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Bay wide of mark as Rangers hold nerve

Run chase: Simons, the Rangers batsman, hits an important boundary off Brangman in the final over at Sea Breeze Oval (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Bailey’s Bay lost another close match when Southampton Rangers completed a successful run chase with just two balls remaining.

Rohaan Simons was the Rangers hero, keeping his nerve to score 28 not out as Rangers replied to Bay’s 218 with 219 for seven. Rangers still needed 14 runs off the last two overs and in the penultimate over Simons took the pressure off by hitting a six off Kyle Hodsoll before Lamont Brangman was stumped by Sinclair Smith on the last ball.

Simons was on strike for the start of the final over with six runs needed. After two dot balls he hit Derrick Brangman for a four before a single next ball tied it up but brought new batsman Kevin Tucker on strike.

A wayward ball down the leg side by Brangman was signalled a wide, giving Rangers victory.

“The batting was fairly good but our fielding was terrible,” Simons said. “It was pretty bad but we showed character and that’s what cricket is about.

“We had a poor showing on the field but we still stuck together and ultimately we went to bat, did what we had to do and won the game. They dropped about six or seven catches themselves.”

Simons and Brangman took the score from 176 for six.

“I just wanted ‘Monty’ to play straight, a couple of balls he was trying to hit across the line and that’s where our batsmen were getting out,” Simons added.

“I didn’t need him back in the pavilion and as long as he stayed there with me I felt we could do it. They were bowling well and at the same time I really had to dig deep. I’ve been playing for a fairly long time and have been in these situations before. This is a morale booster for us because to lose a game like this after fielding so badly could really set you back.”

Simons has warned that Rangers cannot be taken lightly in a season in which Bay and St David’s are again the favourites.

“We’ve won a lot of titles but at the same time this is only one game and it’s a long season,” he said.

Malachi Jones, a former Rangers player, led the Bay batting with 70, although he was dropped four times. Tayo Smith, 16, held a good return catch to remove him just one ball after being hit for a six.

Bay had support in the middle order where Coolridge Durham scored 27, captain Rodney Trott 21 and Derrick Brangman 16 before Zeko Burgess’s 20 not out helped them reach 200.

Burgess and Nirobi Mills put on a valuable 19 for the last wicket.

Dean Stephens and Lamont Brangman took three wickets each as Bay slumped from 172 for four after 31 overs.

Alex Dore was top scorer for Rangers in their reply, scoring 54 after opening the innings with captain Kwame Tucker who was first out with just ten runs on the board.

James Celestine added 22 at No 3 as he and Dore added 48 before Ricardo Brangman and Ian Armstrong made good contributions as the visiting side reached 156 for five.

Kyle Hodsoll led the Bay bowlers with three for 52 while Rodney Trott had figures of two for 29.

• Tre Manders led Western Stars to a four-wicket victory over Somerset Cricket Club at St John’s Field, scoring 71 as Stars posted 146 for six in reply to the 144 posted by the West Enders.

Manders and Jekon Edness, who scored 36, added 91 for the third wicket, taking the score from 26 for three to 117.

Jacobi Robinson, like Edness a former Somerset captain, led the Stars bowling with three for 22, while PJ Thomas took three for 35. Joshua Gilbert was top scorer for Somerset with 36.