The South Australians are the only unbeaten team in group B while Guyana is the only team without a win. Today they meet at Wanderers from 07:30hrs (Guyana time) in Guyana’s final match in the Champions League T20 cricket tournament here in South Africa.
This has been an impressive run for the Australians who beat the host Lions and the two IPL teams to cruise into the semis with still today’s game in hand and although they are missing T&T’s Kieron Pollard who represented them in Australia’s Big Bash last season and don’t have too many superstars in their line-up, they will be favoured to continue their unbeaten run today against Ramnaresh Sarwan’s men from South America.
In Shaun Tait they have the world’s quickest bowler and on a track with some pace and bounce and against a Guyana opening pair which has looked all at sea against the new ball throughout the tournament, the Guyanese could be again up against it.
The Redbacks also have consistent performers like skipper Graham Manou and Callum Ferguson but with a ‘final four’ place already assured the Guyanese could hope that the Aussies gave a few of their main players a rest today.
Sewnarine Chattergoon and Travis Dowlin have been horrendous at the start of the Guyana innings and even though Dowlin seemed a bit unlucky to be given LBW in the last game, both openers could be dropped today to give others a chance.
Richard Ramdeen could make his debut and Lennox Cush, Chris Barnwell or Derwin Christian could be asked to open with him.
Skipper Sarwan is easily Guyana’s best batsman and he could also open although it would be advisable that he continues to bat in the number three position.
“The openers have really not been able to give us any good starts. Chattergoon is one of our experienced players and Travis is our leading run scorer.
They have both played Test cricket and much was expected of them to build a foundation for us,” Sarwan said.
“We thought of changing the opening pair for the last game but then Narsingh (Deonarine) got injured and we decided to use them at the top again. Ramdeen is the only other specialist opener on tour and maybe I can open the batting.
In the last match I came out with the mindset to be positive from the start and was really timing the ball well. Even if I open I will look to be aggressive and if I can bat most of the overs, should get a big score,” the former West Indies Skipper said on the eve of his team’s final game.
Paul Wintz could come back for Esuan Crandon who had 1-34 in the last game after his first two cost just 6 runs and could share the new ball with either Cush or the unlucky Chris Barnwell who has had several catches dropped off his bowling.
“I bowled Crandon for four overs on the trot because I did not want to have to bring him back for a second spell in the death overs and I don’t know if he got tired or what….. He just seemed to lose it after two good opening overs. Our fielding and bowling again let us down and of course the openers continue to be a major problem,” Sarwan disclosed.
A major disappointment has been Jonathon Foo who came here with a big reputation from the Caribbean Championship.
The 20-year-old has not been allowed to free his arms and opposition bowlers have bowled either short or very full at him and he has looked very ordinary and even a hint ill, especially in his last game while Royston Crandon and Derwin Christian continue to struggle with the bat.
Leg spinner Davindra Bishoo has been asked to take wickets but he has been expensive and while Barnwell has showed good variety, he at times tries to do too many things with the ball.
Deonarine’s ankle injury seems to be on the mend but with the Regional One-Day competition scheduled to commence on October 14 in Jamaica, he might be again rested today after failing to make the type of impact expected both here and in the Caribbean Championships.
If the two openers and Esuan Crandon are left out today Ramdeen and Assad Fudadin could make their debuts while Wintz could play his second game for Guyana at any level.
The Guyanese could be asked to leave South Africa as early as tonight and will return to Guyana after a 4-hour in-transit stay in London.
This is their final opportunity to impress as individuals in what has been a very disappointing tournament for them.
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