Pulsating cricket is anticipated today at Bourda in the two semi-finals of the Guyana Cricket Board’s (GCB) Carib/Pepsi Big Smash t20 semi-finals involving the cream of Guyana’s cricketers.
The Gizmos & Gadgets Georgetown Pitbulls and the Church’s Chicken Corentyne Titans are favoured to advance to Sunday’s Final at Albion but first the City combination need to get past Mario Pizza West Berbice and the Corentyne must beat the GCB President’s X1 in today’s ‘final four’ showdown.
Today is a working day and admission is free and the genuine cricket buffs should be on hand at Bourda today after the semis were twice postponed due to the unavailability of Albion last Friday and rain in Georgetown the next day.
The Pitbulls are confident of getting to the final and with talk of Shivnarine Chanderpaul possibly playing today there bite could be even more dangerous than their bank on what should be a flat track for batting.
Christopher Barnwell and Derwin Christian recently represented the West Indies in the t20 format and once Christian’s finger injury is healed both should be on show for the Pitbulls today.
Shemroy Barrington and Trevon Griffith are both pugnacious openers, while Leon Johnson is full of potential and Steven Jacobs, Waslim Haslim, Deon Ferrier and Troy Gonsalves could all score quickly.
Left-arm spinner Totaram Bishun has the only five-wicket haul so far and along with Kelon Carmichael, Barnwell and spinners Jacobs, Ferrier and Johnson should do the bulk of the bowling for the Pitbulls today.
The West Berbice unit has done well so far with Artley Bailey, Eon Abel, Richard Ramdeen and Keith Fraser all capable of contributing with the bat at this level, while in Test pacer Brendon Bess and Keon Joseph, West Berbice have the two quickest bowlers in the tournament. Off-spinner Krisendat Ramoo is also one of the better bowlers of his type in Guyana and a keen contest is anticipated from 09:00hrs.
In the second match today, the only two century makers in the competition (Sewnarine Chattergoon and Elton Baker) face-off in a match the Corentyne side is expected to score heavily in if they bat first.
Apart from Chattergoon, Skipper Royston Crandon, National Captain Assad Fudadin, Narsingh Deonarine and Jonathon Foo all posses plenty of fire-power with the bat for the Region six combination which also includes wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble and Khemraj Mahadeo.
The Corentyne side will look to West Indies ‘A’ team left-arm Veerasammy Permaul to lead their bowling in the absence of Devendra Bishoo who is injured. National under-19 pacer Clinton Pestano and national off-spinner Stephen Latcha should also receive back up with the ball from the batting all-rounders.
The GCB President’s X1’s bowling will be strengthened by the inclusion of Essequibo quickie Ronsford Beaton and East Coast’s First-Class off-spinner Zaheer Mohamed, while Berbician Keeper Jason Sinclair, the outstanding wicketkeeper so far in the competition, has also been drafted into the President’s X1 side.
Baker, Norman Fredricks, Abilash Dookie, Skipper Vishaul Singh, David Dick, Eon Hooper, Jeetendra Sukdeo, Renrick Batson and Mohamed should lead the batting.
Pacer Leon Scott, Jason Heyliger, Amir Khan and Delon Heyliger could also lend bowling support for the President’s X1 team.
Meanwhile, the Final, scheduled for Saturday Albion has been rescheduled for Sunday December 4 at the same venue but not under floodlights as previously planned.
The third place game will start at 09:00hrs with the final game scheduled to start at 13:00hrs since many of the players are not comfortable with the quality of lights for a game of such magnitude.
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