By Zaheer Mohamed in Trinidad and Tobago
in association with V Net Communications,
Regal Stationery and Computer Centre,
Mike’s Pharmacy and Bel Air Rubis
Guyana went into the fifth and final round game of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional U17 50-over tournament leading the point standings on 19.2 and a win would have guaranteed them their maiden title at this level since their closest rival Barbados were on 14.2.
However, they looked a completely different team from their previous games and went down to Barbados by six wickets, who lifted the title yesterday.
Sachin Singh and Navindra Persaud handed Guyana a solid start with an opening stand of 55 after they decided to bat on a decent pitch at the National Cricket Centre in Couva. Singh drove Matthew Forde for boundaries before thumping Ramon Simmonds down the ground and through mid-on for consecutive fours and rotated the strike well. Singh then took another boundary off Amari Goodridge to bring up Guyana’s fifty in the 10th over.
However, after seemingly well set for a big score, Singh attempted a big shot off Forde but got a leading edge to third-man to depart for 32 with five fours off 47 balls.
Seon Glasgow was then bowled by Nicholas Austin for seven, while Navindra Persaud who hit a solitary boundary off Jayden Leacock was caught at mid-off off the said bowler for 19 before Andre Seepersaud was needlessly run out for five leaving the score at 94-4.
Barbados spinners maintained a decent line and Guyana’s run rate slowed considerably, however Dwain Dick dumped Austin over long-off for six to bring up his team hundred; while Guyana first fifty came in 10 overs, their second took 20.
Yeudistir Persaud’s poor run of form continued as he was bowled by Austin for 12, playing back to good length ball before Nigel Deodat lofted Jayden Hoyte to cover to depart for two as they both failed to put a price on their wicket.
Dick took a couple off Austin through the off-side and looked solid as he continued to rotate the strike well, but threw his wicket away by lofting Hoyte to long-on when on 20 leaving his team on 130-7. Sheldon Charles played across a straight ball from Ramon Simmonds and was bowled for nine before Leon Swamy, who hit two fours, was caught on the long-off boundary off Simmonds for 16. The last pair of Silvan Williams and Niran Bissu added 24 to see Guyana to 181-9, their highest score in the tournament. Williams made 13 not out and Bissu 12 not out as Austin claimed 2-22, Hoyte 2-24 and Simmonds 2-42.
Guyana entrusted the new ball with Williams and off-spinner Dick instead of opting for Charles who bowled well in earlier games and Barbados openers Rashawn Worrell and Seth Agard put on 23 before Nigel Deodat struck in quick succession-he had Worrell caught for 13 before uprooting the stumps of Shamar Forde without scoring as Barbados were reduced to 24-2. With the exception of Deodat, Guyana’s bowling struggled with their line as Agard struck Seepersaud to the cover boundary before he was caught at long-on off Deodat for 21 with the score on 49 in the 13th over. Guyana’s fielding was below par, leaking runs that could have been saved in crucial stages as Antonio Morris and Rivaldo Clarke added 33 for the fourth wicket before their stand was broken when Glasgow had Clarke caught at the wicket for 16.
Morris and Forde steadied the chase nicely with level-headed batting; the pair rotated the strike well and dispatched the bad balls with little hiccups. While Guyana spinners continued to be wayward as in complete contrast to their previous three games, they didn’t even try a fast bowler in an effort to break the partnership and the duo capitalised nicely. It was only until the game had already drifted away, medium pacer Swamy was introduced.
The right-handed Morris batted fluently and reached his second consecutive half century off 52 balls. Morris and Forde continued to frustrate their opponents who looked a completely different unit from their previous games. As Morris was approaching his century, he opened his shoulders and smashed Dick for a six and two fours before repeating the same off Glasgow. Morris, who survived a difficult chance off Glasgow earlier, blossomed nicely as he batted with maturity and played some decent shots on both sides of the pitch. He reached his century with a six that sealed the title for Barbados; he ended unbeaten on 101 off 81 balls and counted six fours and four sixes, while Forde finished on 23 not out as Barbados ended on 184-4 in 35.5 overs. Deodat claimed 3-25 and Glasgow 1-26 for Guyana who finished third.
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