‘The T/20 matches were good news’ (SN, Jan 13), was the title of V O Patrick’s letter after so much negative news on or about Guyana. I was in Tobago as well as Trinidad over the weekend and heard West Indians from various ethnic groups extolling Guyana’s performance in the first two matches in Trinidad describing it with such words as fantastic, brilliant and impressive, among others. Given Guyana’s superb performance in the second match in particular, almost everyone I spoke with said Guyana would triumph over Trinidad in their encounter on Saturday night. They felt Guyana had more reliable and consistent batsmen and bowlers. They were convinced that Shivnarine Chanderpaul would continue his fine form with the bat as in the first two matches, and would be ably supported by Ramnaresh Sarwan, who is yet to deliver.
But it was not to be as Guyana was crushed, although Chanders did shine once again and Sarwan failed yet again. The veteran Guyanese batsman with all of his versatility and skills was tied down with the spin of 20/20 star Sunil Narine.
Guyana went into the competition as favourites and most people I spoke with in Tobago were backing Guyana to win the championship. They had high hopes of Sarwan as a quick and dependable scorer and they also felt Shiv would score more quickly than his normal subdued sedate performance in Tests. And indeed, Shiv has been putting in stellar performances with the bat but Sunil Narine was too good for the Guyanese restricting them to just 12 runs in four overs. In spite of Guyana’s defeat, many Trinis I spoke with felt Guyana could still triumph in the competition, although more of them now feel with the kind of performance that T&T put in on Saturday night, the Red Force could be champions again. Still, Guyanese had much to cheer about as our team did not give up when their backs were against the wall in the second watch. The bowling and batting failed Guyana against Trinidad, but the team did very well in the first two matches giving us much to celebrate.