Rangers complete double over leaders St David’s
Southampton Oval (Southampton Rangers won toss); Southampton Rangers beat St David’s by 58 runs.
Southampton Rangers replicated their early season victory over St David’s in being able to successfully defend a total that appeared inadequate but in the end proved more than sufficient in an unlikely triumph at Lord’s.
Rangers, after posting 128 in 30.3 overs combined clinical out-fielding and stringent bowling, that literally strangled the bats of the Premier Division leaders, and more than small dose of heart and wilful intent in achieving victory.
Winning the toss and batting first on a worn, dry wicket that Rangers mostly struggled to score, but were once again bailed out by the innate, adaptive qualities of the experienced duo of Dion Stovell and player/coach Janeiro Tucker.
Stovell appeared as his usual “take no prisoner” self at the top of the order, dispatching anything of incorrect line or length and, even as early partners fell by the wayside without appreciable scoring, once Tucker joined him in the middle fireworks exploded.
The pair put on 62 for the fourth wicket, before Stovell was caught behind off the bowling of Derrick Brangman for a top score of 51, putting the score at 89-for-four.
Stovell now absent, St David’s strategically commenced bowling around Tucker, in favour of targeting the weaker middle and late order to great success, as Rangers lost batsmen regularly, falling to 104 for seven.
The visitors got a bonus gift when Tucker was given out, caught behind, on a hotly disputed call, after carefully grafting his way to 38 from 58 balls.
Leading from the front in the wicket-taking department for St David’s was captain Justin Pitcher, who took four-for-33, aided by a three-wicket haul from Brangman, two from Cejay Outerbridge and a single strike by George O’Brien.
As Southampton’s innings closed, it seemed to many onlookers that St David’s, hopeful of putting their first place positioning beyond logical reach — if not mathematical — were occupying the catbird seat, it would be but a short stay.
Foretelling of the struggle they would endure — and ultimately succumb to — came on ball two of the their innings, when opener Ajuan Lamb prodded forward to Charles Trott’s third ball, one which seamed away from the right-hander, finding his bat’s outside edge and falling low, but safely into the clutches of Stovell, fielding a second slip.
Regrouping from the early faux pas, St David’s elected graft over aggression and moved circumspectly to 38 on the bats of McLaren Lowe and Dean Simons, before Stovell, the bowler, stood up as an instrument of demise, collecting Lowe (15) via a catch by Christof van Tonder and followed this success with the dismissal of Dean Simons (20), who lost his head, taking a wild swipe, missing badly and being castled.
St David’s managed to make it to tea in reasonable stead at 47 for three, but the introduction of Tucker into the attack after the break proved decisive in the home team’s favour.
Tucker, in combination with the varied slow bowling of Stovell and lively, left-arm seam of Trott, triggered a collapse that St David’s could not halt and once the dust, literally, settled, there were no pieces for St David’s to collect other than those required for the sizeable trek home.
Of the final eight batsmen, none managed double figures, with Tucker unplayable, his 7.3 overs yielding three wickets at a cost of one run per over, while Stovell was likewise stingy, grabbing three for 21 from six.
Trott’s part in the devastation was to scavenge three wickets of his own as would-be champions looked anything but, being wiped out for a paltry total of 70.
“We’re looking to finish as high as possible, because we know we can’t win the league, considering the deficit and with just two games to go,” said Tucker.
On a day where only two Southampton batsmen — Tucker and Stovell — managed to hit the boundary rope, with 11 fours between them, Tucker lamented his squad’s lack of ability to occupy the crease for meaningful duration.
“You can see where we continue to struggle with our batting,” he added.
“We should have had more runs on the board. Dion and I scored 90 runs out of our team’s total.
“But, otherwise than that we just have to keep on playing. Where we scored 128, and you can either lay down or come out and fight. We knocked them down for 70, which is good and shows character.”
D Stovell c R Brangman b D Brangman 51
J Albuoy b Outerbridge 3
A Lynch lbw b G O’Brien 1
*D Richardson b Outerbridge 1
J Tucker c R Brangman b Pitcher 38
C Trott b D Brangman 0
C VanTonder b Pitcher 1
A Raynor c G O’Brien b Pitcher 0
+K Tucker b Pitcher 3
G Simons not out 4
T Smith c Pitcher b D Brangman 0
Extras (b 4, lb 3, nb 1, w 18) 26
Total (9 wkts; 30.3 overs) 128
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-12, 3-27, 4-89, 5-89, 6-99, 7-104, 8-118, 9-127.
Bowling: O’Brien 6-1-24-1; Outerbridge 6-0-33-2; Brangman 9.3-2-31-3; Pitcher 9-1-33-4.
A Lamb c Stovell b Trott 0
M Lowe c VonTonder b Stovell 15
D Simons b Stovell 20
+R Brangman c K Tucker b Trott 7
K Fox c Smith b J Tucker 4
*J Pitcher lbw Stovell 2
D Brangman c Smith b Trott 4
L Marshal not out 7
G O’Brien run out 2
I O’Brien lbw b J Tucker 2
C Outerbridge b J Tucker 0
Extras (lb 2, nb 3 w 2) 7
Total (9 wkts; 23.3 overs) 70
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-38, 3-38, 4-50, 5-53, 6-57, 7-64, 8-67, 9-70.
Bowling: Trott 10-0-40-3; D Stovell 6-1-21-3; Tucker 7.3-3-7-3.
Umpires: C Brangman and H Watson.