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Flatts given a lifeline

Down but not out: Flatts captain Kijuan Franks is hoping for a victory against Cleveland on Sunday to keep clear of the two relegation positions after moving off the bottom of the Premier Division

What a difference two defaulted wins have made to Flatts’ survival hopes.

Bottom of the Premier Division for most of the season, Flatts were awarded the points when Somerset failed to have the minimum nine players for their recent match at Lord’s and then when some St David’s players refused to take to the field on Sunday after their captain OJ Pitcher won the toss and sent Flatts in to bat.

The extra points have moved Flatts off the bottom and into the relegation play-off spot with just five points now separating the bottom three teams with two matches remaining.

Flatts will meet Cleveland on Sunday before playing bottom team Willow Cuts on September 13 while Cuts, who finished in the top four last season, could have their fate determined by the ruling from last Saturday’s match against Southampton Rangers that was abandoned over a chain-snatching incident at Southampton Oval involving a Cuts player and a spectator.

Cuts are presently tied on 29 points with neighbours Somerset who have a superior net run rate, while Flatts lead both teams by five points in fifth place.

Somerset have failed to complete their last two matches and are awaiting a ruling by the Bermuda Cricket Board on their abandoned match on Sunday against Bailey’s Bay.

A total of 24 points separate the fourth place team, St David’s, from Flatts, leaving next season’s Belco Cup line-up all but determined with Cleveland occupying third place, just a point ahead of St David’s who close out their season with matches against Bailey’s Bay on Sunday and Somerset at home the next weekend.

Somerset will meet Cleveland on Saturday in a vital make-up match for the home team.

Victory for Somerset would take them out of the two automatic relegation spots. The team finishing third from bottom will be involved in a play-off with the runners-up in the First Division as the Premier Division is reduced to six teams for next season.

Rangers lead the standings by 33 points over Bay and getting the points from the Cuts game will confirm them as champions, after a narrow ten-run loss to Cleveland the next day sent them crashing to their first loss in the league this season.