Late arrival of gear affects practice
By Sean Devers in Barbados In association with Carib Beer, Hanes, TCL, & Trophy Stall
Guyana have now lost seven of their last eight matches away from home and will be aiming to avoid a record four straight defeats as they face-off with host Barbados from today at the Windwards ground in the fifth round of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) regional four-day First-Class cricket competition.
With crushing defeats to the Windwards in Grenada, Combined Colleges and Campuses (CCC) in Barbados and the Leewards in Nevis, the Travis Dowlin-led side has equaled the record for most consecutive “away’ defeats at the start of the season after also losing three back-to-back-games in 2004 and again last year.
This is one of Guyana’s most inexperienced First-Class sides and even with the return of West Indies ODI batsmen Leon Johnson and fast bowler Brandon Bess who played against England for the West Indies ‘A’ team last week, the Guyanese, without a first-class title since 2002, could be hard pressed to win.
While the Guyana team arrived in Barbados on Tuesday, their gear did not arrive until Wednesday evening forcing the team to only have one practice session yesterday morning.
The batting has badly let the South Americans down this season and the visitors will want to focus on the positives as they play their last overseas match before returning home on Tuesday to prepare for their first home game against front-runners and defending champions Jamaica at Providence from next Friday.
Dowlin has scored two fifties so far but as the most experienced batsmen in the side he has been guilty of not converting half-centuries into three-figure scores and will need to lead from the front with the bat in this game if his side, without their three Test batsmen (Chanderpaul, Sarwan and Chattergoon) hope to post a substantial total on a track which should offer pace and bounce for the bowlers.
Test batsman Narsingh Deonarine has looked good this season and his 86 in Barbados and 56 in Nevis were both top class innings. The problem though, for him and Guyana is that three-figure scores are important for career advancement and victories.
However, even with a few decisions going against him this season, the talented left-hander only has five tons at this level.
Royston Crandon and inconsistent Wicket Keeper Derwin Christian are the only other batsmen to reach 50 this season.
Guyana’s bowling attack is very inexperienced even with Esuan Crandon in the side.
Crandon has bowled with control but lacks venom while Bess has been the opposite. He has bowled with genuine pace but little control. But at 21 he is one for the future if handled correctly.
Although still lacking the patience and consistency required for success at the highest level, the Albion pair of leg-spinner Davendra Bishoo and left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul are natural spinners and have been improving (and taking wickets) since the first game last month.
Opener Shemroy Barrington, in his debut season, has looked well set in most innings, but like fellow Guyanese Sewnarine Chattergoon has been doing at International level, he is wasting the hard work and not building on good starts.
Debutant Chris Barnwell looked confident in his first innings 40 against the Leewards before going for duck in the second innings, inconsistency again surfacing among the young guns.
Steven Jacobs also looked good for 22 before hitting a full toss to mid-wicket and if the new generation of Guyanese batsmen continues to show impetuous shot selection and lack of mental strength under pressure, Guyana and West Indies cricket will continue to nose-dive into insignificance.
The last time Guyana faced Barbados at this level, they lost by an innings and 57 runs at the Kensington Oval as two half-centuries from Skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan was their only batting highlight although Deonarine (48) and Johnson (36) offered token resistance.
Jason Haynes and Ryan Hinds (who also grabbed four wickets with his left-arm spin) scored centuries for Barbados.
While Guyana (4 points) is in the cellar position heading into the fifth round, Barbados (27 points) is in the second spot behind defending champions Jamaica and will depend on this years’ leading run scorer Ryan Hinds.
Hinds, who looked less than fully fit during his team’s practice session yesterday, has scored 451 runs so far this season and has picked up crucial wickets with his left-arm spin and it appears that non-cricketing aspects of his game is hampering his return to the regional side.
Skipper Jason Haynes will hope to find form today while West Indies under-19 opener Rashidi Boucher, Dwayne Smith, Barrington Yearwood, Jonathon Carter and wicket-keeper Patrick Browne will need to support Hinds with the bat for the home team, especially with Dale Richards on the injured list.
With Kemar Roach back to full fitness and former Test pacers Corey Collymore and Pedro Collins in the squad, the Barbados seam bowling department, which also includes Smith, is experienced even without their three West Indies bowlers (Tino Best, Fidel Edwards and Sulieman Benn) unavailable for this game.
Haynes said that while Guyana has struggled this season, the South Americans will not be underrated since they have a few quality players capable of coming good at any time.
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