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Rangers make light of loss of key players

Still fighting: Tucker was one of several experienced players who made the difference against St David's (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Lord's (St David's won toss): Southampton Rangers beat St David's by five runs.

Southampton Rangers got one over on former players Dion Stovell and Shannon Rayner when they beat their new team to reach another Twenty20 final.

Rangers, depleted after the departure of several players, showed there is still fight in the proud club as they pulled off a last-over victory to hand St David's their second T20 loss of the season.

St David's did the hard work in restricting Rangers to 118 for five in their 20 overs. But some tight bowling by Rangers kept the home team from getting a strong grip in their reply despite being well placed at 50 for three after ten overs.

Going into the last five overs St David's still needed a manageable 41 for victory and with eight wickets in hand.

However, the departure of Stovell for 22 in the seventeenth over when he was lured out of his crease by spinner Hasan Durham and stumped by Ricardo Brangman, proved a key dismissal for Rangers.

That made it 88 for three and though the home team pushed Justin Pitcher and Rudell Pitcher in ahead of captain OJ Pitcher in a bid to bring down the run rate, St David's found themselves 99 for five after the eighteenth over.

With 19 still needed in the last two overs, Rangers called on two of their most experienced bowlers, Durham and captain Janeiro Tucker, to help them over the line.

Durham went for just five runs in the penultimate over as the St David's captain was caught behind by Brangman off a mis-hit scoop shot over his shoulder. With 15 still needed from Tucker's final over, the Rangers captain kept his calm to concede just three runs off the first four balls before

Shannon Rayner made it interesting with a six off the fifth ball. Tucker bowled him next ball to complete the win and set up another meeting with Bailey's Bay in the final.

Tucker finished with three for 25 from seven overs while Durham took two for 21, both from their four overs.

Fiqre Crockwell led the St David's batting with 32 not out after adding 47 with Stovell for the third wicket between the eighth and seventeenth overs. Opener Delyone Borden scored 23 from four fours as St David's posted 41 for two from eight overs in their run chase.

Rangers lost a wicket in their first over when Ricardo Brangman was bowled by Cejay Outerbridge. Veteran Curtis Jackson and youngster Alex Dore repaired the early damage as they added 74 for the second wicket in thirteen overs, although Jackson was the beneficiary of a dropped low catch by Rudell Pitcher at mid-on in the second over.

“It was a chance, but I wouldn't say it was an easy catch,” Jackson said. “It was good that I caught it on the toe of the bat, but I'm thankful for that.

“I think my contribution was just as good as the team's all-round performance. Some players left and other players had to step up their game and as a senior player who has been playing as long as I have, I felt I had to take up that role.

“I didn't want to come off as I was in my groove and didn't want to come and sit down and get cold again. I just had to weather the storm.”

Despite being in his late forties, Jackson enjoys the shorter form of the game. “I'm very pleased with the victories yesterday and today as it puts up into the final,” he said. “Everybody had written us off but the old guys in the team have experience and experience is the key.”

Jackson batted through back pain to post 53 from five fours and a six before he was dismissed in the last over, trying to hit Justin Pitcher over square leg. Dore scored 37 from three fours and two sixes before departing in the fifteenth over on 81 for three.

Ricky Foggo, the seventh bowler used by St David's, claimed two for seven off two overs late in the innings.