Rangers and St David’s meet in title decider
Coach Janeiro Tucker admits he would have preferred his Southampton Rangers players to play in today's All-Star match ahead of tomorrow's Premier Division Twenty20 title decider with joint leaders St David's at White Hill Field.
Players from both teams opted out of the All-Star match as they prepare for the crucial final T20 match tomorrow when the season's only trophy will be up for grabs. The two teams are level on 70 points after seven wins in nine matches, with Rangers holding down top spot with a superior net run rate.
“We're going to take it serious, playing to win as it's the only trophy of the season,” vowed Tucker who will again fill a role in the Rangers middle order.
“It is the only format we've played all season so obviously we want to win. But it's hard because the interest is not really there. We haven't trained not one day all year, just show up on Sundays. We can't really use our facilities.”
Tucker said he would have liked his players to be involved in the All-Star match, but the decision was taken to sit it out ahead of the crucial final fixture. “My players could have played, I told them they can play if they want,” Tucker said.
“It had nothing to do with the game on Sunday, I would rather they played and got some game time under their belt as we haven't trained.”
St David's won the previous meeting between the teams by six wickets after restricting Rangers to 112 for nine and then reaching the target with the loss of just four wickets and with an over to spare. “We want to win, but I'm not looking at revenge, just getting the ‘W' and going about my business,” Tucker insisted.
Only four grounds hosted games this season, with Southampton Oval one of those missing out as Lord's, Somerset, Wellington Oval and White Hill Field staged the matches. .
“Just about everybody else played a home game, we had to adjust to playing at everybody else's field,” said the coach.
Tucker's decision to bat further down the order for Rangers in this competition allowed the likes of Allan Douglas, Tre Manders, Charles Trott, Dion Stovell and Malachi Jones to do the brunt of the batting. The veteran all-rounder is contemplating less time out in the middle, with a long, successful career now winding down.
“I'm getting tired of playing cricket, really,” he revealed. “If they lay the foundation then maybe I won't get a hit, but when it's my turn I can do what I have to do.”
The match will have extra spice with players against their former teams. Brangman brothers, Ricardo and Derrick are playing against their former team which was coached last season by their father Ricky who is now the coach of St David's. Allan Douglas joined Rangers from St David's this season while Shannon Raynor of Rangers is also a former St David's player.
Tomorrow's other matches will see a double-header at Somerset Cricket Club where the home team will host St George's in the 3.00 match which following the Willow Cuts-Bailey's Bay encounter. Somerset are already assured of a top three finish and will finish tied for second if they beat their Cup Match rivals.
The First Division final at White Hill tomorrow (11am) will be between Warwick and Flatts who won their semi-final matches last weekend. Staphen Dill's 99 not out guided Warwick to a 79 run victory over Western Stars and earned him the First Division Player of the Week award. Dill is picked for the vice-president's team in today's First Division All-Star match at White Hill Field.
The second 20-overs match will see the Premier Division All-Stars in action led by captains Jordan DeSilva of Somerset and Onias Bascome of St George's.
All-Star Classic Teams
President's XI: Jordan DeSilva (Somerset, capt), Terryn Fray (Bailey's Bay), Treadwell Gibbons (St George's), Jahre Blakeney (Bailey's Bay), Temiko Wilson (St George's, wk), Macai Simmons (St George's), Dalin Richardson (Somerset), Joseph Basden (Willow Cuts), Isaiah Richardson (Somerset), Kwasi James (Willow Cuts), Detroy Smith (St George's). Res: Jerez Eve (Somerset), Faheem Swan (Willow Cuts).
Vice-president's XI: Onias Bascome (St George's', capt), Chris Douglas, (Somerset), Oronde Bascome (St George's), Ras Solomon Burrows (Willow Cuts), Coolidge Durham (Bailey's Bay), Nzari Paynter (St George's), Kyle Hodsoll (Bailey's Bay), Amari Ebbin (Somerset, wk), Kamal Bashir (Willow Cuts), Greg Maybury (Somerset) Jarryd Richardson (Bailey's Bay). Res: She-maur Gomes (Willow Cuts), Jade Morrissey (Somerset).
President's XI: Cofield Robinson (Flatts, capt), Regino Smith (Flatts), Jaiden Manders (Western Stars), Q'Shai Darrell (Cleveland), Shawn Riley (Somerset Bridge), Makai Young (Western Stars), Kareem Hollis (Somerset Bridge), Corey Burgess Warwick), Philip Thomas (Western Stars), Jodie Maronie (Warwick), Mackih McGowan (Cleveland). Res: Akeem Ible (Warwick), Shane Robinson (Flatts).
Vice-president's XI: Joshua Gilbert (Somerset Bridge), Staphen Dill (Warwick), Steven Bremar (Cleveland), Kijuan Franks (Flatts), Kristian Singh (Cleveland), Adrian Burrows (Somerset Bridge, wk), Tybrae Robinson (Cleveland), Torlear Caines (Warwick), Koda Bascome (Flatts), Seth Campbell (Western Stars), Dante Wellman (Western Stars). Res: Luke Fulton (Warwick), Keith Whorms (Cleveland).