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McGowan confident Cleveland can retain top-flight status after successive victories

Pivotal Performances: Mackih McGowan helped guide relegation threatened Cleveland to back-to-back victories in a Athene T20 League Premier Division double-header at Lord’s. (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Lord’s (Cleveland won toss): Cleveland County beat Southampton Rangers by 59 runs.

Mackih McGowan is adamant Cleveland’s hopes of retaining their top-flight status are far from over after helping his side to back-to-back victories in an Athene T20 League Premier Division double-header at Lord’s.

Building on the momentum of a 22-run success over Somerset earlier in the day, in which McGowan starred with an impressive knock of 70, as well taking two wickets, Cleveland further enhanced their hopes of survival with a comfortable victory over Southampton Rangers.

McGowan again played a vital role, scoring his second half-century of the day off 28 balls, with Makai Young top scoring on 65 not out, as Cleveland set a promising total of 154 for 3.

That target proved well out of reach of Rangers, who were bowled out for just 95 in 16.4 overs, with Keishon Wilson (37) the only batsman to post a significant contribution.

Jalani Richardson proved the pick of the Cleveland bowling attack with figures of three for 11, with McGowan and and Q’shai Darrell claiming two apiece.

The victories lifted Cleveland off the bottom of the table to leave them just one win adrift of Rangers, one place outside of the relegation zone, with two matches remaining.

“It’s great to be able to pick up two well-earned victories,” said McGowan. “We started off this season a little rough but finally we are showing some form.

“Everyone played their part today, including myself with two half-centuries and a couple of wickets in both games, so I’m really happy with the performances.

“Survival for us is definitely not impossible. We have two games left so we will be doing everything we can to get two more victories, which should hopefully put us in a good position.

“We know we have to win those last two matches but we will take a lot of confidence from today.”

Having elected to bat, Cleveland got off to a disastrous start to their innings – just as they had in the opening match – as opener Q’shai Darrell (0) was trapped leg before by Dion Stovell with just the second ball.

However, McGowan (50) and Young, who were dropped on numerous occasions, steadied the innings, taking the score to 69 before the former was caught off the bowling of Janeiro Tucker after 8.6 overs.

Having played his part in the 69-run partnership with McGowan, Young then put on a 70-run partnership with Steven Bremar (34) over the course of the next ten overs before he was the last batsman out, bowled by Stovell with the score at 139 for 3 after 18.4 overs.

Young (65 not out) was joined by Dennis Musson (2 not out) with the pair batting out the remaining overs as Cleveland posted a total of 154 for 3 .

Rangers reply got off to the worse possible start as opener Stovell (0) was caught leg before by the first ball he faced from Jalani Richardson and things continued to go rapidly downhill as they found themselves at 29 for five after just 5.4 overs following an alarming batting collapse.

Fellow opener Janeiro Tucker (5) was caught off the bowling of Tybrae Robinson with just 11 runs on the board before he was soon joined by Dalin Richardson (7) three deliveries later, caught off the bowling of Jalani Richardson with just a further two runs added to the total.

Charles Trott (5) came and went less than two overs later, with just 23 runs on the Rangers scoreboard, as Jalani Richardson claimed his second wicket before Kamen Tucker (0) was caught and bowled by McGowan with only a further six runs added to the total and less than six overs completed.

The collapse ended for all of three overs before Gerald Simons (6) was dismissed, caught and bowled by Darrell with the total four runs shy of 50, and Keishon Tucker (10) also falling victim to Darrell, with the score at 61 for 7 after 11.5 overs.

Tayo Smith (5) also failed to add a telling contribution before he was bowled by McGowan with 82 runs on the board after 15.2 overs. Wilson finally fell two deliveries later – caught and bowled by McGowan – having at least added a solid knock of 37.

The inevitable defeat was finally confirmed when Musson claimed the final wicket of Swayne Raynor (4) as Rangers were all out for just 95 with 3.2 overs still remaining. Makai Jacobs (8 not out) was the last batsman standing.

<strong id="strong-a06646cd8c6f2f57b7a832621b085bdf">Cleveland County v Southampton Rangers (Athene T20 League Premier Division)</strong>

Cleveland County

Q Darrell lbw Stovell 0

*M McGowan c Smith c Tucker 50

M Young not out 65

S Bremar b Stovell 34

D Musson not out 2

Extras (b1, lb 2) 3

Total (3 wkts; 20 overs) 154

Q Simmons, D Rabain, B Daniels, T Robinson, J Robinson and R O’Brien did not bat

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-69, 3-139

Bowling: Stovell 4-0-23-2; Trott 4-0-28-0; Tucker 4-0-28-1; Smith 4-0-44-0; Richardson 4-0-28-0.

Southampton Rangers

D Stovell lbw Richardson 0

J Tucker c McGowan b Robinson 5

*D Richardson c McGowan b Richardson 7

C Trott c Musson b Richardson 5

K Wilson c&b McGowan 37

Kamen Tucker run out 0

G Simmons c&b Darrell 6

Keishon Tucker b Darrell 10

T Smith b McGowan 5

M Jacobs not out 8

S Raynor b Musson 4

Extras (lb 1, w 7) 8

Total (16.4 overs) 95

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-11, 3-13, 4-23, 5-29, 6-46, 7-61, 8-82, 9-83, 10-95

Bowling: Richardson 3-0-11-3; Robinson 3-0-18-1; Young 2-0-15-0; Darrell 4-0-15-2; Musson 3.4-0-29-1; McGowan 1-0-6-2

Umpires: A Knight and J Pitcher

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Published September 26, 2022 at 7:29 am (Updated September 26, 2022 at 8:16 am)

McGowan confident Cleveland can retain top-flight status after successive victories

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