Rangers suffer after Jones walkout
St David's began their bid for a third straight 50-overs title after beating Southampton Rangers by two wickets in a low-scoring match at Lord's yesterday.
Rangers, tipped as strong favourites in the title race, were dismissed for a surprisingly low score of 116 in 43.2 overs, although St David's did make hard work of their run chase, losing eight wickets before replying with 119 in 27.1 overs.
Spinner Delyone Borden was the bowling hero for St David's, taking four for 15 in six overs as Rangers crumbled from 109 for four to lose their last six wickets for just seven runs.
Borden came on to claim four of the last six wickets after dismissing top bat Tre Manders to break up a promising stand of 81 in 22 overs with Ricardo Brangman, which carried the score from 28 for four to 109.
Manders was finally out in the 37th over for 37 from 96 balls, hitting three fours. Brangman went on to top the Rangers batting with 52 off 72 balls with three fours and two sixes.
He and Manders were the only two batsmen in double figures, the Rangers problems beginning on the first ball of the match from George O'Brien when Malachi Jones was given out caught behind.
So furious was Jones with the decision, he packed his bag and left the ground, leaving his team to field with just ten men and a bowler short which probably cost them victory in the end after a brave effort to protest their modest total.
“We're going to sit down and talk about that on Tuesday and see what the club comes up with,” said coach Ricky Brangman, referring to disciplinary action by the club against Jones.
“It [Jones' presence] might have made a difference because we needed that second spinner as the wicket was turning. There was good and bad, the bad being we had to field with ten men.
“I thought we could have done better when batting, with guys not applying themselves. Our fielding was very good, I thought the guys bowled well when with only 116 to defend. I'm proud of the team as they kept playing.”
After the early breakthrough, St David's struck three more times in the first 15 overs to have Rangers reeling at 28 for four after Shannon Rayner and Gerald Simons were dismissed by Cejay Outerbridge to make it four for three after 5.4 overs. And once the promising stand between Manders and Brangman was broken, Borden ran mopped up the tail end.
Openers O'Brien and Outerbridge claimed two wickets apiece, O'Brien giving up just ten runs in 7.2 overs and Outerbridge finishing with two for 25 off ten overs. Brian Hall, first change, was also quite economical, giving up just 24 runs in his ten overs, which included the key wicket of captain Stovell, bowled for nine.
Stovell tried his best to keep his team in the game, claiming four for 28 from seven overs as St David's made hard work of chasing the modest target. Lofty hitting accounted for three of the wickets as Allan Douglas, Brian Hall and O'Brien all went for big hits and were caught.
Opener Ajuan Lamb, dropped by Lamont Brangman on the mid-wicket boundary, was the high man with 24 off 68 balls before he was finally seventh out on 95. Hall scored 18. He and Douglas (15) both hit two fours and a six before their dismissal in the middle order left St David's in some trouble at 77 for five.
Finally captain Justin Pitcher (12) and Kevin Hurdle (10) batted sensibly for the ninth wicket to see the team to victory, sharing in an unbroken stand of 18 before Hurdle hit the winning boundary. Supporting Stovell were Charles Trott with two for 24, including the wicket of Douglas caught and bowled, while youngster Tayo Smith claimed two for 16, including the wicket of Hall who skied a catch to Sheldon Caesar.
“Low scores seem to do that, we could have won this game on singles,” said coach George Cannonier. “We struggled, but they had good bowlers like us.
“We have a long tail, batsmen right down the order. Our senior batsmen threw their wickets away; the game is much more simple than they realise.
“We just have to apply the simple method when chasing low scores. It's our fault that we got in this position. Credit to Rangers, they did well. They're going to be dangerous this season.”