By Sean Devers
A Player of the Match performance from 18-year-old Shabika Gajnabi who made 77 and a useful all-round display from 19-year-old Mandy Mangru spearheaded Guyana to their first win in the Colonial Medical Insurance Female Super50 Cricket Tournament when they beat the Leewards by 131 runs at the Enmore Community Centre on the East Coast, Demerara yesterday.
In brilliant sunshine on a National holiday for the celebration of the Hindu festival of Phagwah, the right-handed Rosehall Town batter reached the boundary seven times in her classy 78-ball 77 from 109 minutes as Guyana, asked the bat on good track and fast outfield reached 240-9 when their 50 overs expired.
Openers Sheneta Grimmond, who hit six fours in her 36-ball 37, added 72 with Mangruwho providing the glue that stuck the Guyana innings together in her responsible 35 from 87 balls, 131 minutes with three fours while fast bowling all-rounder Tremayne Smartt smashed run-a-ball 21.
Medium pacer Saneldo Willett, the sister of Leewards’ at Tonito Willett and daughter of Elquemedo the first player from the Leewards to play for the West Indies, was the best bowler for the Islanders with 3-30. She was supported by Melicia Clarke who had 2-22.
Mangru returned with her off-spin to capture 4-22 and was backed up by Grimmond (2-26) and Akaze Thompson (2-26) as the Leewards were dismissed for 109 in 34.5 overs despite a 17-ball 21 from Amanda Edwards, who reached the ropes three times and a patient 20 from opener Malesia Howard, as the Leewards slipped to their third straight loss.
Chasing a daunting target, Leewards quickly lost Jenisan Richards for duck as West Indies left-arm pacer Erva Giddings, for third match in a row, struck in the first over of the innings, at 5-1.
It was soon 17-2 when Jamella McClure (2) was bowled by Smartt before Grimmond dismissed Willett (7) at 26-3.
Edwards was not afraid to go after the bowlers but her little cameo soon ended when she fell to Grimmond at 57-4 before the Leewards lost three wickets with the score on 67 as they were wobbling on the ropes.
Mangru trapped the stubborn Howard LBW, Thompson disturbed the stumps of Terez Parker (2) and Mangru got rid of Shawnish Hector (0) without a run being scored. Mangru, who bowled with teasing flight and extracted turn from the track, sent back Rozel Liburd for 12 with two boundaries at 87-8 while Clarke (13) fell to Thompson at 100-9 before Mangru finished the one-sided contest when she bowled Tanya Martin.
Earlier, a raucous crowd urged the Guyanese lasses on as Mangru got going with a pull past backward square off pacer Hector as she Grimmond laid a solid foundation for their team. Grimmond was the aggressor and went after the bowling with contempt while Mangru buckled down for the long haul as their partnership flourished.
But with the score 72 in the 14th over, Grimmond, who favoured the on-side, tried to clear mid-on and was caught as Richards, whose father (no relation to Sir Viv) played football for Antigua, made the break through.
Skipper Shemaine Campbell with scores of 45 against Trinidad and 111 against Jamaica, was the Leewards’ main
threat. But when on five the West Indies batman played slightly around a ball that did not bounce as much as she had anticipated and was LBW to Rozel Liburd and the Leewards celebrated the capture of the ‘big Fish’ in the 19th over at 94-2.
But one Berbician replaced another as Gajnabi put on batting exhibition with several entertaining shots on both sides of the wicket. While Gajnabi played her shots Mangru, who stroked the ball sweetly but had problems finding the gaps, was content to play the sheet-anchor role before was removed at 143-3.
Thompson (10) and Gajnabi, willing to use her feet to the bowlers, carried the score to 178 before Thompson was LBW to Willett who got rid of Melani Henry (2) five runs later to leave Guyana on 183-5.
Smartt hit an aggressive 21 and added 48 for sixth wicket with Gajnabi who was beginning to tire in the sweltering heat. With three overs to go Gajnabi tried to ‘up the tempo’, missed a big swing and was bowled by Clark, who also removed Smartt after Cherry-Ann Fraser (2) was run out as the home team slipped from 225-5 to 231-8.
Willet, from the Island of Nevis, struck again when she bowled Giddings for a duck at 231-9 before Kaysia Shultz (5) and Lafona Gilgeous (1) remained unbeaten when the overs ran out. Guyana play their next game against the dominant defending Champions Barbados at Providence tomorrow from 09:30hrs.
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