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Stovell puts Warriors to the sword

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Showing no mercy: Stovell cracks the ball away as he nears his century at Southampton Oval (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Dion Stovell showed Southampton Rangers what they have been missing this season when he donned their colours yesterday and smashed a century against his league club St David’s in the Champion of Champions final at Southampton Oval.

Stovell, who played for Cleveland in the Eastern Counties when they lost to St David’s this season, got some funny looks from his St David’s team-mates at the tea break after his knock of 137 helped Rangers post a daunting 339 for six in their 50 overs, effectively putting the match out of St David’s reach.

The Warriors replied with just 110 all out in 23.5 overs after their target was reduced to 309 in 43 overs because of a brief rain interruption early in the St David’s innings.

This was a match very similar to the Belco Cup semi-final in May when St David’s posted 340 for five after a Delyone Borden century, and half centuries from captain OJ Pitcher and Fiqre Crockwell.

Missing Stovell in their batting after his move this season to St David’s, Rangers hardly made a match of it as they were dismissed for just 108.

“You can never forget something like that,” said Ricky Brangman, the Rangers coach, who enjoyed getting one back on St David’s, who they also beat in the Twenty20 semi-finals in May.

“We feel good today, we wanted to win this and finish the season off on a high. It was nice to see Stovell come back and play.

“I always told him that his heart is here and I told him this morning that he would get a hundred and he went on and scored 137.”

Stovell had a two-ball duck for St David’s in the Belco Cup, but this time he was flawless as Rangers avenged that heavy defeat after Stovell shared in two century partnerships to help Rangers recover from 62 for three in the fourteenth over.

Stovell, who came in at No 4 at 49 for two in the eleventh over, added 102 for the fourth wicket with Ricardo Brangman, who made 41, before he and Janeiro Tucker, the Rangers captain, put on 104 for the sixth wicket between the 30th and 46th overs as St David’s looked a beaten side, just waiting for the 50th over to come.

Stovell treated the bowlers with disdain, hitting 16 fours and four sixes, while Tucker hit four fours and four sixes in his 68, as the home team put on 175 runs in the final 20 overs.

Macai Simmons went for 83 runs in his ten overs for two wickets, while George O’Brien, the St David’s captain, was also expensive, giving up 76 in his ten overs, taking two wickets. Justin Pitcher conceded 70 in his nine overs, while Rudell Pitcher went for 58 from his eight overs.

Delyon Borden was the most economical St David’s bowler, finishing with one for 36 off ten overs with three maidens.

Another slow bowler, Hasan Durham, had even more impressive figures, taking six wickets for eight runs from 5.5 overs of left arm spin from the Horseshoe Bay end, including taking three wickets in his last five balls as St David’s lost their final three wickets on 110.

St David’s knew the magnitude of their task, and when they lost Borden to a mis-hit pull shot off Kevin Tucker’s third ball of the innings, it was the worst possible start for the league and Eastern Counties champions.

However, a second-wicket stand of 71 in 12 overs between Ankoma Cannonier, who made 24, and Shannon Rayner, who made 34, gave them some hope.

A brief rain stoppage reduced the target to 309 in 43 overs, but Rangers were undaunted, taking two more wickets in the thirteenth and fourteenth overs to have St David’s wobbling at 78 for four.

Oronde Bascome was the only other batsman in double figures with 19 as Rangers took wickets at regular intervals, with St David’s virtually throwing in the towel as spinners Durham and Vernon Eve shared the last eight wickets between them.

In that final over from Durham, he bowled O’Brien, had Rudell Pitcher caught first ball by Stovell on the long-off boundary, and then had last man Cejay Outerbridge smartly caught at backward square leg by Jason Wade three balls later to end the match.

Wade had earlier taken another smart catch at the same position to dismiss left-hander Justin Pitcher with an effort low to his right. Janeiro Tucker also took two important catches at long-on to remove Shannon Raynor and Macai Simmons.

“We did really good this year, came third in the league with more than 100 points and won two trophies,” Brangman said.

“You can never count out St David’s, batting is their strong point, but I’m glad it was our time today. It was good for the fans, the club and the community.”

Bowled: Oronde Bascome is lured out of his crease and bowled by Durham at Southampton Oval (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)