Dion Stovell hits out after Rangers relegated
Lord’s, St David’s (Somerset won toss): Somerset beat Southampton by 83 runs.
Cup Match regular and Southampton Rangers player Dion Stovell launched a scathing attack on his side after defeat against Somerset on Saturday meant his side were relegated from the Athene T20 Premier League Division.
While nobody can question Stovell’s commitment to the Rangers cause after his side’s 83-run defeat, he was willing to do just that about some of his team-mates.
“The situation is so bad at the club that we don’t even know where to start, we’re in bad shape.” said Stovell.
“We don’t have the players of yesteryear. We don’t have the players that are going to be committed. We don’t have the players who are going to train. We don’t have the players who understand the game.
“We just have guys that show up and that’s why we’re in the position we’re in now. We don’t have cricketers, we just have guys that play cricket.”
Rangers captain Dalin Richardson was less harsh and feels that there may be an opportunity within the crisis to rebuild the club in a manner more sustainable.
“I look to take it as a positive,” said Richardson after the match. “We need to rebuild if we’re going to get anywhere close to what Rangers used to be.
“We have quite a few youngsters coming into the team so being relegated we can build depth and experience among the younger players.
“I feel like we can use T20 as a place to grow some talent. I believe that next year we should be able to fight and come back up.”
Beating Rangers meant Somerset did exactly what they needed to in their own quest to survive, when winning one of Saturday’s critical early battles on the final day of the T20 Athene Premier Division.
Earlier, Somerset laid the groundwork for success largely on the strength of an opening partnership of 54 featuring the flash and dash of Douglas (29) and deliberateness of Matt Watson (44), and a scorching 44 not out from Alje Richardson.
Douglas and Watson were effective at the top, running well between the wickets and rotating strike, frustrating Rangers’ attack before Douglas was first to fall, misplaying a Tucker delivery and being caught by Stovell.
But Douglas’s departure offered no respite as Sabir and Watson continued the quest forward, adding 40 for the second wicket.
Watson finally succumbed to the slow bowling of Vernon Eve in the 16th over, setting the stage for Richardson to embark on a scorched-earth policy that ultimately put the match out of Rangers’ reach.
From the moment they lost opener Janeiro Tucker for a first-ball duck it was clear their fate was decided.
Further confirmation of their drop to the lower division came quickly, with Charles Trott (0) and captain Dalin Richardson (1) following Tucker back to the dressing room, the former skying Isaiah Richardson into the clutches of Dominic Sabir at mid-off, while the latter was castled in becoming Richardson’s second strike.
With three wickets down and a similar figure in the runs column. their Premier Divison future rested squarely upon the ability of Dion Stovell to gobble strike and score quickly while protecting a fragile lower order.
A mini revival occurred as Stovell engaged Rohaan Simons (12) in a 37-run fourth-wicket partnership, before Simons prodded forward to an arm ball from Chris Douglas and presented the simplest of return catches.
C Douglas c Stovell b Tucker 29
M Watson c Trott b Eve 44
D Sabir b Stovell 23
A Richardson not out 44
J Morrissey not out 11
Extras (b-2, nb-3 , w-3 ) 7
Total (3 wickets) 159
Fall of wickets: 1-54, 2-94, 3-116.
A Brown, D Richardson, G Maybury, I Richardson, J Albertz and J DeSilva did not bat.
Bowling: Stovell 4-0-28-1; Trott 4-0-48-0; Tucker 3-0-25-1; Richardson 5-0-29-0; Eve 4-0-27-1.
J Tucker c Albertz b Maybury 0
C Trott c Sabir b I Richardson 0
D Richardson b I Richardson 1
R Simons c and b Douglas 12
D Stovell c Sabir b Watson 25
G Simons run out 15
M Jacobs b Brown 2
V Eve b Brown 4
M Bean b Watson 1
R Rhodes not out 1
S Raynor c Sabir b Brown 0
Extras (b-2, lb-3, nb-3, w-7)
Total (9 wickets, 16.4 overs) 76
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-3, 3-3, 4-40, 5-61, 6-61, 7-69, 8-74, 9-76.
Bowling: Maybury 4-0-18-1; I Richardson 3-0-8-2; DeSilva 2-0-11-0; Douglas 3-0-6-2; Brown 1.4-0-9-3.
Umpires: S Douglas, R Dill.