Bailey’s Bay do not expect home advantage
Bailey's Bay have a major hurdle to overcome in their bid for a third straight Twenty20 title on Sunday when they take on Eastern Counties rivals St David's at Sea Breeze Oval at 3.30pm.
Devonshire Recreation Club will meet Tuff Dogs in the consolation final at 11am, with Bay and St David's then battling for the season's first trophy. St David's begin the defence of their Premier Division title, now sponsored by One Communications, against another Eastern Counties side, Cleveland County, next Sunday as the league campaign has a rare June start because of the unavailability of some grounds.
Bay and St David's, who meet in the Eastern Counties first round on July 22, finished with three wins in their respective groups before winning their semi-final matches last weekend against Somerset Cricket Club and Southampton Rangers respectively, both by six wickets.
Irving Romaine, the Bay coach, does not think that playing at home necessarily gives his team an advantage. “We're geared up and ready, it's always a fun day playing against St David's, our Eastern Counties rivals,” Romaine said.
“It's a different format of the game this time, and will be a good contrast of the teams. St David's have guys who can clear the ropes easily, once they get going they have some big hitters. The Bay batsmen like to hit through the gaps so it will be two different ways to get a big total in T20.
“The average score at Bailey's Bay has been about 140 so far, but it all depends. If the batsmen are on it that day a score of 180 could be a par score. Both teams have good batsmen and good bowlers.
“The Bay track is pretty even so there is really no home-field advantage. If you bowl in the right areas you can get something out of it and for the batsmen the ball comes on enough where you can play your shots.”
Bay will have wicketkeeper Sinclair Smith returning from injury after missing last weekend when Azende Furbert handled the wicketkeeping duties, while all-rounder Malachi Jones is doubtful as he could be overseas. Tre Govia's shoulder injury flared up again recently when he tried throwing a ball from the boundary so he will be missing with the view to returning for the 50-over matches.
Govia, a promising wrist spinner, has switched to seam bowling because of the shoulder injury he picked up years ago in Cup Match playing for St George's.
“We've been rotating our players and everybody who has been training so far has had a game with us,” Romaine said. “Tre aggravated his shoulder again, nothing major, but we told him to hold off and wait for the 50-over games.
“He was throwing a ball from the boundary and said he felt something and just out of precaution we told him to rest. Sinclair Smith was out injured last weekend but he has been cleared to play and will come back into the team. Also Nyhrobi Carmichael pulled his groin, the continuation of an injury from football when he was playing for Devonshire Cougars, so we also advised him to rest.”
The injuries allowed Bay to feature a couple of their junior players in the Twenty20 matches.
n Saturday's first-round Central Counties match between champions Western Stars and Devonshire Rec, has been postponed because the wicket at St John's Field is still not ready.
All the three matches will be played at St John's with the winners scheduled to take on Tuff Dogs of the Evening Cricket League in the second round on June 10 before North Village play the winners in the June 24 final.
Those dates will have to be changed, said a Counties official, following a meeting on Tuesday.
The first-round match may be rescheduled for June 10 with June 17 possibly used for the second round.