Veteran Janeiro Tucker leads the way as Rangers start with victory
St David’s 139-6
Player-coach Janeiro Tucker scored 90 from 42 balls at the top of the innings and then claimed two crucial wickets in his first over midway through the St David’s innings as Southampton Rangers began the defence of their Premier Division Twenty20 title with a comfortable victory by 36 runs at Lord’s yesterday.
Opening with another veteran, Kwame Tucker, the pair laid the foundation for a challenging Rangers total with an opening stand of 41 in 4.3 overs when Kwame departed for 25, bowled by George O’Brien.
O’Brien, one of four St David’s bowlers to take two wickets, also bowled Janeiro Tucker in his second spell, though by then Rangers were well on their way to a decent total at 144 for five in 15.5 overs.
In fact, Rangers looked well on their way to a score in excess of 200 at one point, after being 87 for three after 9.4 overs when Shannon Raynor was bowled by Kevin Hurdle.
After the Rangers scoring slowed with the introduction of spinner Derrick Brangman in the twelfth over, the focus switched to Tucker, then on 74, and whether he would reach his century. His boundary filled innings (nine fours and seven sixes) ended in the 16th over when O’Brien, in his first over back, bowled him with his fifth delivery after being hit for two sixes by Tucker earlier in the over.
Tucker, who says he was making up the numbers, insists he will only be playing a fill-in role this season. “I was going to take a back seat but we had a couple of guys who couldn’t make it today so Kwame and I came into the team just to make up the numbers,” said the 46-year-old.
“We’re looking to let the young guys play and enjoy the season, but when we are short we’ll play.”
Tucker admits he was a bit disappointed not to go on and score a century, but admitted “the ‘w’ is more important”.
“I just play off instinct and natural ability now, I don’t really do a lot of training for cricket. Right now it’s about me playing just to enjoy myself, I’m not here to prove a point. I’m moving out of the game, trying to step away slowly.”
Tucker added: “I thought we should have batted on a little bit better, but this is our first game and our first hit. I’m happy with the result and the way the guys played in our first game.”
For St David’s, O’Brien took two for 25, Cejay Outerbridge two for 25, Hurdle two for 34 and captain Justin Pitcher two for 37.
After losing opener Dean Simons in the first over of the innings, when he was trapped lbw by young pacer Nirobi Mills, St David’s maintained the run chase early on when brothers Ricardo and Derrick Brangman put on 78 for the second wicket in ten overs against their former team.
However, things turned back in Rangers’ favour once Tucker got the breakthrough, bowling Ricardo for 40 and then having Derrick caught at short mid-wicket for 22, with the first and third balls of his first over to make it 83 for three after 11.3 overs.
Slowly St David’s, missing the likes of Delyone Borden and OJ Pitcher, fell further behind the run chase. They brought up their hundred in the fifteenth over but at 101 for four they now needed 75 runs off those final five overs.
Justin Pitcher, Brian Hall and O’Brien kept it interesting with boundaries in their knocks of 17, 18 and 12 not out respectively, but when Hall departed in the seventeenth over they still required 60 for victory.
Tucker also led the Rangers bowling, taking two for 32 from his four overs while Mills, Charles Trott, Dion Stovell and captain Malachi Jones all took one wicket apiece. Stovell gave up just ten runs in his four overs while Mills conceded 18 in four.
•Dajon Carey scored 78 not out from 61 balls as Flatts defeated Somerset Bridge by seven wickets in the opening First Division match at St David’s.
Bridge scored 149 for six in their 20 overs and Flatts replied with 150 for three, reaching their target with three balls remaining.
Lord’s (St David’s won toss): Southampton beat St David’s by 36 runs
†K Tucker b O’Brien 25
J Tucker b O’Brien 90
A Lynch st R Brangman b Hurdle 0
S Rayner b Hurdle 9
*D Stovell b Pitcher 9
C Trott c and b D Brangman 3
M Jones not out 17
J Albuoy lbw b Outerbridge 6
K Astwood c R Brangman b Outerbridge 0
N Mills lbw b Pitcher 0
T Smith run out 4
Extras (b 2, lb 5, w 5) 12
Total (20 overs) 175
Fall of wickets: 1-41, 2-42, 3-87, 4-127, 5-144, 6-144, 7-153, 8-153, 9-170.
Bowling: O’Brien 4-0-33-2; Outerbridge 3-0-25-2; Hurdle 4-0-34-2; Pitcher 4-0-37-2; Hall 1-0-18-0; D Brangman 4-0-21-1.
D Simons lbw b Mills 0
†R Brangman b J Tucker 40
D Brangman c Lynch b J Tucker 22
K Hurdle lbw b Stovell 3
*J Pitcher b Trott 17
B Hall b Jones 18
G O’Brien not out 12
S Somersall not out 0
Extras (lb 5, w 22) 27
Total (6 wkts; 20 overs) 139
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-82, 3-83, 4-87, 5-116, 6-139.
Bowling: Mills 4-0-18-1; Trott 4-0-40-1; Stovell 4-0-10-1; Jones 4-0-34-1; J Tucker 4-0-32-2.
Umpires: O Andrade and S Caines.