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Bay strong favourites to retain title

High expectations: Bay batsman Outerbridge

Bailey’s Bay will hope to end the season on a winning note when they face Southampton Rangers in the Premier Division Twenty20 final at Somerset Cricket Club tomorrow.

The two rivals met in last season’s final with Bay coming out on top after handing Rangers a 21-run defeat at Sea Breeze Oval.

Bay, who finished second in the Logic Premier Division this season, are the favourites to retain their title.

However, Stephen Outerbridge, the Bay batsman, is not taking anything for granted against a Rangers team led by talisman Janeiro Tucker.

“You can never go into a game doubting Rangers’ capabilities,” Outerbridge said. “Rangers are always going to be competitive because they have experienced players.”

Bay are looking to add to the Belco Cup title they won against Eastern Counties rivals St David’s in a rain-shortened final at Lord’s in May.

“It’s another opportunity for us to win a trophy and defend a trophy we won last year,” Outerbridge said.

“We have a good blend of players and just need to execute, which will be the difference with us winning one or two trophies this season.”

Victory for Bay will go some way towards compensating for a season in which they failed to meet their high expectations.

“We’re a bit disappointed because it’s not a good season unless we win everything,” Outerbridge said.

“For what we have in place we have to win everything, and anything less than that is not good enough. That’s our standard, and that’s what we are going to maintain.”

Rangers are pursuing a second title this season after reclaiming the Western Counties and are keen to avenge last season’s T20 final defeat.

“The players have been looking forward to this match,” Ricky Brangman, the Rangers coach, said. “We are very keen to capture this trophy and get our revenge over Bay from last year.”

Tomorrow’s Premier Division T20 final starts at 3pm. In the First Division T20 final, Somerset play St George’s at 11am.

Both matches were postponed in May because of rain.

Lloyd Fray, the president of the BCB, is looking for an exciting weekend of cricket, which starts with the promotion play-off match today between Cleveland County and St George’s, also at Somerset.

“Most importantly, we are looking for the games to be played with the highest levels of sportsmanship and respect,” Fray said.