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Chris Douglas back to full fitness after heat scare

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Chris Douglas is in contention for selection tonight after retiring hurt against Italy because of heat exhaustion (File photograph)

Chris Douglas has been cleared to return for Bermuda’s second ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League Play-off match against Saudi Arabia, after he was carried off on a stretcher in the opening defeat by Italy.

Douglas retired hurt after scoring 28 off 43 balls in Bermuda’s unsuccessful chase on Thursday. The left-hander, who also bowed out hurt in the warm-up match against Bahrain because of an arm injury, did not return to complete his innings.

However, ahead of the match, which gets under way tonight (9.30pm Bermuda time) head coach Cal Waldron confirmed Douglas is back in contention, while also reflecting on how they are dealing with the extremely hot and humid conditions.

“Chris received medical attention at the field, they gave him some electrolyte supplements,’’ Waldron said. “His body has fully recovered, he’s now 100 per cent himself.

“We are monitoring him to make sure that he and everybody else is doing the necessary to get their liquid intake to be able to sustain themselves for the duration of Saturday’s training session, and quite obviously, Sunday the match day.

“We’ve upped the players’ water and hydration intake. Everybody is mentally aware of what it is they need to do extra to be able to be able to function in this heat.

“Here and there the players are feeling the heat; everybody is feeling it differently. Chris was the only one who was adversely affected.”

After losing their opening match to Italy by a whopping 157 runs, Bermuda are under immense pressure to win at least one of their remaining two fixtures, concluding against Kuwait (tomorrow, 9.30pm Bermuda time).

Bermuda, at the bottom of group A, need to be in the top three to make it to the Super Six. Italy have already secured a spot in the next stage of the competition after following up their triumph over Bermuda by defeating Saudi Arabia by 52 runs on Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.

“We’ll approach the two matches with the mindset that we can still win,’’ Waldron said.

“We have to go out there and give a better display with the bat, the ball and the fielding. We also need a total mindset of approaching these matches as do-or-die.

“The players still believe in themselves; they want to go out there and achieve what they came to achieve. They have to put their best foot forward. They have to focus on nothing but effort to achieve it.

“Considering that Italy won their second match, we need to win the next two. There’s no room for error — we need to win, that’s what it boils down to.

“We’re not going to win ugly, but we need to go out there and give it our all, do what we’ve got to do to win.”

The coach also reflected on the loss to Italy, which he felt came down to failure to put together tangible partnerships.

“We didn’t do the first session too well,” Waldron said.

“They piled up runs which reflected on the way we approached the batting innings. We were unfortunate to lose Marcus [Scotland] early and then Chris going down with illness due to the heat, it was like a wicket down.

“We never really had an partnerships to tackle that score; we were just completely out of the match.

“Nobody built a partnership with Terryn [Fray], he ended up batting all the way through. The little partnerships he had with Sinclair [Smith] and Zeko [Burgess] weren’t quite enough to give us a good batting display.”

Up and running: Chris Douglas, second right, has recovered from heat exhaustion (Photograph by Cleon Scotland)

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Published February 24, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated February 24, 2024 at 6:03 pm)

Chris Douglas back to full fitness after heat scare

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