Skipper Johnson wants to win remaining games
Guyana no longer in semi final race
By Sean Devers in Barbados in association with Star Party Rentals & Payless Variety Store
With just 17 points from four matches, three defeats and a draw, Guyana are at the bottom of the points table and with just two games remaining are no longer in contention for a place in the semi-finals of this year’s Regional four-day cricket tournament.
But 26-year-old Skipper Leon Johnson’s aim is to register consolation wins in their remaining games against the Leeward Islands in Antigua and Trinidad and Tobago at Providence.
“Our performance in this tournament has been very disappointing, especially our batting and even if we get maximum points from our next two games we cannot qualify for the semis. However we have to win for Guyana and for pride,” Johnson stated.
The left-hander, who missed the first three matches due to a knee injury, scored 70 runs from his two innings and heads the Guyana batting averages with 35.
The GCC player hinted that Guyana could use the remaining matches to give some younger players some exposure.
“We have a very experienced team here with seven players playing International while young (Tagenarine) Chanderpaul has just returned from the Under-19 World Cup so I don’t know why we are doing so badly” Johnson wondered.
The Captain who looked the most positive of the batsmen on show said that although the game plan was to try and rotate the strike more he did not feel that the first session of the match when the openers laboured for two hours to score 44 runs was a major reason for CCC winning their fourth consecutive match against Guyana at the 3Ws Oval.
“We seem to beat CCC in away matches and in the last two years we got the better of them at Providence and in St. Kitts but I don’t think the first session cost us this match. While we would have liked Tagenarine and (Assad) Fudadin to score a bit quicker the ground was not cut until the second morning and the lights made it a bit difficult for the batsmen to see the ball early. But that is not an excuse for our batting in this match,” Johnson, a former West Indies youth Captain, explained.
Apart from Shiv Chanderpaul who missed the first two matches, Narsingh Deonarine is the team’s most experienced batsman but the talented left-hander is going through a bad patch and has scored five ducks in the four matches so far and his confidence seems very low.
Asked why were the batsmen batting so defensively, Johnson opined that when you are not getting runs you sometimes worry about staying in the side and you could unconsciously take less chances and play less shots because to want to bat long and don’t get out.
Guyana’s bowling has been decent if not destructive this season but in this game Johnson feels the opening bowlers bowled too many ‘four’ balls which allowed the openers to build a solid foundation for their team and score at a rapid rate.
“We allowed them to score too freely but you can’t take anything away from the way (Shacaya) Thomas and (Chadwick) Walton batted,” Johnson pointed out.
Fudadin is the only Guyanese with 200 runs (249) and has two fifties but he has batted eight times and his six other innings have produced less than 100 runs, while Wicket-Keeper Anthony Bramble (192) and Tagenarine Chanderpaul (146) are the only other batsmen with over 115 runs in the tournament.
Left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul (27) and fellow West Indies Test spinner Devendra Bishoo (13) are the only Guyanese with more than seven wickets.
The Guyanese draw the bye for this weekend before travelling to Antigua for their next against the Leewards.