Final practice match set for tomorrow at DCC
Despite the absence of three team members the Digicel sponsored Guyana team is gearing up for this year’s Regional Super50 cricket tournament and will have their final practice match tomorrow at the DCC ground.
The Guyanese who have appeared in 13 Finals since beating the Leewards in Antigua for their first of eight titles in 1980, face-off with the Windward Islands in their opening game next Wednesday at the Guyana National Stadium.
The ‘Amazon Conquers’ then play the Sagicor HPC side at Bourda next week Friday before coming up against defending joint champions Barbados at Blairmont on Sunday October 23, in what could be the match of zone ‘A’.
Led by new Skipper Assad Fudadin, the Guyana team, minus Ramnaresh Sarwan and the West Indies under-19 pair of Amir Khan and Ronsford Beaton will play their third and final practice match tomorrow at DCC against a Rest team as they hunt their first title at this level since beating Barbados at Bourda in the 2005 final.
Sarwan, the stylish West Indies right-hander who scored a record 462 runs which included the most centuries (3) scored in a single Regional One-Day competition in 2005, is recovering from a back injury and will miss tomorrow’s practice game before undergoing a fitness test on Friday. If he is declared unfit for the competition his place in the 14-man squad will be taken by Test batsman Travis Dowlin.
Khan and Beaton, who made their first class debuts this year, are expected back from India today and could be given ‘a rest’ from tomorrow’s match.
Test left-hander Sewnarine Chattergoon, who scored a Man-of-the-Match winning century in the final when Guyana last won the title, was struck while fielding in the first practice match at Bourda on the same shin he sustained a hairline fracture and missed the last practice match. He is scheduled have a medical evaluation today and if the results are good he could participate in tomorrow’s match.
“He has been resting due to his injury and says he is no longer feeling pain. Hopefully everything will go well tomorrow and he will be back on track for the start of the competition,” a GCB official informed yesterday.
Despite a few minor niggles, the players are in high spirits and had a match simulation exercise at DCC yesterday before a warm-down session with the team’s trainer.
The team, which is being sponsored by Digicel and co-sponsored by Big Daddy’s, Dave West Indian Imports, Noble House Seafoods, Churches’ Chicken and Banks DIH limited, will have a ‘net session’ today at the Stadium before their final practice match tomorrow.
In yesterday’s session rookie Opener Trevon Griffith continued his good form with the only half-century registered, while West Indies t20 Keeper Derwin Christian (45) and National under-19 All-rounder Clinton Pestano (31) hit shot-filled innings as pairs were asked to bat for ten and later in the day five overs to reach set targets.
Essequibo left-handed Opener Norman Fredericks who stroked 47 and right-handed Opener Shemroy Barrington made a breezy 27 to stake a claim as Chattergoon’s replacement in the event that the experienced Berbician is not fully recovered in time to play next week.
Travis Dowlin (39) also batted well in a partnership of 78 in 10 overs with Vice-Captain Leon Johnson who was run out for 21 while Off-Spinner Steven Latcha again bowled with good control on the small ground as the bowlers, especially the faster ones, were treated with disdain by the batsmen on a flat pitch. National under-19 left-arm spinner Anthony Adams also bowled well and was the only bowler to take two wickets in any 10-over period of play yesterday.
The Windwards, hunting only their third title and first in over a decade, should arrive in Guyana today and will warm-up with a match against defending joint Champions Leeward Islands at DCC on Friday before facing a Georgetown Team on Saturday at DCC. They then face the Leewards again on Monday at the same venue in another practice match.
Guyana, Barbados, Windwards and HPC are in zone ‘A’ while Jamaica, Leewards, CCC and Trinidad and Tobago are in zone ‘B’. (Sean Devers)
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