Face Somerset today in crucial match
By Sean Devers in Antigua
In association with Digicel, Carib Beer, Leisure Inn, GSL, Queensway & Dave’s West Indian Imports (NY)
Defending champions Guyana crashed to an embarrassing 51-run defeat against Jamaica in their opening match of the 2011 Caribbean T20 cricket tournament at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Monday night after the Windward Islands beat CCC in the day’s afternoon game.
Two months after registering their lowest Regional 50-over total in Jamaica, Guyana, chasing Jamaica’s 115-7 off 20 overs, catapulted to 65 all out in 17.3 overs as they fell for the lowest T20 total in West Indies cricket and the 8th lowest in all T20 matches in the world.
At the half-way stage Guyana seemed in total control on a good batting track after Royston Crandon (3-21) had spearheaded an efficient Guyana bowling display under a clear night sky.
But Jamaica, the only team to beat Guyana in 11 Regional T20 matches, repeated their 2008 Stanford semi-final success to silence the Guyanese in a crowd of close to 5,000.
The Guyanese seemed to have learned very little from their South African experience and again asked Sewnarine Chattergoon and Travis Dowlin to open.
Like they did in South Africa, they struggled to put the ball away and when Chattergoon (3) was bowled by Krishmar Santokie in the 4th over, Guyana were 12-1.
Skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan was run out for a duck at 14-2 and when Dowlin (14) edged David Bernard to the Keeper after getting off the mark with a pulled boundary in the first over and lofting Bernard for a straight six, Guyana were 23-3 in 6 overs.
Santokie, whose first over was a maiden to Dowlin who faced 16 ‘dot’ balls, scored a direct hit to the non-strikers’ end to run out Shivnarine Chanderpaul (5) and leave Guyana wobbling on 26-4 in the 8th over.
The decision to pick both Chattergoon and Chanderpaul in the Guyana top order along with an out-of-form Dowlin was always expected to create pressure for the team in the games’ shortest version and when Chris Barnwell (1) pulled leg-spinner Odean Browne to short mid-wicket, Guyana were 29-5 in 10 overs and the required rate escalating.
Esuan Crandon, asked to bat ahead of Jonathon Foo, joined his younger brother Royston to take the score to 42 before they were both removed by Andre Russell in the space of 5 runs as Guyana slumped to 47-7 in 15 overs. Esuan (6) was taken at long-on while Royston was comprehensively bowled for 11.
Foo, Guyana’s saviour in last year’s final against Barbados, was soon bowled by Man-of-the-Match Bernard for 4 at 49-8 before Russell (3-0-8-3) removed Davendra Bishoo (7) and Veerasammy Permaul was run out for a duck to end the match.
Such was Guyana’s struggles that Jerome Taylor (3-0-11-1), Nikita Miller (2.3-1-9-1), Bernard (3-0-17-2), Browne (2-0-9-1) and Russell were never put under any pressure by the Guyanese who left out Richard Ramdeen, Andre Stoll and Steven Jacobs.
Earlier, asked to bat first, Jamaica, without the destructive Chris Gayle who opted to play in the Big Bash in Australia, were quickly 7-1 when Esuan Crandon induced Xavier Marshall (2) to edge a catch to Chanderpaul at slip.
Chattergoon, used to open the bowling with his leg-spin, kept the batsmen in check with tidy work to finish with 0-22 from 4 overs while Esuan Crandon had 1-19 from 4 as the Jamaicans, who lost to Barbados in last year’s semis, were shackled by the Guyanese.
Sarwan’s captaincy was brilliant and when Bernard was bowled by Permaul for 22 at 39-2 in the 8th over, Guyana were in charge.
Marlon Samuels was never allowed to score freely and his 37 lasted 47 balls before he was run at 84-5 in the 16 over after Danza Hyatt (13) was removed by Royston Crandon and Russell was stumped off Bishoo for a first ball duck.
Royston Crandon quickly got rid of Carlton Baugh (1) and Taylor (0) and although Skipper Wavell Hinds (11*) and Nikita Miller (19*) added 28 in an unfinished partnership, 116 for victory never seemed enough to prevent a Guyana win.
Permaul (4-0-24-1), Bishoo (4-0-26-1) also bowled well and just over a month before Guyana’s 41st Republic day festivities in Georgetown, the flag waving Guyanese in the stands were already celebrating as if it was already Mash day in Antigua.
The celebrations however proved premature and after Monday’s performance consideration must be given to asking Chanderpaul, who missed both Regional T20 tournaments Guyana won and played in the only one they lost, to open the batting when Guyana face Somerset in their next match today from 4PM.
If Chanderpaul opens with the aggressive Richard Ramdeen and Jacobs returns after two cameos in his only T20 matches in South Africa, then both Chattergoon and Dowlin could be rested.
With the Windwards and Jamaica off to winning starts in zone ‘A’, this afternoon’s match against the English county runners-up team could be a crucial one for the Guyanese whose batting line-up suggests that the selectors had selected the four-day team for next month’s First-Class competition prematurely, leaving players like Rajendra Chandrika, Shemroy Barrington and Leon Johnson at home to follow the action live on NCN.
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