Chandrika scores undefeated 77 as hosts wobble to 137-5
By Sean Devers at Providence
Lendl Simmons converted his 9th First-Class ton into his third ‘double’ as Trinidad and Tobago remained in the driver’s seat against Guyana on the second day of their final preliminary round Regional four-day cricket match at the Providence Stadium yesterday.
Simmons finished unbeaten on 204 as T&T, resuming on 291-4, declared seven minutes after Lunch on 434-5.
Off-spinner Amit Jaggernauth (3-30) then removed Leon Johnson (25), Skipper Assad Fudadin (6) and Steven Jacobs (0) in quick succession as Guyana wobbled to 137-5 by the close, still 298 runs away from first innings points.
Twenty-one year-old Rajendra Chandrika was leading Guyana’s fight with an unbeaten 77 from 222 minutes, 177 balls with 10 fours. This is his second half-century at this level following his previous best of 65 and he has with him Derwin Christian who is on 16.
But with Narsingh Deonarine, Guyana’s most experienced batsman in the absence of Shiv Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan, already dismissed for five, the South Americans face an uphill task to climb out of the cellar position after finishing last on the points table in 2010 and 2009.
Guyana were going well at 52 without loss before they lost five wickets for 38 runs as the spin pair of Jaggernauth and leg-spinner Imran Khan (2-47) sliced through fragile middle order like a hot knife through butter on another depressing day for Guyana’s batsmen.
On another day blessed with glorious sunshine Simmons began in positive fashion and quickly took his overnight 134 to 150 with a drive off debutant 18-year-old leg-spinner Amir Khan and celebrated with a boundary off Jacobs to long-off.
Ramdin soon reached his 17th First-Class fifty and third for the season from 101 balls, 140 minutes with four fours as the fifth wicket partnership, which began on the opening day when Sherwin Ganga was dismissed by Jacobs at 224-4, prospered against a bowling attack missing Test pacer Brendon Bess due to a back strain.
Dropped Test ‘Keeper Ramdin who made 104 in his last match against defending champions Jamaica, added 138 with Simmons before he was leg before to Jacobs for 62 from 112 balls, 163 minutes with five fours and a six at 362-5.
Khan punched Jacobs for fours through cover and by Lunch was unbeaten on 35 with Simmons 10 away from his ‘double’ and T&T 418-5.
After the interval the 26-year-old Simmons continued from where he left off on
Friday and delighted the spattering of spectators with an array of enterprising shots as he joined Marlon Samuels, Kyle Corbin and Daren Ganga as the batsmen with 500 runs this season when he reached 196.
The dashing right-hander, nephew of former West Indies player and Bangladesh Coach Phil Simmons, got to his second Regional double hundred with a six off Deonarine.
His 200 came from 354 balls, 488 minutes with 12 fours and three sixes.
Of the ten Trinidadians to score double centuries in Regional cricket, including Simmons’ uncle Phil, only Jeff Stollmeyer (4) has more than Simmons’ two. Gerry Gomez also has two.
The declaration was made seven minutes after Lunch with Khan unbeaten on 37 with six from 51 balls and 55 minutes.
Jacobs had 2-96 for Guyana who began their reply with Chandrika and middle order batsman Johnson after opener Richard Ramdeen was shockingly dropped after just one game.
Chandrika, one of only two Guyanese with 200 runs this season, played the supporting role as Johnson square-drove Shannon Gabriel for a boundary as conditions became slightly overcast.
Johnson has scored an ODI fifty from three matches for the West Indies but although he has reached fifty seven times in his 26 First-Class games since making his debut in 2004, the 23-year-old left-hander has never managed a hundred in 43 innings and yesterday he again wasted a good start.
Chandrika, a product of the Barbados-based HPC magnificently back-cut Khan for four to post the Guyana 50, but soon lost Johnson. With his score on 25 from 80 balls and 112 minutes, Johnson was leg before to Jaggernauth at 52-1 while Deonarine, with eight Tests to his name and seven First-Class tons, did not last long and was soon leg before to Khan for five as Guyana slipped to 61-2.
Fudadin with eight fifties but no hundred from 66 innings at this level, joined Chandrika and the pair took the score to 82 before Fudadin was bowled by Jaggernauth.
Vishaul Singh (4) was leg before to Khan as Guyana’s pathetic batting this season continued as they slumped to 89-4 and Jacobs was caught and bowled by Jaggernauth for a first ball duck as Guyana catapulted to 90-5.
Derwin Christian, whose only century was made on this ground against Jamaica two seasons ago, joined Chandrika who reached his half-century from 178 minutes, 137 balls with five fours and together they took their team to the close without further loss.
Action on the penultimate day today is scheduled to commence at 10:00hrs and while Guyana has no chance of advancing to the Semi-finals, T&T will hope for a win to qualify to host their semi-final encounter.
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