Guyana hunt pride and individual glory as Jamaica eye ‘double’
By Sean Devers in Jamaica In association with Digicel, Western Union,Pepsi, Smalta,
TCL, Michelle Player’s Modeling Agency
& Demerara Power Company
With virtually no chance of winning the One-Day title after a dismal Three-Day campaign, Guyana now hunt pride and individual glory as they take on Jamaica today in the 4th and penultimate round of the TCL Group Regional One-Day cricket competition at the Melbourne ground.
Already with the Three-Day title in the bag, hosts Jamaica are the only unbeaten team in the One-Day series and are strong favourites to recapture the limited overs crown they last won when they beat Guyana in the 2007 final in St Kitts.
Even without leading batsman and Skipper Andre Creary (who got injured while on duty with the West Indies test Squad last month and has been ruled out of the entire TCL tournament) Jamaica have produced a clinical showing so far, while a win for Guyana will do well for the moral of the players.
The Guyanese were given the day off yesterday after a feisty performance from their bowlers almost compensated for another poor batting display in their last game which they lost by three wickets to Barbados.
Set a modest 142 to win, Barbados struggled to victory in the 48th over and the defeat left the Guyanese mentally deflated after the entire team showed plenty of fight and energy defending their paltry total.
The motivation now could be for consolation wins today and against dethroned One-Day champions Trinidad and Tobago tomorrow. But more importantly it could come from the knowledge that the West Indies selectors will name a 20-man squad for the Regional senior One-Day competition later this year in Guyana and next year’s Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand.
Chairman, Clyde Butts arrived in Jamaica last Thursday to join the rest of the selection panel and with two matches left, the players will be hoping to impress.
Opener Trevon Griffith scored the first ton in the Three-Day format and has set tongues wagging here with his attractive batting. He has been the only Guyanese brave enough to counter-attack the pacers with audacious hooks and pulls and has scored at around a run-a-ball in almost all of his innings.
He will however be disappointed that as Guyana’s premier batsmen he has not ‘gone on’ to get bigger scores and is keen for at least another 100 runs in the limited overs competition to earn his ticket to New Zealand.
When he left Guyana, Alex Amsterdam was not one of the ‘big name’ players on the team but his level-headed left-handed batting and miserly, if not destructive off-spin has made him a strong contender for a West Indies Under-19 One-Day team and he too will be aiming to enhance his chances today.
Keon Joseph continues to be the fastest bowler in Regional Under-19 cricket and he has been able to add control to his hostile pace in the One-Day competition and is in line for a West Indies youth-team pick.
Regarded as Guyana’s top player when the team left home, Jonathon Foo’s inconsistency and terrible shot-selection has been a big disappointed but his natural talent has been noticed by the selectors during his 3 fifties in the three-day competition and if he can produce something special today and tomorrow he could also be on the plane to New Zealand. Seon Daniels has bowled well without being outstanding, while left arm pacer Andrew Stoll has had limited opportunities with the ball and disappointed with the bat, but along with left-arm spinner Anthony Adams, who has bowled ‘tight’ spells and Amsterdam, have ensured that Guyana’s bowling has done the job in the three One-Day games.
Today Seon Hetmyer, Jeetendra Sookdeo, Skipper, Anthony Bramble and Royston Alkins will need to bat positively if Guyana are to create an upset win. The biggest job today for coach, Hubern Evans and Manager Alvin Johnson is to inspire the teenagers, especially those who feel they are no longer in contention for a West Indies pick, to end the competition with a bang instead of a whimper at a time when Guyana can no longer win the title and many of the players are tired and counting the days for their return home.
Guyana, who have never won the One-Day title since it was first played in 1998, lost to the Leewards, beat the Windwards (the only team they beat in the three-day format) and lost to Barbados in their three One-Day games so far.