By Sean Devers
On another day of scorching heat at Wales, 40-year-old Shiv Chanderpaul provided a masterful education in the art of batting as he finished unbeaten on 77 to lead a Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Development X1 fight-back against Berbice at the end of the second day of their final round four-day Inter-County cricket contest.
By the close the GCB side, replying to Berbice’s 418, were 234-6 with Chanderpaul unbeaten on 77 from over four hours off batting on a track which offered some assistance to the spinners.
The prolific Chanderpaul counted five fours on the immaculately maintained Wales sward and along with wicketkeeper Kemol Savory, undefeated on 34 with seven fours, have so far featured in an unfinished 68-run sixth wicket stand after joining forces at 166-6. Pacer Raun Johnson has taken 2-24 while left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul has 2-62 as the GCB finished the day still 184 runs behind.
The GCB X1 began their innings at the start of the day and Tagenarine Chanderpaul (5) was first to go, 40 minutes into the day’s play to leave the score 28-1. Johnson, who removed Chanderpaul, then got rid of Shemron Hetymer for 21, a run later.
Chanderpaul Hemraj (11) was dismissed by Permaul at 60-3 and by Lunch the score was 73-3 with Steven Jacobs on 25 and Shiv Chanderpaul on seven.
After the interval, the two most senior batsmen in the team buckled down to stage ‘operation rebuild’ before Jacobs, who was looking quite competent, charged down the track to Narsingh Deonarine and was stumped for a 106-minute and 63-ball 32 which included six fours to leave the GCB unit on 80-4.
Kemo Paul joined Chanderpaul who expertly adjusted to the pace of the pitch and demonstrated a wonderful temperament which has been his hallmark throughout his illustrious career.
The pair took the score to 157 before Paul, the aggressor in the partnership, was bowled by the lively Keon Joseph just after Tea for 39 with seven fours from 118 minutes and 106 balls.
Askay Homraj (5) was soon sent packing to Permaul as the GCB X1 slipped to 166-6 even as Chanderpaul picked the gaps to perfection and punished the bad balls to bring up his fifty.
Savory joined Chanderpaul with his team in trouble and together they consolidated the position with sound batting despite Savory playing a few impetuous cuts and drives outside off stump while Chanderpaul’s bat must have looked like the sightscreen to the bowlers.
Savory grew in confidence as his innings progressed while Chanderpaul, who is 289 runs behind Lara’s 11,953 Test runs, put on a fantastic display of occupation of the crease while an effortless cover drive off left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie, was pure majestic timing and precise placement.
By the close the partnership was flourishing nicely as Chanderpaul delighted his adoring fans with superb batsmanship as the biggest crowd of the competition watched as the left-hander with the most test matches by a West Indian, was clinical in his execution of shots.
Today is the third day and with Chanderpaul closing in on another century a large crowd is expected.
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