Dion Stovell and Janeiro Tucker add to St George’s woes
Southampton Oval (Southampton Rangers won toss): Southampton Rangers beat St George’s by 167 runs
Veteran stars Janeiro Tucker and Dion Stovell propelled Southampton Rangers to a drubbing yesterday that went some ways to erasing the disappointment over being pipped at the line by St George’s to the Twenty20 league last season.
Tucker and Stovell took full advantage of a St George’s side missing several regulars, including frontline bowlers Zeko Burgess and Rodney Trott, flaying much of that which remained as they sent the East Enders tumbling to a third consecutive defeat.
Understanding their team’s own deficiencies, particularly in the batting department, Stovell and Tucker left little to chance as they set out establishing what they deemed a formidable target.
Stovell laid down his marker opening the innings, finding gaps in the point region with an array of cut shots to go with the occasional drive through cover and several leg glances that produced dividends.
Stovell and Jelani Albouy put on 81 for the first wicket, the latter contributing 24, to provide what appeared a solid foundation — only for their position to be severely shaken as three wickets fell in rapid succession.
Albouy was adjudged leg-before and Alistair Lynch (0) and Kwame Tucker (6) soon followed their comrade back to the pavilion, leaving Rangers in a spot of bother.
However, what appeared a boon for the visiting side became an obstruction, with the introduction of Janeiro Tucker, who, like Stovell, had little difficulty settling in and finding gaps in the field. The pair were content to graft without being overly expansive, putting on 136 for the fourth wicket before Stovell, just four short of a century, was undone by a skidding ball from Rohan Richards that stayed low.
Tucker plodded on circumspectly, confiscating as much of the strike as he could as Rangers looked towards setting a formidable target. The ploy reaped dividends until Tucker, on 93, and paired with Micah Wellman (4), drove to Richards fielding at mid-wicket. He attempted to steal a second run to keep strike, but was arrested in his attempt as Richards’s arm proved strong and true.
Tucker’s dismissal left Rangers at 261 for seven, but the tail managed to wag just enough to get them over the 300 mark. They were assist by a whopping 37 wides.
Treadwell Gibbons Jr was the bright spark in the St George’s attack, claiming four for 50, while captain Onias Bascome grabbed three scalps.
“We have a whole new team and me and Dion understand that we have to lead from the front and I thought that we did that with the bat, where we were able to get to a respectable total,” said Tucker of his side’s approach to the contest. “We know that we’re here to score the bulk of the runs, which is what we’ve done the last couple of weeks.
“We know that we have to score runs for us to be competitive. We have to lead from the front and have our guys follow suit and do what they have to do to get us over the line.
“Today we got a good total, then the thing was to be able to defend the total because our bowling is not that good yet. At the end of the day we executed the basics, put the ball in the right spot and let them make mistakes.”
St George’s obliged with a litany of errors while batting, including scoreboard watching, leading to a steady procession to and from the pitch.
Just as he did in the field, Gibbons was shoulders above his team-mates when it came time to bat, leading the scoring with 31, while showing a fair degree of grit after having to be helped off the field midway through his innings with what was thought to be a severely bruised left knee.
Outside of Gibbons, only Sinclair Smith (27) offered much in terms of resistance, as all but one of the six bowlers used by Rangers claimed at least one wicket.
Tayo Smith proved the pick of the sextet, returning figures of three for 21, while Tucker, Stovell and Lynch each got two and Nirobi Mills one.
With the loss, St George’s well know that they are wandering in an area of increased danger relevant to their survival among the top flight.
“We’re struggling a bit right now to be competitive,” said opening batsman Temiko Wilson of his side’s plight. “We have a few players away with the Bermuda squad and a few injuries, so we’re struggling a bit right now — not to field a team, but to be competitive.
“Still we had a lot of positives out there today. We have a lot of youngsters that came out, bowled well and we fielded well. I feel that we came back in the field because they were well on course for an even bigger score and we were able to chop them down to 300.”
Wilson was positive in reflection on the first four weeks of the season, one that has produced more downs than ups for St George’s, who welcomed Clay Smith back as coach in place of older brother Wendell Smith.
“I feel that we had a good first half, we just didn’t get the results,” Wilson said. “We just need to get that team vibe back. After what has happened in the first half of the season and the things we’ve been through, we have to get our groove back.
“We know it’s not going to be easy, but we have to strive and push through.”
D Stovell b Richards 96
J Albouy lbw b Gibbons 24
A Lynch lbw b Bascome 0
†K Tucker c Bascome b Gibbons 6
J Tucker run out 93
G Simons lbw b Bascome 2
A Raynor lbw b Bascome 0
M Wellman b Gibbons 4
T Smith run out 26
M Jacobs b Gibbons 6
N Mills not out 2
Extras (b 5, lb 2, w 37) 44
Total (49.5 overs) 303
Fall of wickets: 1-81, 2-91, 3-100, 4-236, 5-251, 6-252, 7-261, 8-279, 9-297.
Bowling: Simmons 8-0-86-0; Bascome 10-2-44-3; Gibbons 8.5-1-50-4; Darrell 10-0-34-0; Greaves 7-0-28-0; Richards 3-0-17-1; J Smith 3-0-24-0.
T Gibbons st K Tucker b Stovell 31
T Wilson b Mills 4
S Smith b Smith 27
O Bascome b J Tucker 13
M Simmons c J Tucker b Smith 16
J Smith c J Tucker b Lynch 10
S Darrell c Smith b Lynch 0
J Carlington c Albouy b J Tucker 2
I Greaves b Stovell 0
R Richards c J Tucker b Smith 4
A Cannonier not out 0
Extras (b 3, lb 6, nb 7, w 11) 27
Total (23.3 overs) 137
Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-78, 3-95, 4-105, 5-113, 6-113, 7-119, 8-121, 9-131.
Bowling: Mills 6-0-51-1; Stovell 5.3-0-20-2; J Tucker 4-0-20-2; Jacobs 2-0-14-0; Smith 5-0-21-3; Lynch 1-0-5-2.
Umpires: S Caines and M McCormack.