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All eyes look east on decision day

Ground staff: Nicholas Chilvers helps prepare Wellington Oval for next week's game (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

All eyes will be on St George’s Cricket Club today and later this evening when they select their team for next week’s Cup Match. While holders Somerset have a more settled side and are likely to make two changes at most, their opponents already have three changes forced on them with the unavailability of Lionel Cann, Rodney Trott and Delray Rawlins. Cann is recovering from a blood clot on his lung which kept him in hospital for a couple of days, while Trott in not interested in playing this year and Rawlins, a colt last year, has commitments with the Sussex Academy in England and will not be returning.

In the past two years Somerset have made just one change, bringing in Deunte Darrell for Stephen Outerbridge last year while, by comparison, St George’s made six changes in each of the last two years as they search for a team strong enough to reclaim the cup they lost in 2012.

In 2013 St George’s dropped Jason Anderson, Delyone Borden, Fiqre Crockwell, Kyle Hodsoll while Glenn Blakeney (injured), and Stefan Kelly (in England) ruled themselves out. In came four colts, Lateef Trott, Zeko Burgess, Christian Burgess and Onias Bascome, before the axe fell on three of them last year when only Trott retained his place and Anderson and Crockwell were recalled along with Hodsoll and O’Brien.

Seam bowler Zeko Burgess, wicketkeeper Christian Burgess and Bascome, a batsman, are all in contention for places this year and with Kelly also back in the mix after a three-year absence it could be a long night for the selectors.

First, though, they will be hoping for better weather than last year when rain stopped the trial match at 3.20pm, hurting the chances of the likes of Damali Bell and Dennis Musson Jr. Rain is again in the forecast for the next few days.

Also back in contention is Treadwell Gibbons who was disciplined two years ago for his behaviour at Wellington Oval, when controversially given out. Gibbons kept himself out of the controversy last weekend in the Eastern Counties when a return catch off his own bowling was turned down by the umpires, sparking a protest by his Cleveland team.

Five team-mates were all disciplined by the Eastern Counties Cricket Association on Thursday night, three of whom are playing in today’s trial at Wellington Oval.

Somerset have a couple of youngsters trying to push their way into the team, with pace bowler Justin Donawa a strong contender along with spinner Justin Corday. Another club player, Joshua Gilbert, is abroad attending a graduation.

Football’s loss in the World Cup qualifier has turned out to be cricket’s gain as Donawa had intended to focus on the national football team, only to find he had some free time on his hands after their elimination.

Donawa, also a promising triple jumper who won a gold medal in he 2012 Carifta Games here, proved a handful for the St David’s batsmen recently when he claimed five for 18 in a league match as Somerset thrashed the champions by 150 runs.

•Somerset will put their other title on the line tomorrow at Wellington Oval when they meet St George’s in the Colts Cup Match starting at 11am. Somerset beat St George’s by 25 runs last year with Justin Donawa the man of the match with four wickets for 24 runs.

Several members of the Bermuda Under-19 national team have been selected, including Alex Dore, Jahnai Bean, Sheldon Caesar and Micah Simons for Somerset and Chare Smith, Charles Trott, Nzari Paynter, Azende Furbert, Shakeal Outerbridge and San’j Dill for St George’s.

Somerset Colts: Kwasi James (captain), Justin Corday (vice-captain), Justin Donawa, Jahnai Bean, Kamel Easton, Chikosi Basden, Alex Dore, Sheldon Caesar, Micah Simons, Antonio Darrell, Dante Wellman. Res: Azar Morrissey, Jazir Warner. Players to be at St George’s by 9.45am on Sunday.

St George’s Colts: Charles Marshall (captain), Okera Bascome, Chare Smith, Cejay Outerbridge, Nzari Paynter, Azende Furbert, Charles Trott, Shakeal Outerbridge, San’j Dill, Dean Simmons, Cameron Jeffers, Jabari Darrell, Jelani Richards

<p>Trial squads</p>


President’s Select XI: Jekon Edness (captain), Terryn Fray, Tre Manders, Deunte Darrell, Janeiro Tucker, Jordan DeSilva, Jacobi Robinson, Greg Maybury, Justin Corday, Kwasi James, Alex Dore. Reserves: Micah Simons, Sheldon Caesar.

Vice-President’s Select XI: Malachi Jones (captain), Chris Douglas, Derrick Brangman, Justin Donawa, Kamal Bashir, Marcus Johnson, Stephen Outerbridge, Jahnai Bean, Pierre Smith, Brian Hall, Chikosi Basden. Reserves: Antonio Darrell, Dante Wellman.

St George’s

President’s Select XI: OJ Pitcher, Oronde Bascome, Fiqre Crockwell, Onias Bascome, Jason Anderson, Jahron Dickinson, Justin Pitcher, Charles Trott, Zeko Burgess, Kyle Hodsoll, Chare Smith, Lateef Trott, Chae Foggo.

Vice-President’s Select XI: George O’Brien, Okera Bascome, Treadwell Gibbons, Christian Burgess, Makai Simmons, Allan Douglas, Damali Bell, Dennis Musson, Shannon Rayner, Vernon Eve, Stefan Kelly, Nzari Paynter, Dennico Hollis.