By Avenash Ramzan (Guyana Times)
Twin hundreds from opener Shimron Hetmyer and Tagenarine Chanderpaul ensured Guyana emerged with a flawless record following a 44-run win over Barbados in the final round of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Under-19, 50-over cricket competition on Wednesday at the National Stadium, Providence.
Hetymer’s attacking 123 and Chanderpaul’s cautious 103 not out piloted Guyana to a tournament-high 298-5, following a record opening stand of 176, before off-spinner Sharaz Ramcharran claimed 4-59 and leg-spinner Steven Sankar bagged 3-51 as Barbados posted 254 in 50 overs.
The victory, Guyana’s sixth from as many games in the 50-over competition, gained the hosts automatic entry into Friday’s final against the Windward Islands at Everest after they accumulated an unassailable 36.4 points. The Windward Islands earlier in the day had whipped Jamaica by nine wickets to finish on 21.9 points, pipping the defending champions Jamaica by 0.1 point.
At Providence, Barbados were led by half-centuries from opener Joshua Drakes and Lee-Germon Gaskin, who added 82 for the third wicket. Drakes topscored with 75 and Gaskin made 69, but no other batsman got past 20 as the boys from the Land of the Flying Fish failed to take full flight.
For the second day in succession, Hetmyer and Chanderpaul notched up a century partnership to lay the foundation for what turned out to be the highest total of this year’s competition.
After skipper Brian Sattaur again won the toss and elected to bat, the West Indies Under-19 openers proceeded to plunder the attack, with Hetmyer being the dominant partner and Chanderpaul playing the sheet anchor role. The 50 came up in 11.1 overs and Hetmyer brought up his 50 soon after off 53 balls with seven fours. It was Hetmyer’s third score over 50 in a row, following his 75 against Jamaica at Bourda and 86 against the Windward Islands at Albion.
The Berbician continued to grow in confidence as the innings progressed, racing to 70 by the time the century partnership materialised halfway through the 21st over.
Seemingly determined to notch up the elusive three-figure mark after missing out in his last two innings, Hetmyer reached the landmark off 93 balls, an innings that included 14 fours.
He hit four more boundaries before being bowled by Matthew Jones for 123, ending a record partnership of 176 in 29.4 overs. Hetmyer’s knock, which took his tally to a tournament-high 321 runs, spanned 102 balls and at his dismissal, Chanderpaul was coasting on 46.
The son of prolific West Indies Test batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul brought up his 50 off 81 balls and proceeded to add 81 for the second wicket with Sattaur.
The pair continued to build on the solid foundation and brought up the 200 in 35.4 overs, before Sattaur was run out for 38 (36 balls, 4x4s, 1×6) at 257-2 at the start of the 46th over.
Kemo Paul then stroked a quick-fire 19, including two massive sixes and a four, before Akshay Homraj went first ball. Chanderpaul got to his hundred in the penultimate over off 148 balls, an innings decorated with eight fours and a six.
Bowling for Barbados, Drakes picked up 2-22. In the other game on Wednesday, Trinidad and Tobago defeated the Leeward Islands by five wickets.