St David’s dust off Sammy Robinson for county appearance against inspired Cleveland
Holders St David’s have recalled veteran Sammy Robinson while challengers Cleveland have named two colts for today’s Eastern Counties second round clash at Sea Breeze Oval.
St David’s are banking on Robinson, 45, to add his experience to a team that has two changes to the one that beat Flatts in the first round last month. Macai Simmons, their top scorer against Flatts with 92, is out with a fractured hand he suffered the next day while playing against St David’s in a league match.
Youngster Aaron Paynter, a colt in the last match when he picked up two wickets in a maiden first over, is also out because of injury. In come Robinson and colt Ricky Foggo to replace them.
Cleveland have their emphasis more on youth, picking 14-year-old Zeri Tomlinson, an all-rounder, and Keith Whorms as their two colts. Tomlinson, who is the nephew of Carlton “Pluke” Smith, former Cleveland captain and president who passed away last month, sealed his place in the team with a knock of 65 off 64 balls against Western Stars last weekend, hitting five sixes and two fours as an opener.
“I feel very good about the team, very confident,” said Courtney Trott, the Cleveland coach. “The guys have put in a lot of hard work in the lead-up and they are all ready.
“Pluke will be an inspiration for everybody in the team, definitely. A lot of the players have been through our junior programme that he started — people like Q’Shai Darrell, Tybrae Robinson, Jabari Darrell, Keith Whorms. Even the reserves, Isiah Creighton and Michael DeSilva, have come through our junior programme.
“They were all part of the period when we held the junior county cup for six or seven years. Q’Shai, who is now in his early twenties, was a part of that. It’s nice to see those guys within our senior programme and flourishing.”
Cleveland’s youngsters will be supplemented by the experience of guest player Dion Stovell, the Southampton Rangers and Bermuda all-rounder, and Makai Young, whose unbeaten century at No 7 in partnership with Tybrae Robinson — after the challengers had crashed at 99 for nine batting first — was the performance of the 2019 series.
St David’s haven’t had the best of seasons in the Twenty20 League, winning just two of their six games so far. Trott knows county has a way of bringing out the best in teams, so the challengers expect a tough match.
“That is the one thing about county, regardless how the league has been going, because county means so much in terms of family and community, a lot of players raise their game and will have better games than they have had in the league,” Trott said.
“As well as the players having a little more pride and passion when it comes to county. One can never look at one’s league form and think it might be easy.
“I know especially with St David’s, they are going to come hard so we have to be ready. We’re looking forward to the challenge and looking to bring the cup back home.“
Chris Douglas, of St David’s, will be a key man in the batting department for the champions, having been in outstanding form lately with 80 in the last Eastern Counties county match.
He followed that up with centuries in Cup Match for Somerset and in the Western Counties last weekend when he helped Willow Cuts dethrone PHC with a first century in the competition and then four wickets in the 180-run victory.
St David’s: Justin Pitcher (captain), George O’Brien (vice-captain), Oronde Bascome, Ricardo Brangman, Sammy Robinson, Chris Douglas, Shannon Rayner, Seth Campbell, Brian Hall, Dean Simons, Ricky Foggo (colt). Reserves: Swayne Cambell, Zaki Minors, Isaiah O’Brien, Shaquille Pitcher, Sa-Qui Robinson.
Cleveland: Steven Bremar (captain), Dennis Musson (vice-captain), Q’Shai Darrell, Dion Stovell, Bryce Daniels, Zeri Tomlinson (colt), Mackih McGowan, Makai Young, Tybrae Robinson, Jabari Darrell, Keith Whorms (colt). Reserves: Isaiah Creighton, Michael DeSilva, Jelani Richardson, Freeman Lema, Bayon Robinson.