Raun Johnson’s venom and Veerasammy Permaul’s wizardry were enough to place Guyana in the driver’s seat on day-one of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional 4-day round two match against defending champions Barbados yesterday at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
Johnson, who made his senior debut in place of pacer Ronsford Beaton who was advised by doctors to rest due to a muscle niggle, troubled the top-order batters with his pace and bounce, capturing 3 for 38 from 13 overs, while Permaul who claimed 3 for 32 from 15 overs bamboozled the Barbados tail-enders. Devendra Bishoo, Keon Joseph and Narsingh Deonarine ended with one wicket each as Barbados found themselves being routed for 184 in 76 overs.
Top scorer Roston Chase ,who surpassed his highest first-class score of 49 which he made against Guyana last year, occupied the crease for 208 minutes cracking eight fours in his 166-ball 55 and was involved in a 5th wicket stand of 59 with Shane Dowrich who struck five fours in a watchful 35. Ashley Nurse, who showed some fight down the order, was left stranded on 29.
At stumps the Guyanese were comfortably placed on 35 without loss trailing by 149-runs with openers Sewnarine Chattergoon (14) and Tagenarine Chanderpaul (11) looking rock-solid against the new-ball pace operators, Tino Best and Miguel Cummins.
Barbados’ downward spiral began when Rashidi Boucher (1) was caught by Chris Barnwell in the fourth over of the day and the second over of Johnson’s spell, while Kraigg Brathwaite (19) off 79 deliveries with two fours was caught by wicket-keeper Anthony Bramble off the bowling of Bishoo in the 24th over.
The 27th over saw Barbados raising the team 50 but soon after left-hander Jonathan Carter (5) was trapped lbw by Deonarine whose “golden-arm” came into to effect right before the stroke of lunch leaving the score at 57 for 3 at the 32 over mark.
Immediately after the resumption of the innings after lunch, Kevin Stoute (0) attempted a suicidal single and was run out by Joseph leaving the Bajans in a bit of trouble. Chase and Dowrich batted sensibly rotating the strike and eventually repaired the innings which seemed to be swinging in favour of the Guyanese, raising Barbados’ three figures in the 50th over.
The pair brought up their 50-run partnership off 94 deliveries and Chase got to his half-century in a strange manner after taking off for a single which nearly caused the demise of Dowrich, he survived after a return throw which was missed by the wicketkeeper Bramble and raced to the boundary adding four extra runs to the Bajan’s total.
The partnership was broken when Dowrich playing forward to a slower delivery from Joseph, got one high on the bat which popped in the air and down the throat of Permaul. However, the big breakthrough for the Guyanese came when the set batsman Chase ironically chased after a wide delivery from Johnson only to find the waiting gloves of Bramble.
At the tea interval Barbados were 138 for 6 and four balls after the resumption Carlos Brathwaite (15) was trapped LBW by Johnson who claimed his third victim of the innings. The 150 for the Barbados came in the 78th over but by then the local bowlers had already made inroads into their opponents’ batting lineup as they sought to exploit the tail-enders.
But the spin-twins Nurse and Suleiman Benn were out to prove that they were no mugs with the bat. In a clash of two towering giants, Benn got the better of Johnson after he cleanly hit the 6’5 pacer for a four followed by a delivery which he was not able to put bat on and resulting mistimed attempt by Bramble to stop the ball which eventually went for a boundary.
Barnwell too got his medication from Nurse who took a liking to his medium-pace slamming a four and the only six of his team’s innings in the same over. The 39-run partnership between the spinners and the innings was cut short when Permaul landed a triple blow removing Benn (15) who was caught in the slips by Sewnarine Chattergoon, Best pinned lbw (0) and Cummins (0) who had his stumps disturbed two balls later.
The action continues today at 15:00hrs and admission to the public is free.