Another big knock from Allan Douglas would make certain that St David’s wrap up the Premier Division Twenty20 title when they return to Sea Breeze Oval tomorrow to play St George’s in their final match.
St David’s have a superior net run-rate to St George’s and Southampton Rangers, who would move level on points with St David’s if they win. However, St David’s, with a net run-rate of 2.474, can still win the league if they do not lose heavily and Rangers (1.472) win by an even bigger margin over Western Stars at St John’s Field. St George’s have a NRR of -0.141.
Douglas demolished the Western Stars bowling in their last match, scoring a record 144 from just 59 balls, hitting 17 sixes and seven fours.
George Cannonier, the St David’s coach, described it as one of the best innings he has seen, up there with the brilliant knock of 303 not out that Glenn Blakeney scored for St David’s against Bailey’s Bay, his former team, in 2002.
“It was an innings that I’ve been trying to get out him all summer because he is capable of stuff like that,” Cannonier said of Douglas. “I told him he’s getting a reputation as a slugger, and he said ‘that’s what I am’. I told him, ‘no, you’re not, you’re a batsman, and you need to value your wicket more.”
Cannonier feels it was no coincidence that Douglas’s knock came a day after St David’s won back the Eastern Counties Cup from Cleveland, whom he briefly played for in the Eastern Counties before losing his eligibility when he left the team.
“He was looking forward to playing that game, especially after the county match,” Cannonier said. “He was pinning on the county day and just wanted to play, and that’s what came out on the Sunday.
“The innings was something to watch. He only made one mistake and that was when he got out. I’ve seen innings like that — one was Glenn Blakeney’s record 303 not out against Bailey’s Bay — and Allan was just as exuberant in his stroke play.
“St David’s islanders just love to watch him bat and as a coach I always like to see a batsman playing at his best. I hung in there as a coach to see innings like this.”
Rain has been forecast for this weekend and could affect the weekend programme. Somerset have again forfeited their match because of a shortage of players, this time against Bailey’s Bay at Sea Breeze Oval. It is the third time in this competition that Somerset will be a no-show.
Cleveland and Flatts will meet in a cup game for the third time in a month when they battle in the First Division Twenty20 semi-finals at St John’s Field. It is all tied up between the two sides, with Flatts winning the First Division Championship Cup on August 12 when they beat the league champions in the battle between the two promoted sides at St John’s Field. The next weekend, Cleveland gained revenge when they beat Flatts in the Eastern Counties second round.
This weekend’s meeting will determine who advances in another cup competition, with a spot in the final at stake later in the afternoon at Devonshire Recreation Club, where the winners will meet the winners of the other semi-final between Warwick and Devonshire Rec.
Warwick were the winners of the Evens groups while Flatts won the Odds group, both teams going unbeaten in their three games. Cleveland finished runners-up to Warwick while Devonshire Rec were second to Flatts in the other group.
Flatts’ convincing win over Cleveland in the First Division Championship Cup set the stage for an eagerly awaited Eastern Counties tie, which Cleveland won easily. Now bragging rights will be at stake at St John’s Field, where Flatts will be without two key players.
Kamau Leverock, who scored 62 in the last match at St John’s Field and then was threatening with the ball in the Eastern Counties, has returned to England, while Reggie Baker, their opening batsman, has not played since taking ill with chest pains while batting in the Eastern Counties match.
“Reggie is done for the season, doing what he has to do for himself,” Kijuan Franks, the Flatts player-coach, said.
“We’re looking forward to playing our rivals; it’s always a nice battle against them. We’ll have a couple of youngsters out there. We’ve been doing that for the whole Twenty20 series and they have produced with the ball.
“It will definitely be a good thing to get over our rivals and win the tournament to end the season on a high. All in all, it has been a great season for us. We won one trophy and got promoted, and this could be icing on the cake.”