By Sean Devers at Providence
Twenty-two year old England Lions fast bowler Chris Woakes capitalized on ideal overcast conditions for seam bowling at the Providence Stadium to register a hat-trick as Guyana fell for 78 on the truncated second day of their rain-hit fifth round Regional Four-Day cricket match.
When bad light stopped play at 17:30hrs, the visitors were 42-0 from 6.1 overs, just 37 runs away from first innings points with all 10 wickets in hand and will hope for as much play as possible on the third day today since rain is again forecast for the East Bank of Demerara area.
Craig Kieswetter, the South African born with an ODI ton to his name, was unbeaten on 21 including a square cut for six off 18-year-old debutant Ronsford Beaten whose two overs cost 25 runs. Adam Lyte was with him on 17.
With their penchant for scoring huge totals throughout this competition, the English ‘A’ team which also played in the 2001 West Indies First-Class season when they lost to Guyana in the semifinals at Bourda, are well placed to tighten the screws on the South Americans today on a flat track and outfield which has showed little evidence of the pounding it took from the rain over the last few days.
Leon Johnson (24), Derwin Christian (17) and Narsingh Deonarine (11) were the only Guyanese to reach double figures after Guyana were invited to bat in murky conditions.
Heavy overnight and morning rain resulted in the first session and 50 minutes of the second being washed out yesterday. This was after the entire first day was rained out on Friday.
Playing before empty stands, the Guyanese lost their last seven wickets for 20 runs after Tea as Woakes, who has played three ODIs for England, decimated a batting line-up which looked woefully short of passion and commitment.
The Warwickshire pacer finished with 5-18 from 10 overs, his eighth five-wicket haul from 48 First-Class games and got support from 21- year-old pacer James Harris (3-21) and 24-year-old quickie Jade Dernbach (2-26).
Yesterday’s disgraceful score is Guyana’s seventh lowest First-Class total overall, but the 41 all out against Jamaica in 1986 is their only score less than 78 since they fell for 75 against Trinidad and Tobago 66 years ago.
Guyana, only ahead of Barbados and the Leeward Islands on the points table with 13, left out Royston Crandon and Steven Jacobs and their batting was as depressing as the Cricket Board politics presently plaguing Guyana’s national sport.
The English are only behind Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago but will not participate in the semifinals even if they finish among the top four on the points table. However, yesterday their body language emphasized how seriously they are taking this tour.
Skipper Assad Fudadin, who has opted to become an opener and challenge Kieran Powell and Kraigg Braithwaite for positions on the West Indies ‘A’ team, was trapped leg before to Woakes for one at 2-1 in the second over.
Johnson joined Rajendra Chandrika and after being beaten playing a couple of tentative pushes outside off stump, he square drove the lively Woakes through point for the game’s first boundary.
With the throbbing sounds of the Music
system warming-up for last night’s Chutney Show on the tarmac of the Stadium just beyond the Western boundary, Chandrika (7) flicked a return catch to Harris in his first over and Guyana were 24-2.
Test left-hander Narsingh Deonarine, returning from injury to First-Class cricket for the first time since he played against South Africa in the third Test in Barbados in June last year, progressed to eight by Tea after Johnson, who made 24 with three fours from 87 minutes and 68 balls, was taken at a second gully off Harris to leave his team on 46-3 at the break.
The 27-year-old Deonarine, with two fifties from eight Tests, was leg before to Dernback at 58-4 while without addition to the score, Gajanand Singh (9) edged the impressive Harris to the Keeper as the Guyanese slump continued with rain threatening.
Things got progressively worse for the home team, without a Regional First Class title since 1998, when Vishaul Singh (2), Veerasammy Permaul (0) and Zaheer Mohamed (0) were sent packing off consecutive balls with the score on 69 as Woakes registered a hat-trick. The fast bowler celebrated by having Brendon Bess caught behind for a duck in an action-packed over as Guyana catapulted to 69-9.
Derwin Christian smashed Dernbach for consecutive boundaries before his cameo ended when he edged a catch to the Keeper off Dernback, who had Vishaul Singh dropped by the Keeper off his bowling before he had scored.
The explosive start to their reply by the English is an ominous sign for a team missing its leading bowling in Davendra Bishoo, who has gone to the World Cup and with the inexperienced Beaton being targeted yesterday, rain today might not be a bad option for the out of sorts Guyanese.
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