By Sean Devers in Trinidad
In Association with TCL Group
& Splashmin’s Resort
Guyana reach 45-2 chasing L/Wards’ 192
He might not be as fast as the other pacers in the Guyana squad but 28-year-old Esuan Crandon again showed plenty of heart and commitment on a flat track at the National Cricket Centre here yesterday to bag his 3rd five-wicket haul at this level and leave Guyana on top against the Leeward Islands on the opening day of their 4-day Regional First-Class match.
By the close Gajanand Singh was unbeaten on 27 with 4 fours and Assad Fudadin on 2 as Guyana reached 45-2 replying to the 192 made by the Islanders.
Crandon bowled, straight, hard and just short of a good length for almost 2 hours unchanged in the first session before coming back after Tea to remove the last two batsmen to finish with 5-39 from 16.3 overs. This was after Omari Banks (60) had posted his 16th First-Class fifty with attractive stroke-play for the Leewards who won the toss and elected to bat first.
This was the 2nd five-wicket haul in Trinidad for the hard working Crandon, following his 7-125 against Brian Lara’s team at Guaracara Park. He got support from leg-spinner Davendra Bishoo who took 3-63 from 20 overs before leaving the field with an injured left foot.
Guyana, who left out the Berbice pair of West Indies ODI player Royston Crandon and West Indies under-19 pacer Keon Joseph, will be looking to salvage some pride with a good performance here after suffering consecutive defeats in their last 3 games.
When Guyana, with just 7 points from 4 games, began their reply, Skipper Sewnarine Chattergoon got going with a spanking square cut for 4 off rookie pacer Brent DeFreitas before he edged the pacer to 2nd slip to leave Guyana on 9-1.
Singh, who scored 66 in the last match in Berbice when he seemed unfortunate to be given LBW in both innings, joined Rajendra Chandrika (2) who was run out by a direct hit from Wilden Cornwall at point with the South Americans on 37-2.
Singh, who attacked the bowlers, was dropped at slip off leg-spinner Anthony Martin on 22 at 39-2. But he and Fudadin saw their team to the close leaving the Guyanese in a good position to take first innings points today.
Earlier, the Leewards won the toss and elected to bat in sultry conditions and former West Indies under-19 let-hander Kieran Powell stroked Brandon Bess through the covers, pulled him to the square-leg boundary and caressed him to the extra cover ropes to get his innings going. Crandon bowled a beautiful line and length from the other end, although with much less pace than Bess.
Left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul replaced Bess after just 6 overs and his first ball was greeted with a scorching cover drive for 4 by Powell while Montcin Hodge edged Crandon to 3rd man on a track which showed early signs of keeping low.
Guyana leaked runs from the Southern end even as Crandon kept things quiet in a hard working 98-minute opening spell.
Powell on-drove Crandon for a boundary and caressed Permaul for 2 fours and off-spinner Zaheer Mohamed was brought in to replace him in windy conditions. Mohamed broke the 36-run opening stand when he had Hodge (8) stumped by Derwin Christian.
Crandon struck twice in 2 balls as the Leewards slipped to 44-2 when he had Powell caught behind for 33 with 6 fours and Skipper Steve Liburd caught at square-leg for a first ball duck.
By the interval, the Leewards were 66-3 with Gavin Williams on 14 and Banks on 5.
After Lunch Crandon again tied up one end and Williams (28) soon lofted a perfectly flighted ball high to short extra cover as leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo struck at 95-4.
Banks batted well against the all-spin attack of Bishoo and Mohamed who was asked to bowl a leg-stump line to both right-handers with just 3 men on the off-side.
For a nation still in Carnival week and which hosted the massive, but disorganized Beyonce show at the Queens Park Savannah on Thursday night, it was no surprise that only a handful of spectators turned up to a match not involving Trinidad and Tobago at a time when 2 more games, including the one involving the home team, were being simultaneously played in Trinidad yesterday.
The spattering of spectators, which included West Indies selector Rafeek Jumadeen and Guyanese batsman Shemroy Barrington, watched as Banks and the experienced Cornwall took the Islanders score to 117 before Bishoo, who had 10 wickets in his last game against Barbados, had Cornwall (9) caught and bowled with another nicely flighted delivery.
Dennison Browne (6) swung Bishoo over long-on for six but was stumped off the leg-spinner in the next over as the Leewards slumped to 125-6.
By Tea Banks was unbeaten on 46, Jamhar Hamilton was with him on 9 and their team in big trouble on 144-6.
The 27-year-old Banks, who played 10 Tests, clipped Bishoo for 2 to mid-wicket to reach his 50 and his half century came from 130 balls, 164 minutes with 3 fours.
While Bishoo looked to be returning to form with the ball, Mohamed’s defensive leg-side ploy proved unsuccessful and Permaul was inconsistent as Banks looked to increase the scoring in the final session. He and Hamilton shared in a 50-run 7th wicket stand as the Guyanese spinners were unable to produce the knock out punch after the break.
Crandon returned to break the partnership when Banks clipped him to Assad Fudadin at short mid-wicket to leave the score on 176-7.
Justin Athanaze joined Hamilton and clobbered Permaul for 6 while Hamilton stroked Crandon over mid-off for another boundary to push the Leewards closer to a 200 total.
But Permaul had Athanaze (7) caught and bowled and Crandon rocked back the stumps of Brent DeFreitas for a duck as the Leewards were dismissed halfway through the final session.
The early demise of both Guyanese openers again exposed the fragility of the Guyanese batting this season, but with Singh playing attractively and the ever dependable Shiv Chanderpaul still to come Guyana should be favoured to take first innings points on the 2nd day today.
In scores from the other games:
Barbados vs Jamaica –
Barbados 113/1 (stumps) (Richards 63*, Haynes 23*, Brathwaite 20; Corey Edwards 6/41, Sulieman Benn 2/69, Hinds 1, Collins 1) replying to Jamaica 226 (David Bernard 55, Tamar Lambert 41, Odean Brown 33, Donovan Pagon 29)
T&T vs Windwards –
Windwards 23/1 (stumps) (Emmanuel 4* Pascal 11*
Bascombe 6) replying to T&T 263( Bararth 59, S.Ganga 39, Bravo 36; Lewis 5wkts, Shillingford 3wkts).
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