A look to past in search of brighter future
St George’s will take another new-look team into Cup Match this week after making six changes to their team for the fourth straight year.
Challenged to come up with a side capable of beating holders Somerset over the two days, the St George’s selectors spent some four hours deliberating their options on Saturday night.
When they emerged to present the team to their members just after 1am, there were some surprises, with batsman Onias Bascome and bowlers Kyle Hodsoll and Damali Bell all dropped, while Lionel Cann and Oronde Bascome, both former captains, along with Rodney Trott, Justin Pitcher and Allan Douglas were all recalled.
Sinclair Smith, the wicketkeeper, has been named as this year’s only colt, with Temiko Wilson missing out.
Surprise surrounded the omission of Bell and Hodsoll, who was the top bowler for St George’s last year with four for 20 in the Somerset first innings.
However, that was last year, and this year he has not been as productive after a knee injury in April sustained while playing football delayed his start to the season with Bailey’s Bay.
On Saturday, Hodsoll claimed one for 24 for the President’s XI as they dismissed the Vice-President’s team for 148 on their way to a three wicket win.
The final trials have been known to seal a player’s spot and Allan Douglas did just that, showing his promise with both the bat and ball to virtually pick himself after two years out of the side.
On Saturday he displayed the batting form that he showed earlier in the season after his transfer to St David’s from Cleveland.
First he claimed three for 33 from 8.4 overs of spin. Then, when his team needed a solid partnership, he topped the batting for the President’s team by blasting 70 off 54 balls, hitting ten fours and five sixes after coming in with his side struggling at 29 for five.
Douglas and Justin Pitcher shared in a seventh wicket stand of 62 in taking the score from 67 to 129, with Pitcher’s useful 36 enough to sway the selectors, though his main role to the team will be with the ball, as one of the three main seam bowlers.
Pitcher took one for 20 from eight overs, while for the other team George O’Brien claimed four for 39. Stefan Kelly, also retained, took two for 29 from nine overs for the President’s XI after sharing the new ball with O’Brien.
Also earning a recall was Oronde Bascome, even though he did not play in the final trial match as he was in England. In the absence of Delyone Borden, who was not selected for the final trial after attending just one training session, Bascome could be the choice as opener alongside Treadwell Gibbons.
Lionel Cann was selected after scoring 28 for the Vice-President’s team, whose batting was led by Macai Simmons, their captain, who scored 34.
The pair added 71 for the fifth wicket in taking the score from 51 to 122, when their opponents hit back to take the last five wickets for just 26 runs.
Rodney Trott claimed three for 19 in his eight overs.
Cann, the oldest player in Cup Match at the age of 44, was at the club on Saturday to learn of his inclusion.
“It’s nice to be back in the team,” he said. “It’s not like I was dropped, but rather through illness and I have fought to get back.
“There were a lot of good players vying for spots and I was fortunate to get a spot. Now the focus moving forward is to get our game plan before going up to Somerset.
“I’m looking forward to the Classic, I’m ready and I have the passion again. Hopefully we have two good days of cricket.”
St George’s: OJ Pitcher (capt), Macai Simmons (vice capt), Treadwell Gibbons, Oronde Bascome, Rodney Trott, Allan Douglas, Justin Pitcher, George O’Brien, Stefan Kelly, Sinclair Smith (colt), Lionel Cann. Reserves: Ankoma Cannonier, Okera Bascome, Nzari Paynter.