Skipper Leon Johnson scored a half century to inspire his side record a six-wicket win over Christopher Barnwell’s XI yesterday in the first practice match at the Everest ground.
The match was organized by the selection committee of the Guyana Cricket Board to help the cricketers prepare for this month’s Regional Super50 tournament.
The stylish left-hander struck three boundaries and a six in his score of 58. He was supported by fellow West Indies ‘A’ batsman Assad Fudadin who scored 24 at the top of the order and ex West Indies all-rounder Royston Crandon who chipped in with a valuable 25 as they comfortably chased down the target of 150 set by Barnwell’s XI.
Opposing skipper Barnwell top scored for his team with an aggressive 54 off 64 deliveries decorated with four fours and three huge sixes.
He failed to get the necessary support as only Robin Bacchus (16), Vishal Singh (13) and Chanderpaul Hemraj (12) reached double figures.
Crandon (3-28), Rajiv Ivan (1-4), Andre Stoll (1-27) and Shaquille Williams (1-27) were the wicket-takers.
Batting first Barnwell’s XI mustered 149 for 8 after a ridiculously slow start which was a result of a seemingly lifeless Everest track. The tough batting conditions proved a challenged for batters the likes of opener Trevon Griffith (1) and Tagenarine Chanderpaul (5) who was ironically caught by his father Shivnarine Chanderpaul at mid-wicket.
Ramnaresh Sarwan (8) and Anthony Bramble (6) too found it difficult to cut loose as Barnwell’s side brought up their team’s 50 and 100 runs in the 29th and 39th overs respectively.
The first boundary was struck in the 11th over and the second some 15.2 overs later compliments of Barnwell who got a Veerasammy Permaul delivery to the ropes.
After eventually bringing up his 50 from 62 balls, an unfortunate mix-up occurred featuring all-rounder Zaheer Mohamed resulting in the skipper being run out.
After the lunch interval openers Fudadin and Rajendra Chandrika (16) led a positive chase picking up the singles and two’s in easy fashion. Mohamed had Chandrika stunningly caught by Barnwell and Fudadin succumbed to fast-bowler Keon Joseph leaving Johnson and Crandon responsible for steering their team to safety.
The two eventually raised the team’s 100-run mark in 27 overs and the skipper brought up his 50 from 85 balls.
After the departure of Crandon, West Indies icon, batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul (6) came to the middle but his stay was short-lived after he popped a return catch back to Hemraj. The all-rounded Ivan (14) not out, then played a sensible hand as the eventual winners cruised to their target with wickets and overs in hand. Joseph (1-30) and Hemraj (2-28) were the most successful bowlers for their team. The next match is set for Friday at the same venue while the players will continue their training camp today and tomorrow.