-But Leewards regain upper hand by the close of day two
Guyana gained its first points of the season, but the Leeward Islands rebounded to take the upper-hand on day two of their bottom of the table clash in the West Indies Cricket Board Tournament yesterday, at Grove Park.
Replying to the Leewards’ first innings score of 225, the Guyanese limped their way to 229 before the home team reached 63 for one in their second innings when stumps were drawn.
The Guyanese, who resumed the day at 20 without loss, were undermined by leg-spinner Anthony Martin and medium-paced all-rounder Tonito Willett, who captured four wickets each as the visitors slumped from 169 for three to 210 for nine, despite skipper Travis Dowlin’s defiant 61. Esaun Crandon’s 29-ball 33 which included five fours, then earned the South Americans a narrow four-run lead.
Earlier, the Guyanese lost Shemroy Barrington (11), Christopher Barnwell (40), and Narsingh Deonarine (17) to go to lunch at 116 for three. Barrington, after being unsettled by a series of short-pitched deliveries from Tarrick Prince, punched a wide one to Akito Willett at point with the score on 41. Debutant Barnwell stroked six boundaries before hitting a head-high catch off Tonito Willett to Runako Morton at short-cover; while Deonarine departed on the stroke of lunch when he pulled a long-hop from Akito Willett to his brother Tonito on the square-leg boundary.
Dowlin, who was 42 at the break, reached his half-century with a couple to backward square in 111 minutes, from 84 deliveries, with four fours and a six. He added 53 for the fourth wicket with the aggressive Royston Crandon whose innings of 30 was ended when he was caught by Gavin Tonge off the bowling of Martin.
Dowlin followed soon after, leg-before-wicket to Tonito Willett after batting for 168 minutes, facing 118 balls and striking a six and four fours. Steven Jacobs (1) was bowled by Martin, before wicket-keeper Derwin Christian (16) was caught off Tonito Willett, who then bowled Devendra Bishoo for a duck on the stroke of tea, taken at 209 for eight.
Veersammy Permaul fell soon after the resumption, leg-before to Martin and at 210 for nine it looked like the Leewards would grab first innings points.
But Esaun Crandon, 20 not out at tea, had other ideas and in partnership with Trevon Garraway levelled the scores at 225.
The Islanders then thought they had Crandon caught at mid-on off Martin, but the umpire ruled otherwise, and the left-handed batsman duly spanked the next delivery through the covers for four.
He didn’t last much longer, however, lifting Martin to Prince at long-on to give the leg-spinner figures of four wickets for 39 runs. Tonito Willett ended with four for 54.
The Leewards quickly erased the four-run deficit and looked like they would reach the close without loss before left-hander Shane Jeffers offered no shot to Bishoo and was adjudged leg-before in the last over of the day.
His contribution to the 63-run partnership was 21, while Montcin Hodge is unbeaten on 36 with six sweetly timed boundaries.
When play resumes today, the Leewards will be keen to build on their 59-run lead and set Guyana a formidable target on what is still a good batting track.
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