Almost there!

-B/dos have one hand on the title after crushing Guyana

Guyana’s tournament momentum and title hopes came to an abrupt halt yesterday when they suffered their second defeat in a week losing by eight wickets to Barbados at the Blairmont Community Centre Ground, Berbice, in the penultimate round of the limited overs version of the West Indies Cricket Board’s Under 19 tournament.

This was Barbados’s fourth straight victory in the tournament and it put them in the driver’s seat to claim their first title since 2004.

Off-spinner Chaim Holder broke the back of the Guyana innings with figures of 4-29 in Blairmont.

The day’s play began at 10:15 due to overnight rain and Barbados, who won the toss, wisely opted to send in the opposition in reduced 48 overs-a-side encounter.

A combination of insipid batting and accurate bowling saw the home side bundled out for a miserable 74 in 30.3 overs, in front of small but vocal crowd.

Pinch hitter Clinton Pestano, coming in at number three, curbed his natural attacking instincts to score 20 (49 balls 1×4) and was the only player to bat with any semblance of maturity.

Off-spinner Chaim (pronounced Shem) Holder (4-29) and West Under-19 all-rounder Kyle Mayers (3-11) were the principal wicket-takers for Barbados.

The lads from the Land of the Flying Fish, in reply to the paltry target, made heavy weather of it when most expected a cavalier finish to game.

But credit must be given to the Guyana spinners, for making the Bajans work hard for the 75 runs required for victory.

The eventually reached the target for the loss of two wickets in 30.5 overs.

Captain Kraigg Braithwaite, the only test player in the competition, top scored with 29 while Shai Hope (13) and Kyle Mayers (13) chipped in pursuit of this meager target. Opener Shane Parris had retired hurt with his score on nine.

The tournament has an off-day today, before tomorrow’s final round, which will see Guyana potentially hoping to end their disappointing competition on a high when they tackle the Windward Islands at Bourda.

In other fixtures, Jamaica will clash with the Leeward Island at the Everest Cricket Club Ground while defending limited overs champions Trinidad and Tobago will lock horns with current tournament leaders Barbados in a virtual final with the winner most likely to be crowed 2011 50-over champions.

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