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Western Stars out to derail St George’s title defence

Threat for St George’s: Western Stars could disturb St George’s title defence (File photograph by Ras Mykkal)

St George’s will be aiming to avoid a potential dent to their Athene T20 League Premier Division title defence when they take on Western Stars at White Hill Field tomorrow.

With three matches remaining, St George’s lead the way at the top of the standings, but only on net run-rate over second placed Bailey’s Bay.

In the first meeting between the sides, the league leaders prevailed by 22 runs in a low-scoring affair, with St George’s bowled out for 115 before they restricted Stars to 93 for five.

Reflecting on the upcoming encounter, Stars coach Jekon Edness is wary of the potential for a lack of match sharpness from his players following an enforced two-week break, first because of the aftereffects of Tropical Storm Idalia and then due to the staging of Bermuda Premier League tournament.

“It’s a big game against St George’s on Sunday,” Edness said.

“The preparation has not been ideal, we’ll look to have a training session on Saturday just to get guys back in the groove playing cricket.

“We had a break due to BPL where a lot of St George’s players played and our players didn’t so they have the advantage going into Sunday but we'll be prepared and try our best.

“However, when it comes to T20 cricket anything is possible.”

Bay have a great opportunity to keep the pressure on St George’s when they clash with bottom-placed St David’s at Lord’s.

In the reverse fixture, Bay scraped through by three wickets, struggling at the crease after their bowlers had done a great job of keeping St David’s to 98 for eight.

Elsewhere, Somerset, with a newly discovered winning formula have what appears to be an easy fixture against Willow Cuts at Southampton Oval.

When the two teams met in July, Somerset cruised to victory by nine wickets, achieved with 64 balls to spare.

Jeff Richardson’s side are rejuvenated after wins over St David’s and St George’s, with that momentum halted by an abandoned match against Bay.

Captain Jordan DeSilva sees the match against Cuts as a great opportunity to maintain their faint chances of winning the league.

“It’s derby day this week, that’s always a big game for both teams,” DeSilva said.

“No matter where you are on the table, Somerset versus Willow Cuts, it’s two games that we look forward to.

“We’ve got guys that are itching to play after being off for a couple of weeks from the BPL and some guys who’re looking to continue some form they might have found in the BPL, so we’re just looking forward to it.

“It’s a big game for us, we can keep our slight title hopes alive with a win while also basically guaranteeing that Willow Cuts get relegated sooner is always motivating when we play them.

“We still have an outside chance of winning the league, so that’s just things we’re looking at, just looking to keep improving.

“We had a couple of good T20 performances in a row, so the break actually might have hurt us more than help because I thought that we were probably the in-form team out of all the teams in the league.”

Dexter Basden, the Cuts coach, is well aware of his team’s dire situation languishing in the bottom two.

“We definitely need points and it’s a derby so it’s a welcome challenge,” Basden said.

“We haven’t trained as a full team for a little while, but I train at least five of my youngsters every week.

“We’ve done enough training for the season to carry us through these last three games so we’ll see what happens.”

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Published September 16, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated September 18, 2023 at 8:13 am)

Western Stars out to derail St George’s title defence

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