By Sean Devers in Jamaica
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Guyana’s Head Coach Esaun Crandon says the unfortunate last-minute unavailability of key batsmen Shiv Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan and the poor first innings batting performance disrupted the balance of the team and caused Guyana to play ‘catch up’ cricket from the first day.
The 32-year-old former Guyana fast bowler was referring to Guyana’s seven-wicket loss to Jamaica half way through the fourth and final day of their Regional Four-Day opening round game against host Jamaica which ended here on Monday.
The 39-year-old Chanderpaul, West Indies’ most experienced Test player, was ruled out due to a thumb injury which required surgery, while 33-year-old Sarwan could not play because of a back strain.
Guyana’s Manager, Alvin Johnson, informed that Chanderpaul’s finger is bandaged and he should be out for 10 days and will miss Guyana’s next match, while Sarwan’s back injury is a bit more serious and should require rehabilitation work.
The pair would have no doubt added punch to the batting line up on what was generally a flat Sabina Park track where Guyana were bundled out for 117 on the first day after Jamaica had won the toss.
“Leon Johnson is recovering from a knee injury and will most likely miss out on the next match while the doctor here examined Beaton and recommended that he rest for a couple of days. He should be fit to play against Barbados on Friday,” Johnson added.
“The absence of Shiv and Sars was a set-back even before a ball was bowled. Their presence would not only have strengthened the batting but they would have helped tremendously on the field also, especially since Shiv was appointed Captain when (Leon) Johnson was sidelined,” informed Crandon, who has 90 wickets from 38 First-Class matches.
The Berbician, who also scored a First-Class fifty, feels that Guyana was put on the back foot from the opening day due to their poor first innings batting display.
“We had to play catch up cricket from day one due the poor shot selections by our batsmen and although we showed a vast improvement in the second innings, we were always going to struggle to bowl out Jamaica for less than 88,” Crandon opined.
Off-spinner Jamie Merchant took four wickets in the first innings but his innocuous bowling was aided by a succession of impetuous shots against a bowler who rarely turned the ball. Most of the Guyanese batsmen gave their wickets away.
After left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul’s ninth five-wicket haul had restricted Jamaica to 294 when at one time the home team seemed set to score well over 400, Vishaul Singh and Assad Fudadin revived hopes of a Guyana fight back with their diligent partnership.
Singh batted for 300 minutes for his 73, while Fudadin stayed at the crease for 213 minutes to make 33.
“Singh and Fudadin batted very well in the second innings and more importantly took up a lot of time as we looked to save the match, but when they got out we lost six wickets for about 50 runs (41 runs). And with so much time left it was very difficult to save the match,” explained Crandon, who played his last match for Guyana in 2011.
“I must commend the last pair of Beaton and Joseph for their 44-run partnership. They batted for over an hour and played very well and played shots top order batsmen would have been proud of. At least they gave us something (88) to try and work with,” Crandon said.
“There is a big competition between Beaton and Joseph when it comes to their batting. But Beaton (22*) scored two more than Joseph and was left not out so for now Beaton will remain at number 10,” Crandon said with a laugh.
Crandon, who made his First-Class debut as a 19-year-old and was a member of Guyana’s team which won the inaugural Stanford t20 tournament in 2010, was confident that Guyana can rebound in the competition.
Tagenarine Chanderpaul returns from a successful under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh and along with Chanderpaul Hemraj, will come into the team for Guyana’s next game.
The team was scheduled to leave Jamaica yesterday but they are not expected to arrive in Guyana until 01:45 hrs today. They host Barbados at the Stadium in the Day/Night match from Friday.
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