Allan Douglas Jr puts St George’s in pole position to win Premier Division T20 title
St George’s set the stage for a thrilling last day of Premier Division Twenty20 cricket today after handing champions Southampton Rangers a crushing seven-wicket defeat at Southampton Oval.
In a match that started 45 minutes late and then had a 70-minute delay because of rain, Rangers posted 182 for five in their reduced 16 overs.
However, the best was still to come, as Allan Douglas, of St George’s, scored a second straight century — 123 off 45 balls, with 16 sixes and three fours — to lead his team to victory at 183 fir three in only 12 overs.
It means St George’s, who join Rangers and Somerset on 70 points but lead the league on net run-rate after a Douglas-inspired four-match winning streak, will be crowned champions if they beat relegated Willow Cuts at Wellington Oval today.
Rangers, who face Bailey’s Bay at Sea Breeze Oval, can successfully defend their title only with a win and a shock St George’s defeat. And Somerset, the third team in a thrilling denouement, require a win at home to relegated St David’s, while both St George’s and Southampton lose.
Back to the fireworks at Southampton Oval, Douglas and Oronde Bascome put on 73 for the first wicket as no bowler escaped punishment in an electrifying run chase.
It is rare that one can be said to be playing a supporting role with 42 from 17 balls, but that’s what Oronde Bascome’s innings — which included four sixes and three fours — amounted to when compared with what Douglas was doing at the other end.
Nirobi Mills, one of the form bowlers of the second half of the season, went for 51 runs in his four overs while fellow opener Malachi Jones and first-change Dion Stovell, returning after two weeks out, went for 36 and 42 respectively from only two overs.
Douglas was finally out two runs short of victory, bowled by Charles Trott going for a match-winning six.
“Having to score nearly 12 runs an over for the entirety of the innings, I thought was going to be very difficult,” St George’s coach Wendell Smith said. “Fortunately, Rangers did us a favour by dropping at least four catches, which was crucial.
“When you drop people who are dynamic hitters, they will make you pay and that’s exactly what happened. We’re not counting our chickens because we still have tomorrow’s match.
“The guys are performing well, we’re having fun and enjoying our cricket. I expect we’ll have a nice crowd down there.”
Earlier, Jones, the Rangers captain, was in a brutal mood against the St George’s bowlers, as he smashed seven sixes and five fours in a top knock of 64 after joining the fray in only in the second over, with two wickets down for 12 runs.
Kwame Tucker was caught by Douglas off Jabari Darrell in the first over before Stovell departed for eight six balls later — both batsmen whose return after a few weeks out on holiday was seen as crucial by player-coach Janeiro Tucker in the build-up.
Charles Trott added 46 runs late in the Rangers innings, including 22 in the last over from three sixes and a four, while opener Janeiro Tucker scored 28.
Treadwell Gibbons, who opened the bowling with Darrell, claimed two for 48, the only bowler in the match to take more than one wicket on a day dominated by the batsmen despite the wet conditions.
St George’s go into today’s potential crowning moment further emboldened psychologically by the return from injury of Macai Simmons.
The all-rounder missed Cup Match because of a fractured hand suffered on July 18 but featured yesterday with one over that went for 14 runs — no surprise there, given the all-round carnage — and being a not out batsman when the final runs were scored in a famous victory.
K Tucker c Douglas b Darrell 0
Janeiro Tucker b Onias Bascome 28
D Stovell b Gibbons 8
*M Jones c Gibbons b Smith 64
C Trott not out 46
A Raynor c Darrell b Gibbons 15
S Rayner not out 0
Extras (lb 3, w 18) 21
Total (5 wkts, 16 overs) 182
T Smith, K Astwood, †J Albuoy and Nirobi Mills did not bat.
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-12, 3-85, 4-123, 5-160.
Bowling: Darrell 2-0-36-1; Gibbons 4-0-48-2; Simmons1-0-14-0; Douglas 3-0-24-0; Onias Bascome 2-0-25-1; Smith 2-0-16-1; Paynter 2-0-16-0.
A Douglas Jr b Trott 123
Oronde Bascome c Albuoy b J Tucker 42
*Onias Bascome lbw b Stovell 1
T Gibbons Jr not out 9
M Simmons not out 0
Extras (b 1, lb 1, w 6) 8
Total (3 wkts, 12 overs) 183
†T Wilson, J Darrell, I Greaves, D Smith, N Paynter and Oyinde Bascome did not bat.
Fall of wickets: 1-73, 2-82, 3-181.
Bowling: Mills 4-0-51-0; Jones 2-0-36-0; Stovell 2-0-42-1; J Tucker 2-0-24-1; Trott 2-0-28-1.
Umpires: R Dill and E Carrington.