In Sunday's Premier Division matches, St David's host bottom team Flatts, Cleveland take on Rangers at nearby Wellington Oval and Somerset entertain Bailey's Bay.
The Bermuda Under-18s play Devonshire Recreation Club in the only First Division match this weekend.
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