In 25-year-old batsman Tagenarine Chanderpaul, the Guyana Harpy Eagles have a fully comprehensive insurance policy.
Against the Barbados Pride in the final session of their West Indies Championship clash at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain this evening, they should not have needed Chanderpaul’s input. Arguably, they may not have felt they wanted him for the job required either.
But with 15 runs needed from 12 deliveries and five Barbados fielders on the boundary, ‘Tage’ showed he was it, the normally stodgy opener producing a more than passable impersonation of a swashbuckling finisher.
Chanderpaul got Guyana home with four fours of contrasting styles, as the Harpy Eagles completed a five-wicket win with a second innings total of 71 for 5 to go with their first innings total of 490 for 7 declared.
Credit to Barbados Pride, led by West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite, for pushing them so hard. Dismissed in 84.4 overs for 266, Barbados were asked to bat again by Guyana captain Leon Johnson. And, not for the first time, Barbados’ pride rested on Brathwaite’s slender shoulders and calm head.
In some respects, Brathwaite was lucky to keep his head at all; Guyanese pacer Keemo Paul did not make it easy for him.
Unbeaten on 82, the elegant Brathwaite was surprised with a short-pitched Paul snorter that smashed into his helmet. Brathwaite responded by removing helmet and gloves and sprinting to the dressing room, as the umpires called for drinks to be served.
Did the Pride captain lose his bearings? Did he have a sudden urge to visit the men’s room?
It was cricket’s answer to the crude bullpistle joke, in which a gentleman on the receiving end of a savage blow has an out-of-body experience during which he discerns that someone is getting a beating and decides to vacate the scene in haste—in case he might be next.
Brathwaite did return to the crease, though. Paul was so pumped up that he might have bowled a bouncer at his own mother if she had a Barbadian passport. And temperatures soared in Port-of-Spain as the two cricket nations went at it like gladiators.
Barbados wicketkeeper/batsman Shane Dowrich was at the wrong place at the wrong time, going caught behind for 24 off another short-pitched delivery from Paul. And the 24-year-old pacer quickly added number nine Akeem Jordan to his list of victims which already included number seven Jonathan Carter.
Brathwaite continued his own innings well enough, going on to complete his 27th first-class century. Although Paul, as relentless as a landlord, got the final word with another short ball that induced a Brathwaite hook shot, that Gudakesh Motie gleefully caught on the long-leg boundary.
Barbados were then 273 for 9 , their lead 49. And tailenders Keon Harding (18*) and Jomel Warrican (10) added 18 to that total to set Guyana a target of 68, with just 13 overs left in the day’s play.
Chanderpaul, whose first innings 144 had come off 434 balls, was not deemed to be the right man for this particular job. Instead, Guyana promoted Paul to open with Chanderpaul Hemraj.
Having carried his bat through Guyana’s innings before spending two days in the outfield, it was the first time in four days that Chanderpaul was not on the field of play.
But Guyana’s batsmen were not reading the conditions right.
Brathwaite put five fielders on the boundary along with a slip and gully and instructed his men to bowl wide of the off-stump. And rather than trying to pick off singles, Hemraj (6 off 11 balls), Paul (10 off 9), Akshaya Persaud (4 off 8) and Motie (2 off 3) were attracted to the wide stuff like flies to a lightbulb, only to be caught in the deep going for booming shots.
Tevin Imlach (7 off 7) alone knows what first innings half-century maker Tevin Imlach was trying to do when he was dismissed. He fell over on his backside in attempting an audacious and needless flick off Jordan. A grateful Dowrich got simple catching practice.
At 46 for 5 with 22 runs needed off 23 balls, Guyana decided that the first innings century-maker’s time had come.
Tage stepped up once more. getting them home with an over to spare. An onside drive for four, a pull that went through Reifer’s legs for another boundary, an awkward flick for four more while falling over and, finally, with Brathwaite obliged to call in his fieldsmen, an authoritative smash over the ropes—all taken off the pair of Jordan and Reifer.
Cricket, glorious cricket!
At the Diego Martin Sporting Complex where the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, with four wickets in hand, were bidding to hold off the Leeward Islands Hurricanes for as long as possible. there was much less stuff to get the pulses racing.
They home side did not make it to lunch.
Yannic Cariah, the last recognised batsman, and Bryan Charles added 33 runs to their overnight score before Leewards skipper Rahkeem Cornwall had Charles caught behind by Amir Jangoo. And Anderson Phillip contrivedto survive for just five balls before he was sent back to the dressing room—lbw to Hayden Walsh Jr.
That made its 185 for 8, the hosts still trailing by 172 runs.
At this stage, the Trinidad and Tobago batsmen opted to change their approach. In an aggressive ninth-wicket partnership of 86 runs from 92 balls with Jayden Seales, Cariah got to his century with 13 fours before Cornwall struck again. The allrounder made exactly 100 runs from 180 deliveries before falling caught by Kieran Powell off the off-spinner.
That was as good as it was ever going to get for the Red Force, as Sheeno Berridge returned to dismiss Seales and seal a 187-run win for the Leeward Islands.
With two matches remaining in the 2022 season, Trinidad and Tobago have no time to brood as they face the Barbados Pride next Wednesday at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba.
The Guyana Harpy Eagles will tackle the Jamaica Scorpions at the Diego Martin Sporting Complex while the Leeward Islands Hurricanes try to maintain their hot streak against the Windward Islands Volcanoes at the Queen’s Park Oval.
Defending champions Barbados cannot afford to slip up again. Nor can the Red Force.
Immovable object versus irresistible force?
(At Diego Martin Sports Complex)
Leeward Islands Hurricanes: 358 all out (95.5 overs) (Kieran Powell 139, Amir Jangoo 58, Jeremiah Louis 42; Jayden Seales 5/49) & 241/7 dec. (47.1 overs) (Devon Thomas 84, Kieran Powell 83, Montcin Hodge 39; Yannic Cariah 3/33, Akeal Hosein 2/64)
Trinidad and Tobago Red Force: 140 all out (58 overs) (Joshua Da Silva 65, Bryan Charles 25; Colin Archibald 4/27, Jeremiah Louis 4/32) & 271 all out (80.2 overs) (Yannic Cariah 100, Jason Mohammed 36, Jayden Seales 33; Rahkeem Cornwall 4/50, Jeremiah Louis 3/31, Sheeno Berridge 2/30)
Leeward Islands won the toss and the match by 187 runs.
(At Queen’s Park Oval)
Guyana Harpy Eagles: 490 for 7 dec. (157.4 overs) (Tagenarine Chanderpaul 140*, Gudakesh Motie 110, Tevin Imlach 53; Akeem Jordan 3/108, Raymon Reifer 2/37) & 71/5 (12 overs) (Tagenarine Chanderpaul 23*, Leon Johnson 14*; Akeem Jordan 4/31)
Barbados Pride: 266 all out (84.4 overs) (Shai Hope 119, Shane Dowrich 44; Veerasammy Permaul 4/81, Gudakesh Motie 2/37, Keemo Paul 2/43) & 273 all out (86.1 overs) (Kraigg Brathwaite 111, Shayne Moseley 48, Raymon Reifer 27; Keemo Paul 4/82, Nial Smith 3/76)
Guyana won the toss and the match by five wickets.
(At Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba)
Windward Island Volcanoes: 137 all out (51.1 overs) (Keron Cottoy 50, Kavem Hodge 23; Marquino Mindley 5/20, Nicholson Gordon 4/43) & 195 all out (74.2 overs) (Kavem Hodge 63, Devon Smith 34; Derval Green 5/46, Jamie Merchant 5/72)
Jamaica Scorpions: 346 all out (87 overs) (Brandon King 119*, Jamie Merchant 58, John Campbell 48; Preston McSween 4/96, Josh Thomas 3/56)
Jamaica won the toss and the match by an innings and 14 runs.
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