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Defining weekend in store for T20 champions St George’s

Captain Onias Bascome and all-rounder Allan Douglas with the Twenty20 trophy after St George’s dramatically clinching the league on net run-rate last season. They lead the Premier Division table by net run-rate over three teams going into this weekend’s matches (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Leaders St George’s will face their stiffest test yet in their bid to retain the Athene T20 League Premier Division title.

St George’s, Western Stars, Bailey’s Bay and Southampton all have 20 points, with St George’s. who lead on net run-rate, and Bay having a game in hand. However, things could look different after this weekend’s two matches as St George’s face Stars on Saturday at Lord’s before taking on Bay on Sunday at Sea Breeze Oval.

Matches will be played on Saturdays and Sunday the next four weekends before the season ends with the final round of matches on October 1.

Clay Smith, the St George’s coach, is relishing the challenge of trying to retain the trophy they won last season when brother Wendell was the head coach. They had a recent bye before returning to action last weekend with an impressive victory over Warwick. Now the hard work starts for all the teams in both divisions.

“We just came from Cup Match, so it was good to get a break,” Smith said on the weekend.

“Now, going into the next month, it’s going to be packed, Saturdays and Sundays. I think we’re more of a T20 team than a 50-overs team; we definitely have the players for T20.”

St George’s have the players to post big totals, with the likes of Allan Douglas Jr, Zeko Burgess, captain Onias Bascome, Macai Simmons, Treadwell Gibbons Jr and Temiko Wilson quite capable of being explosive with the bat. Last weekend they took only 9.1 overs to chase down the 110 posted by Warwick.

Bay also have another tough match this weekend when they meet Southampton Rangers on Saturday at Sea Breeze Oval. On Sunday, Rangers will play Cleveland at Southampton Oval while Stars take on Warwick at White Hill Field.

In the First Division, St David’s and Willow Cuts are the title favourites after three wins each from three matches. One of them will lose that perfect record on Saturday when they meet in a top-of-the-table match at Lord’s.

Cuts scored a convincing nine-wicket win over Flatts last weekend while St David’s made hard work of a modest run chase after restricting Somerset Bridge to 76 for five and then losing seven wickets before reaching their target.

On Sunday, Cuts will play PHC while St David’s take on Devonshire Rec.

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Published September 02, 2022 at 7:51 am (Updated September 02, 2022 at 7:51 am)

Defining weekend in store for T20 champions St George’s

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