T20 win good for the St George’s community, says Oronde Bascome
Allan Douglas Jr continues to show his value to a team in the shortest version of the game after winning the Twenty20 League a second straight time on the weekend.
The all-rounder, who won the title with Southampton Rangers last season, was a key part of the St George’s success in his first season there, helping them climb above early favourites Rangers and Bailey’s Bay to win the league on net run-rate.
Douglas hit three centuries during the five-game winning run, including two against Rangers and another against St David’s when he blasted a season’s best 146.
Douglas was just as devastating in Saturday’s seven-wicket win over Rangers when, against great odds, the East Enders scored 183 for three in just 12 overs in a match that was shortened to 16 overs a side. Douglas’s 123 off just 45 balls, with 16 sixes and three fours, was worth waiting around for after rain stopped play for 70 minutes before St George’s started their innings at 6pm.
Oronde Bascome, who shared in an opening stand of 73 with Douglas in 5.2 overs, played a key role in that victory. In the earlier match against Rangers on August 15, he scored 93 as he and Douglas put on 212 for the third wicket, with Douglas finishing on 102 not out. They lost Temiko Wilson and Treadwell Gibbons in the first over from Nirobi Mills with just three runs on the board.
“It happened by chance, actually, Temiko and Treddie went early in one game against Rangers and Dougie and I got together in the first over and we just fed off each other’s energy,” Bascome explained.
“We just kept going for the next few games and ended up champions.”
Bascome admits batting with Douglas when he is in full flow does make his job easier.
“The plan was always to get him to bat out the innings,” Bascome said. “So actually my role was to take the pressure off him early in the innings just so he can get his eye in because we know what he can do later on in the innings.
“My role was to go after the bowlers’ good and bad balls and maximise the powerplay and it worked out for us.”
Halfway through the schedule it looked certain that Rangers or Bailey’s Bay would win the league, but then Bay’s slump coincided with the late surge by St George’s and Somerset, who beat both teams. Bay won just one of their last six games after winning their opening four games to lead the tables.
“This is definitely great for the community as a whole,” said Bascome, who was only 11 in 1999 when St George’s, under the captaincy of his father, Herbie Bascome, won the last of their five Camel Cup titles. Clay Smith captained the team to their fourth Camel Cup title in 1998.
Wendell Smith, was the captain and coach who transformed them into a top team in the 1980s after taking over as captain in 1985.
“I’m especially proud of my brother [Onias] who captained us to a premier trophy,” Bascome said. “I don’t know when was the last time we won one.
“It’s good that Wendell and Clay [Smith] have come back because they have a lot of love in the community from everybody, especially the cricketers.
“They gave us a big boost just having their presence and their knowledge here, so I appreciate them for coming back to the club. I’m just happy that I was able to get our team into this position coming into the last game of the season [against Willow Cuts]. I’m glad the rest of the team was able to go out there and finish things off, especially Onias as the skipper who really showed his maturity and class today.
“There are a lot of people who played an important role in our team which was in the First Division a few years ago. I want to thank the manager, Barry Sousa, who has been there every day and Uncle Sub [Noel Smith] who comes to every single game, home and away.
“To everybody in the community, we appreciate you. We’re definitely looking forward to going into next season with this energy, a winning mentality and looking to Cup Match to get the same result.”
Douglas certainly made up for his disappointing performance in Cup Match as he finished as one of the most outstanding players of the season.
“I feel good because I’m home playing with my friends,” he said. “It feels good to win it at home and for them to show that they appreciate me.
“I told the skipper when the first [Rangers] game got cancelled that we were going to beat them twice. Us beating them twice helped us to win the league.
“Me playing for Rangers last year, I know their mentality. Hats off to them and definitely hats off to my team because we overcame a lot of obstacles this year, especially Covid and Cup Match which was definitely a damper on us.
“But we stayed to the wicket and brought the cup home.”