By Sean Devers in Jamaica
In Association with Digicel, TCL, Western Union, GSL, Pepsi, Demerara Power Company, Smalta & Jamaica Pegasus
Half-centuries from Akeem Dewar (70*), Romeo Dunka (59) and Kirk Harris (53) yesterday led host Jamaica to a 123-run first innings lead against Guyana at Sabina Park.
When the second day of their 3-day TCL Group regional Under-19 cricket match ended, Guyana were 98-4, still 34 runs away from making the opposition bat again. This was after Jamaica had declared on 292-7 at Tea replying the Guyana’s first innings 160 all out.
Jamaica resumed on 67-4 and lost skipper Paul Palmer 23 minutes into the day’s play when he was run out for 29 by the length of the pitch to leave the hosts on 85-5.
Watched by another handful of fans in sweltering heat, Jermaine Blackwood was LBW to off-spinner Trevon Griffith for 31 at 112-6 before leg-spinner Dewar and wicketkeeper Harris joined forces to see their team to lunch at 157-6 with Harris on 29 and Dewar on 22.
After the interval, the seventh wicket pair carried Jamaica to 195 with attractive batting as the Guyana bowling attack lacked penetration on a track which played quicker than on the first day.
Harris clobbered left-arm spinner Totaram Bishun for six over long-off to reach his fifty but hit the next ball straight to long-on to end his entertaining 53 which was decorated with 4 fours and 2 sixes and came from 84 balls and 74 minutes.
Left-arm pacer Dunka joined Dewar and the Jamaicans scored freely on the heavy outfield as the part time spin of Griffith, Alex Amsterdam and Jeetendra Sookdeo accounted for 25 of the 96 overs bowled in the Jamaica innings.
Dewar reached his first fifty at this level first while Dunka smashed Amsterdam for a huge six to reach his half-century before celebrating the landmark with a pugnacious straight six next ball as Jamaica hunted quick runs. Dewar and Dunka took their partnership to 97 by Tea with both batsmen looking set for centuries when the declaration came.
According to Jamaica Coach Andre Coley, the declaration was made because the bowlers, including Dunka and Dewar, wanted to bowl at Guyana immediately after tea as they put team before individual glory. “We could have batted a bit longer to see if the guys could reach their century and put some more runs on the board. But the mindset of the bowlers was to bowl and you want to go with that type of enthusiasm. Since we came into this game without a point the guys felt that going for the win was more important than Dunka or Dewar looking for a century and the pair shared their teammate’s view,” Coley informed.
Dewar hit 2 fours from 141 balls while Dunka struck 2 fours and 3 sixes in his 95-ball innings to give Jamaica a sizable lead. Bishun (4-46 from 16 overs), fell one wicket short of his second 5-wicket haul at this level as Guyana, without injured pacer Keon Joseph, used 9 bowlers.
When Guyana began their reply, the short-ball tactic was again employed by the new ball pair and Herrell Greene’s involuntary hook to square-leg off Nicholson Gordon triggered a middle order slump in which three wickets tumbled for 2 runs to leave the South Americans struggling on 14-3.
Jeetendra Sookdeo (0) never suggested permanence and soon fended a bouncer from Dunka to short-leg while Seon Hetmyer (0), who almost ducked into a quick short ball from Gordon, was given caught behind although the ball came off the batsman shoulder as the Guyanese discomfort to short pitched bowling was again exposed.
While his partners bobbed and weaved, the left-handed Griffith again showed his class and courage and counter-attacked the pacers with convincing hooks and elegant cuts as he and Jonathon Foo revived the position with positive batting. Griffith hooked Dunka for six and punched him back past his ankles for four while Foo, who was struck on his helmet with the second ball he faced, grew in confidence as his innings progressed.
Griffith passed 200 runs in the competition with an exquisite cover driven boundary off Dunka while Foo nonchalantly flicked Gordon for six before hitting him in the same over on the third tier of the North stand for what locals say is one of the biggest sixes hit at the venue in recent times.
Griffith was also severe on Gordon and a savage on-driven boundary was followed up by a blistering square-cut as Guyana batted with authority. The introduction of spin put the brakes on the run rate and Foo was drooped on 36 by off-spinner Blackwood who failed to hold a bullet-like straight drive with the score on 81-3.
Yesterday Foo showed why he is regarded as Guyana most gifted teenage cricketer by combining his awesome power and timing and with they type of maturity and ‘ball sense’ which has been lacking.
The Albion right-hander stroked the ball with classical ease and his six will be remembered for a long time by the few fans at Sabina. But it was his ability to adjust to the situation and play the ball on its merit without sacrificing his attacking shots that most impressed those who have followed his career.
Foo outscored Griffith whose 48 lasted only 37 balls, but just when Guyana seemed set to finish the day without further loss, Griffith, the tournament’s leading run-scorer pulled a short ball from Dewar high to mid-on as Jamaica struck just before the close at 92-4.
Griffith’s innings included 5 fours and 2 sixes but his late afternoon demise now leaves a lot of work on Foo, who is 12 away from his highest regional 3-day Under-19 score (48 against T&T last year) in his third year at this level.
Alex Amsterdam is with Foo on 3 and Guyana Coach Hubern Evans is hoping that the Guyanese can bat for most of today to prevent Jamaica from winning outright.
With Royston Alkins and Skipper Anthony Bramble the only other specialist batsmen to come, today could be the day when the gifted but inconsistent Foo turns the corner in his career by impressing West Indies selector Rafik Jumadeen with a top class innings.
Guyana is innings 160
Jamaica 1st innings 67-4 o/n
B Clarke lbw b Beaton 6
J Campbell c Foo b Bishun 17
*P Palmer run out 29
R Senior c Sookdeo b Bishun 1
G Garvey c Greene b Bishun 1
J Blackwood lbw b Griffith 31
A Dewar not out 70
+K Harris c Beaton b Bishun 53
R Dunka not out 59
Extras (b8, lb5, w3, nb9) 25
TOTAL (7 wkts decl., 96 overs) 292
Fall of wickets:
1-30, 2-44, 3-52, 4-54, 5-85, 6-112, 7-195.
Daniels 14-1-51-0, Beaton 7-1-28-1, Bishun 26-7-60-4, Griffith 16-3-46-1, Foo 14-5-27-0, Amsterdam 8-0-29-0, Alkins 9-0-32-0, Hetmyer 1-0-1-0, Sookdeo 1-0-5-0.
Guyana 2nd Innings
T Griffith c Gordon b Dewar 48
H Greene c Harty b Gordon 2
J Sookdeo c Campbell b Dunka 0
S Hetmyer c wkp Harris b Gordon 0
J Foo not out 36
A Amsterdam not out 3
Extras (lb7, nb2) 9
TOTAL (4 wkts, 27 overs) 98
Fall of wickets:
1-12, 2-13, 3-14, 4-92. Dunka 4-0-34-1, Gordon 4-1-29-2, Dewar 10-5-14-1, Blackwood 9-2-14-0.
Guyana require 34 runs to make Jamaica bat again. Jamaica. D Coleman, P Dick.
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