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Rangers playing without pressure, says Tucker

Feeling upbeat: Tucker believes his side will be playing free of any expectations at Somerset tomorrow (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Bailey’s Bay and Southampton Rangers should provide an exciting Twenty20 final tomorrow at Somerset Cricket Club, although the forecast for rain could threaten the game for the second straight year.

Both teams advanced to the final after good wins over Cleveland County and St David’s last weekend, with Rangers showing they still can be a threat this season despite the departure of several players.

The two teams are undefeated this season and this weekend, weather permitting, they will meet each other twice as Rangers open the defence of their 50-over league title at Sea Breeze Oval on Sunday.

“We’re just here to play, not putting pressure on ourselves by saying we’re going to win this or win that,” said Janeiro Tucker, the Rangers captain, after Sunday’s semi-final win over St David’s. Tucker’s team is the oldest in the league with more than half of their players over the age of 40, although there is no substitute for experience as they have already shown.

“We’re just playing and let the chips fall where they may,” Tucker said.

Bay, while still not at full strength, are living up to early season predictions of being one of the teams to beat. They are still without seam bowler Kyle Hodsoll, recovering from knee surgery, and wicketkeeper Sinclair Smith, also injured, while Lateef Trott is overseas with the Bermuda Regiment.

Tre Manders, Jordan Smith and Delray Rawlins are also overseas but Bay, the defending champions, should still be able to field a strong team in defence of their title.

Last year they finished second to Rangers in the league and now have their sights set on going all the way and winning the league, although Rangers can still have something to say about that.

Bay’s new signing Derrick Brangman has quickly settled in at his new club and will relish playing against his former team tomorrow.

He will likely open the Bay bowling with his left-arm spin as he has done in the Twenty20 matches.

The Premier Division matches have been low-scoring affairs, with the 148 posted by Rangers on Saturday in their final group match against Cleveland being the highest total so far.

Somerset and St George’s, the two finalists for the First Division encounter, were both involved in high-scoring semi-final wins on Sunday at Somerset and will be looking for the same when they meet in what should be an even contest.

Somerset posted 186 for three against PHC as stand-in captain Greg Maybury scored 70 not out and former captain Jacobi Robinson 61. Oronde Bascome and Ankoma Cannonier scored half-centuries for St George’s as they chased down the Flatts target of 170 for four, replying with 171 for three with 4.2 overs remaining.

Sunday’s other Premier Division matches will see St David’s playing Cleveland at Lord’s and Western Stars taking on Willow Cuts at St John’s Field.

Somerset and St George’s, two of the favourites for promotion, open their league campaign at home, with Somerset playing Warwick and St George’s hosting Somerset Bridge. Devonshire Recreation Club host PHC in the other match.

• The deadline for players to sign up for the Masters T20 League has been extended to tomorrow, the same day the draft will take place at Ocean View Golf Club at 7pm.

So far 84 players have expressed an interest in joining one of the six teams, including one female player, Antoinette Rabain. Anyone interested in filling the final six places can contact organiser Hoyt Zuill at 504-4698 or by e-mail on somari@blessed.bm