An atrocious batting display by the Guyana Jaguars at Providence yesterday provided Bajan fans with another reason to celebrate their Independence Anniversary which was observed on Sunday as the wounded Jaguars, chasing 69 to win, crashed to 67 all out inside the first session of the final day of their third round WICB Four-Day First-Class Franchise cricket match against Barbados Pride.
Inept shot selection by the Jaguars resulted in them being shot out for their third lowest total in Regional First-Class Cricket following their 41 against Jamaica at Sabina Park in 1986 and the 56 they scored as British Guiana against Trinidad in Barbados in 1939.
The 31-year-old Dwayne Smith, bowling controlled medium pace, captured his first five-wicket haul (5-17). He got support from Jonathon Carter (2-13) and Ryan Hinds (2-21) as Guyana were blown away in 29.1 overs as the contest was done and dusted before Lunch.
Guyana have not beaten Barbados at home since their nine wicket victory in 1984 and yesterday they wasted a golden opportunity to beat Barbados in Guyana with a brainless batting exhibition in ideal conditions for cricket on a track which got better to bat on as the match progressed.
Thirty-five minutes into the day’s play, the 20 people in the stands including former Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) President Ramsay Ali, were already celebrating what would have been Guyana’s 15th win from 83 matches against Barbados when the Bajans were bowled out for 228 from the overnight position of 214-7.
Barbados who made 101 in the first innings in response to Guyana’s 261, lost their last three wickets yesterday for no run as Veerasammy Permaul removed Ashley Nurse (12) and Jomel Warrican (0) off successive balls before Chris Barnwell had Ryan Hinds, who started the day on 60, tried to hit the ball over mid-on and was caught by Ronsford Beaton for 68. Permaul had 4-75 to end the match with 12-101. He has 30 wickets from three matches so far while Bishoo took 4-65 and Barnwell (2-21).
In a contest controlled by Guyana from the first day, few could have foreseen what transpired yesterday and even when Guyana slumped to 10-4 many felt the Guyanese were making the run chase harder than it should have been but it was unthinkable that Barbados would go on to win their 34th game against Guyana with such a sensational come-from-behind win.
With nearly three full sessions to bat Trevon Griffith (1) played an injudicious pull to a short delivery from Smith and holed out to short mid-wicket before the next three batsmen all failed to score as the hosts began the run chase in horrendous fashion.
Shemron Hetmyer was stupendously taken low down at point by Carter as he played a bullet-like cut off Hinds who soon trapped Guyana’s leading run scorer, Narsingh Deonarine LBW when he missed an ill-advised sweep.
Smith continued the demolition job when he bowled Vishaul Singh behind his back and all of a sudden there was nervousness around the ground with the score on 10-4.
As wickets fell around him, Rajendra Chandrika played with fluency, elegance and sound defence and along with Bajan Raymond Reifer, who smashed Hinds majestically past wide mid-off for four before clipping the left-arm spinner to the fine leg boundary when he strayed into his pads, eased the pressure with a 24-run stand before Reifer (11) irresponsibly drove seamer Carlos Braithwaite straight to mid-off to leave his team on 34-5.
Carter was introduced and induced Chandrika to clip one off his pads to be caught at square-leg for a well played 34, 85 minutes into Guyana’s innings after he had faced 53 balls with the Jaguars on 50-6, but with just 19 short of their victory target, the Guyana supporters were more annoyed by the poor shot selection by the batsmen than the eventual unbelievable outcome of the contest, in which four hours and 50 minutes were lost on the second day.
When Barnwell (12) got an inside edge onto his pad for Carter to take the lobbed offering diving full length on the pitch with the score 54-7, the Bajans were all of sudden on the attack as they hunted the Jaguars with relentless pressure.
Anthony Bramble (3), surprisingly sent in to bat after the two all-rounders, had batted with refreshing maturity in the first innings when he made 73, but yesterday he failed to demonstrate the same type of composure and top-edged an impetuous hook at the on-target Smith for Nurse to run back from slip to pouch the catch and leave Jaguars desperately fighting for survival and slipping to a shocking defeat in their own back yard at 57-8.
A wounded Jaguar is usually at its most dangerous state but yesterday the Guyana Jaguars seemed clueless as how to approach the small target giving the impression that they wanted to end the game as early as possible.
Permaul and Bishoo played an array of erratic ‘big shots’ at a time when sensible batting and picking up the singles on offer would have taken Guyana home easily.
The thought process of the Albion pair seemed seriously flawed as both batsmen insisted on looking for aggressive shots which never came off and the panic button had already been activated.
The say that luck favours the brave and when a full blooded cover drive to a wide half volley by Permaul off of Smith with four needed to win, was magnificently stopped by a diving Miguel Cummings, who is not among the better fielders in the side, the die had been cast.
Permaul (6) played a wild swipe and was caught behind and Beaton arrived at the crease with three to win and played defensively with a straight bat but Bishoo continued to play recklessly leaving many to wonder if the present crop of batsmen had learnt anything from watching Shiv Chanderpaul bat.
Bishoo (6) soon edged a big drive at Smith to the Keeper as Barbados managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat to spark wild celebrations as if they had won the World Cup to give Singh an inauspicious start as Captain.
Guyana’s next match is fixed for Trinidad from Friday and the Jaguars, who have named the same 13 for their fourth round game, are still leaders on the points table with 39 points despite the loss.
Barbados’ win takes them to second on 27 points while the Windwards (22), T&T (20), Jamaica (19) & the Leewards (7) come in that order. (Kaieteur News)