By Clifton Ross in
Trinidad and Tobago
A menacing spell of fast-bowling from Fidel Edwards backed up by half-centuries from openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Dwayne Smith steered Barbados to the finals of the NAGICO Regional Super50 tournament, after sending Guyana Malta Supreme packing in a seven-wicket defeat.
Looking to secure a spot in the finals, Barbados rode on Man-of-the-match Smith’s belligerent display of power-hitting. The right hander clobbered 61 off 37 balls which featured seven fours and three sixes, equalling the Regional 50-over record he set previously against Trinidad earlier in the tournament, off 33 balls.
Brathwaite (not-out), hit five boundaries, crafting his maiden half-century at this level, an unbeaten 55 off 122 balls and showed maturity batting through the entire innings along with Kenroy Williams (40 not-out) who he shared an unbroken 4th wicket 72- run partnership seeing his team to 182 for 3 in 46 overs.
Fast bowler Fidel Edwards ripped through the Guyanese top order with his pace and swing ending with figures of 4 for 16. Pacer Jason Holder claimed 2 for 35, while spinners Ashley Nurse and Kenroy Williams grabbed one each.
Guyana were placed on the back foot early after being forced to play without three of their big names: Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Paul Wintz and Robin Bacchus who were down with the flu ahead of the semi-final match which should have placed them in the driver’s seat to claim their 10th Regional 50-over title.
Middle-order batsman Narsingh Deonarine who had a quiet tournament came to the party, carving seven boundaries in his top score of 58 off 108 balls and was the backbone of his team’s effort.
He was involved in two crucial partnerships, first a 5th wicket stand of 65 with skipper Chris Barnwell (37) followed by a 7th wicket 55-run stand with wicket-keeper Anthony Bramble (34) which took Guyana to a paltry score of 181 all out in 48.4 overs.
Opener Trevon Griffith survived a first ball lbw appeal from Edwards in the first over. He then got off the mark with a square drive off the second ball of Holder’s first over.
The fast bowler soon got his man during his second over after the left-hander mistimed a fast bouncy delivery and popped a catch to Barbados’ skipper Kevin Stoute who was patrolling the short mid-wicket area.
The big blow for the Guyanese came when the tournament’s leading run-scorer Ramnaresh Sarwan (0) was given out lbw to Edwards. Opener Assad Fudadin was the next to go after he loosely chased after a delivery from Edwards and was caught by the lanky Sulieman Benn in first slip, followed by Leon Johnson (7) who was pinned lbw by Holder.
Barnwell and Deonarine then did the repair job and brought up the team’s 50 in 16.4 overs, eventually bringing up their half-century partnership in the 25th over. But after looking set on his way to another half-century, the skipper attempted to go big and was caught in the deep by Holder off the bowling of Williams.
Royston Crandon (0) looked uncomfortable and was pinned lbw by Benn as the Guyanese slipped to 91 for 6. Guyana’s 100 came up in fine style as Deonarine down on one knee clobbered Williams through the mid-wicket region for a boundary. Looking on course to register a century after displaying good temperament and control, the left-hander held out to Nurse in the deep.
Rain stopped play at 17:07hrs for 23 minutes, however upon resumption Guyana lost the remaining cluster of wickets. Edwards was responsible from the run outs of Bramble and Veerasammy Permaul who struck two sixes in his brisk 19 off 17 deliveries.
Ronsford Beaton (0) was then caught by Benn off Edwards leaving Devendra Bishoo stranded yet to come off the mark, as Guyana fell short of an optimistic 200 mark.
Smith as expected came out with guns blazing during the Bajans’ response, while Braithwaite was more watchful as the pair quickly brought up Barbados’ 50 in 6 overs. Smith then brought up his 50 with a huge six.
But after going for 34 runs in four overs, Permaul had the dangerous Smith trapped lbw, he then had Stoute caught and bowled for (1) as the Guyanese seemed to pull things back.
Barbados raised their 100 in the 19th over with Jonathan Carter (9) and Braithwaite playing sensibly towards their target. But an lbw decision saw the removal of Carter in the 24th over with Bishoo drawing blood.
Braithwaite and Williams put on 50 from 88 deliveries for the unbeaten fourth wicket partnership which took Barbados over the line with 7 wickets and 24 balls to spare.
Barbados will now take on hometown boys Trinidad tomorrow at the Queens Park Oval ground starting at 14:00hrs.