Rangers seize initiative in title battle
Southampton Oval (Southampton won toss) Southampton beat Bailey's Bay by eight wickets
Southampton Rangers have the edge in the run-in for the Twenty20 title after handing main rivals Bailey's Bay their first loss in the competition yesterday.
With the batting depth in the Rangers team, the match was all but over as a contest after Bay were restricted to 99 for seven in their 20 overs after being sent in.
Player-coach Janeiro Tucker and captain Dion Stovell claimed two wickets for 19 and 12 respectively from their four overs as Bay struggled from the outset, scoring at four runs an over and losing wickets in the process.
By the eleventh over, Bay had only 38 on the board and were already four wickets down top bats Rodney Trott, Coolidge Durham, Shaquille Outerbridge and Stephen Outerbridge all failing to reach double figures. Captain Terryn Fray was also missing from the line-up.
Middle order batsmen Derrick Brangman and Zeko Burgess offered some resistance as they were the only two batsman in double figures.
Brangman scored twelve while Burgess gave them some hope of at least putting up the hundred with a knock of 38 from 26 balls which included three sixes.
The five-runs-an-over target never threatened Rangers who were given a perfect start by Stovell and Malachi Jones who put on 61 for the first wicket in just 8.5 overs before Jones fell to a catch by Zeko Burgess on the extra cover boundary.
He led the Rangers batting with 39 from 22 balls, hitting two fours and four sixes.
Stovell departed just short of victory, on 93 for two, scoring 29 from 48 balls, before Tre Manders finished with 26 not out, hitting three fours and a six.
“Today was a big match, they were on top of the table,” Jones said of the victory against his former team. “We had a conversation on Thursday and this morning before the game started how important the game was in order to overtake them in the standings.
“We're looking to push forward after giving them their first defeat. It was a nice easy and comfortable victory today.
“The target was to keep them under 120, but really under 100. We stuck to our goal and it is nice to have a lot of energetic people on the field like Deunte Darrell and Tre Manders covering the ropes and cutting everything down to ones or twos.”
Both teams were looking to make up for the rainout in their recent match at Sea Breeze Oval, though Bay were below par in the batting against some disciplined Rangers bowling.
“I think they got away from that one with the rain, if that game had come off I think we would have on top even before this game started,” Jones feels.
“When Stovell and I went to the wicket we basically just wanted to have a good start, looking for 50 without loss so that we could chip away with the ones and twos and comfortably guide ourselves to the finish line.
“I think the bowlers bowled extremely well, I don't think anyone went for over 20 today.
“I think I was the most expensive bowler today with 20 runs off my four overs.
“Having said that, I think everybody stuck to their lines and their lengths and everybody was very disciplined in their bowling, which was good.
“Hopefully we continue that in the future. We're looking to push on for the rest of the season.”
Rangers have Flatts, Cleveland and St George's in their final three matches while St David's play Bay next weekend before closing out the T20 against St George's and Flatts.