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Smith: batsmen not pulling their weight

A depleted Western Stars lost their fifth successive Logic Premier Division match after suffering a 121-run defeat against Southampton Rangers at St John's Field yesterday.

Stars were set a modest total of 173 after Rangers were all out off 43.2 overs, but in the absence of several key batsmen the home side were skittled out for a paltry 52 off 27.4 overs.

With Justin Robinson, the team's captain, Treadwell Gibbons Jr, Makai Young and Ian Armstrong all missing, Stars's often brittle batting had a greater degree of fragility than normal against Rangers.

However, Wendell Smith, the Stars coach, believed his line-up still possessed sufficient fire power to chase down Rangers's total, and felt that too many of his team's top performers failed to produce their best.

“We always knew our batting was going to be shallow as we were missing four of our middle-order batsman through a mixture of injuries, work commitments and players being off the island,” Smith said.

“That's not an excuse, though, and some of our other guys just didn't pull their weight today.

“Credit to Rangers, they fielded really well and Janeiro Tucker pulled off two of the best catches I've seen to remove Dalin Richardson, leaping above his head to take a splendid catch, and then towards the end taking a missile from Seth Campbell.”

Openers Temiko Wilson and Wayne Campbell were the only batsmen to reach double figures for Stars, with Rangers slow bowler Vernon Eve claiming superb figures of six wickets for six runs off 7.4 overs.

Brian Hall quickly followed for one before Swayne Campbell and Rohan Davis were both dismissed without scoring to leave Stars reeling at 30 for five.

Things got even worse for Smith's side, who managed only 22 runs for the remaining five wickets.

“We were beaten by the better team today,” said Smith, whose side won the First Division last season, “but we're still developing and we're still learning.”

Yesterday's match started half an hour late because of rain, with Stars winning the toss and restricting Rangers to a gettable total, dismissing danger man Tucker for just seven after he edged to wicketkeeper Wilson off the bowling of spinner Jaiden Manders.

Alex Dore, batting a No 3 for Rangers, made the most a pair of reprieves when he was dropped early on and then survived a run out, going on to top score with 64 from 95 balls.

He was well supported by Ricky Brangman Jr, who added 39 off 45 deliveries.

“If you'd asked me before the game whether I'd have taken 173 then I'd have said any day of the week,” Smith said.

“I still think it was 50 runs more than they should have got as we missed Alex Dore when he was on six with a catch to mid-on which Jaiden Manders, one of our youngsters, put down.

“Later on we should have run [Dore] out when he slipped at the bowler's end. All it would have taken was a throw to the wicketkeeper but another one of our youngsters, Dalin Richardson, threw way over the wicketkeeper's head and we let him off the hook.

“When you're playing Rangers and you manage to get Janeiro out early you figure, hey, that's a good day, because had he got going then 200-plus would have been on the board.”

Smith believes Stars's third round of league fixtures against Willow Cuts, Cleveland County and Rangers will be decisive in determining whether they survive their first season back in the top flight.

“We sat down at the start of the season and said we want to beat those teams twice,” Smith said.

“That's what we need to do to survive. I think we have the talent to stay up and hopefully we have all of our best players available when the crucial matches come around.

“A lot of it for us is the mental application of batting and making the right decisions at the right times.”

Early breakthrough: Western Stars players celebrate taking a wicket at St John's Field (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published June 27, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 27, 2016 at 7:57 am)

Smith: batsmen not pulling their weight

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