Oct 26, 2011 Sports
Both teams hunt place in 14th final
By Sean Devers
The last time they met in Guyana in a regional one-day game T&T defeated Guyana in the 2009 final
under lights and in recent times the battles between these two sides in limited overs cricket have been epic affairs.
The two teams face-off today from 13:30hrs at Providence in the first semi-final of the Regional Super50 cricket competition, both hunting a place in their 14th final on Saturday when the inaugural Clive Lloyd championship trophy will be at stake
With victories against the Windwards and Barbados and a washed out game against HPC, zone ‘A’ leaders Guyana enter today’s semis unbeaten in the preliminary round.
T&T, who lost to Barbados in the first two finals in 1976 & ’77, defeated zone ‘B’ leaders Jamaica in their final preliminary round game on Monday after hammering the hapless Leewards and suffering an upset loss to CCC.
Guyana whose first title was in 1980 in Antigua, hunt their 10th title and first since they beat Barbados in 2005, while T&T has advanced to every final since then except last year when the tied final in Jamaica gave the Leewards and Barbados the joint title.
No team has more titles than T&T’s 10 and even without Keiron Pollard who returned to Trinidad nursing a fractured wrist and West Indies players Lendl Simmons, Adrian Barath, Daren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin and Ravi Rampaul, T&T are a formidable side on Guyana’s slow, spin-friendly pitches.
The new regulations mandates that new balls be used from each end but that did not stop T&T from opening the bowling with two spinners against Jamaica and reaping success, including the wicket of the destructive Chris Gayle to off-spinner Sunil Narine.
Narine has two five wicket hauls and the most wickets (12) and along with Sherwin Ganga, Dave Mohamed and Samuel Badree could make life difficult for the Guyanese.
Rayad Emrit, Kevin Cooper and Dwayne Bravo, who had 5-49 in the last final in Guyana, are useful pace options, especially if Guyana bat last and conditions are affected by the dew.
In the 2009 final Daren Bravo scored 76, Pollard 57 and Ramdin 44 in T&T 286-6 off 50 overs. They are all missing today and Justin Gillian, William Perkins, Skipper Daren Ganga, Bravo and Jason Mohamed, one of just two batsmen to pass 100 runs (130) in the competition, will need to contribute with the bat for T&T.
Guyana is without Shiv Chanderpaul due to West Indies Test duties and the injured pair of Sewnarine Chattergoon and Ramnaresh Sarwan and Sarwan in particular who scored 59 against T&T in the 2009 final, will be missed.
Trevon Griffith is talented but needs to curb his instinct to attack from ball one and along with Skipper Assad Fudadin will hope
to give Guyana a solid foundation.
Leon Johnson is in good form and once the Coach lets him know he could ‘on-drive’ balls on his wicket instead of sweeping, he should be among the runs after his 62 in Berbice.
Travis Dowlin, one of only three batsmen with hundreds at Providence at this level is experienced while Royston Crandon, Chris Barnwell and Steven Jacobs have all shown their worth with the bat at this level and will want to convert starts into meaningful scores.
If Jonathon Foo matches his talent with consistency and Derwin Christian scores quickly, the anticipated large crowd will be entertained.
Paul Wintz has bowled well and if Barnwell who had a four-wicket haul against Barbados in Berbice can pick up wickets and get medium pace back-up from Fudadin, Guyana could be a force to be reckoned with, even without spin-twins Devendra Bishoo and Veerasammy Permaul.
Jacobs has done a good job opening the bowling with his off-spin, while Crandon and Johnson are more than useful part-time spinners. Off-spinner Steven Latcha is also a promising talent while Norman Fredericks, Ronsford Beaton and Amir Khan could again be the three players on the bench for Guyana today.
In a tournament of disappointing batting, only Gayle (200 runs) has managed a century (147) and although T&T are the only team to post a 400-total in this competition (409-6 vs Northern Windwards in 2001) any 250-total should be good enough for a win today.
The game will be televised live by ESPN and admission is $1,000. Fans are encouraged to wear yellow to support Guyana, the only team apart from T&T to represent the West Indies in the Champions League t20 competition.
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