Confident but cautious Guyana face Barbados today

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WICB President’s Cup …
HOSTS Guyana who should be brimming with confidence following their first round three-wicket victory over the Leeward Islands, but will be taking a cautious approach in their West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) President’s Cup second round match against Barbados at the Albion Sports Club ground today.

Both teams recorded hard-fought first round victories, with Barbados being forced to fight for theirs against the West Indies Under-19 at the world famous Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) ground, before they eked out a two-wicket win with eight balls to spare in their rain-reduced encounter.

Coach of the Guyana team and former first class batsman Ravindranauth Seeram told Chronicle Sport he is expecting a better batting and bowling performance from his team in this game especially in the power play scenario.

“Once again, we had a game covered and the batsmen let us down. At one time, I thought we should have only lost two wickets chasing down such a moderate target, but our batsmen, especially the senior ones, gifted their wickets away and I need to see them buckle down and put a price on their wicket.

We have the strongest batting lineup on paper, yet still we struggled to get 194 and when we did get it, we lost seven wickets in the process, which means our batsmen are not concentrating hard enough when out there and I need to see them do so in this game and throughout the tournament,” said Seeram.

He praised the bowlers for their hard work at the top of the innings, but coming down to the bottom, especially in the final batting power play, Seeram felt they did not bowl the way they wanted to, with extra short-pitched deliveries which loosened the shackles on the batsmen.

“Once the bowlers can get the balls in the right areas in the power plays, as was evident in the opening stages of the Leeward Islands’ innings, we can restrict any team to a manageable total. We cannot set a field for one thing and the bowlers do their own thing.”

Guyana opened their batting with Christopher Barnwell and Sewnarine Chattergoon, a move that may have been costly as the former’s powerful hitting can be an asset in the lower order, hence leaving the more experienced Travis Dowlin to start the innings with Chattergoon.

Sarwan’s batting at number three is not questionable, but what is would be the decision to have Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Guyana’s highest Test run-getter and a dependable batsman take the crease at number five behind the in-form Narsingh Deonarine.

With all due respect to Sarwan, Deonarine and Chanderpaul, that middle-order should be reshuffled for today’s game, with Deonarine batting at three, followed by Chanderpaul and Sarwan, seeing that the captain himself is struggling with the bat due to his inactiveness.

Barnwell’s services can be utilised alongside Royston Crandon in the lower order, especially with the batting power play and with Seeram stating he needs advantage to be taken of these power plays, wherein his bowlers can have something to work with, that should be the case today.

No doubt about it, Esaun Crandon displayed a level head and along with his younger brother Royston, steered Guyana to victory.

Debutant Delbert Hicks’ work behind and in front of the stumps vetoed the selectors decision to pick him ahead of the more experienced Derwin Christian and it was rather unfortunate for him to be given out run-out in the opening game.

He is expected to rebound from same and fight on for his team today, especially playing on a familiar surface as the ASC, the home ground to national spin twins Devendra Bishoo and Veerasammy Permaul, who came on in leaps and bounds with the ball at the death for their team on Wednesday.

The Guyanese bowling will rest on the shoulders of Esaun Crandon who had a miserly spell against the Leeward Islands where he conceded 15 runs from seven overs on the trot, Barnwell, Permaul and Bishoo with amicable support from Royston Crandon and Deonarine.

Even though Barbados made heavy work of their target against the West Indies youths, they will be looking to redeem themselves in the tournament and what better way to do it than against the host team.

Ryan Hinds will be hoping his bowlers, led by West Indies speedsters in Kemar Roach and Tino Best, with support from Dwayne Smith, Sulieman Benn, Kevin Stoute and the skipper himself, can reduce the hosts’ batting to a decent total.

Their batting weighs heavily on the shoulders of Martin Nurse and Rashidi Boucher, backed by Hinds, Smith who can be used as a pinch-hitter in the power plays, Stoute, Kirk Edwards, Austin Holder, Jonathan Carter and wicketkeeper/batsman Carlo Morris, who can also utilise the power play to good effect.

Benn has shown over and over again he is no rabbit with the bat and Wednesday was no different as he held things together for his team with an unbeaten 27, sharing an unbroken ninth-wicket partnership with Roach, while Best can also hit the ball a long way on his day.

Either way, patrons who are paying their admission fee of $500 for today’s game can expect an exciting one which will be played under the supervision of P. Nero and L. Kelly with Golan Greaves executing the duties of third umpire, especially with the victors securing a place in the final four of the tournament.

In other matches being played today, defending champions Trinidad and Tobago will oppose the Windward Islands at Uitvlugt (C. Mack , V. Johnson and D. Somwaru), CCC v Jamaica at Bourda (C. Duncan, D. Holder and K. Barrsingha) and West Indies Under-19 v Leeward Islands at Providence (L. Abraham, V. Bullen and N. Malcolm).

All matches commence at 09:15 h weather permitting.
Teams for the Guyana/Barbados clash will be selected from:

Guyana: Ramnaresh Sarwan, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Travis Dowlin, Christopher Barnwell, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Assad Fudadin, Royston Crandon, Delbert Hicks, Esaun Crandon, Veerasammy Permaul, Dion Ferrier, Devendra Bishoo and Trevon Garraway.

Barbados: Ryan Hinds, Alcindo Holder, Kevin Stoute, Rashidi Boucher, Jonathan Carter, Nikolai Charles, Suleiman Benn, Kemar Roach, Kirk Edwards, Carlo Morris, Tino Best, Dwayne Smith and Martin Nurse.