Captain Dion Stovell is doubtful for Southampton Rangers in today’s third round of the Western Counties against Willow Cuts at PHC Field, while the challengers have lined up Dean Stephens and Jordan DeSilva as their two guest players.
Both teams were still finalising their teams yesterday, with Stovell, who was struck in the head on the second day of Cup Match by a short delivery from Justin Pitcher, still recovering. Stovell is likely to rest ahead of next week’s ICC Twenty20 Americas World Cup Qualifiers when he will captain the Bermuda team against the United States, Canada and Cayman Islands.
Willow Cuts have traditionally been the biggest threat to Rangers in the competition and have included the experienced Stephens of Cleveland, who previously played for them in the league, and DeSilva, the Somerset captain.
“The only team I think can stand up to Rangers on any given day, if we show up, is Willow Cuts, regardless of what team they’ve got,” warned Dexter Basden, the club’s vice-president and former captain. “No disrespect to the other clubs but the strongest chance of winning would be Willow Cuts, if they come to play.”
Cuts lost the title to Rangers in the same round in 2016 at PHC Field when Rangers scored 272 for eight and then restricted Cuts to 236 to win by 36 runs. They have held the trophy since then and are favourites against Cuts after comfortably beating Somerset Bridge and PHC in the first two rounds. Warwick will be the opponents in the final on august 24.
n Two Premier Division 50 overs matches will be played tomorrow with Rangers hosting St David’s at Southampton Oval while St George’s take on Bailey’s Bay at Wellington Oval.
In the First Division, Somerset host PHC, Western Stars are at home to Willow Cuts and Devonshire Rec take on Somerset Bridge at Devonshire Rec.