Guyana, Barbados vie for first semi-final spot By Frederick Halley
Guyana Chronicle
October 6, 2001

HOSTS Guyana and long-standing foes Barbados renew their rivalry today when they clash in a second round Zone B Red Stripe Bowl cricket fixture at the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) ground, Bourda in front of what is expected to be a near sell-out crowd.

A win for either side will ensure them a semi-final place in Jamaica next week while the other will have to await the outcome of their final round game tomorrow to determine their destiny.

Both teams recorded easy first round victories, Barbados by six wickets over newcomers Antigua & Barbuda at the Uitvlugt Community Development Centre ground on Tuesday while Guyana defeated Southern Windward Islands by 80 runs at the Albion Community Development Centre ground on Wednesday.

In anticipation of a `full house’ at the Test venue, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) took a decision to put tickets on sale from early yesterday and, according to an official of the Board, the sales have been going okay.

The game is also billed here as a `Mini Test’ with Guyana boasting some seven Test players and Barbados at least two recent Test players and several who have represented the West Indies at both the Test and One-day level in the past.

Guyana’s captain Carl Hooper, who returned from Australia one week before the start of the tournament, like he did earlier this year in the Busta Cup four-day tournament, has again started ominously, blasting a rapid unbeaten 95 against the Southern Windward Islands at Albion on Wednesday.

The Barbadians could be in for a torrid time should the West Indies skipper continue in the same vein.

Another Test player, Ramnaresh Sarwan also showed glimpses of his batting prowess with a breezy knock of 26 while Shivnarine Chanderpaul, was oversahadowed by the brilliance of Hooper who dominated an unbeaten fourth-wicket partnership.

Opener Sewnarine Chattergoon, a graduate of the West Indies Shell Academy, started his Red Stripe Bowl career with a well-played half-century while Guyana still had the likes of Travis Dowlin and all-rounders Mahendra Nagamootoo and Neil McGarrell sitting in the pavilion when their 30 overs were completed at Albion.

There’s however some cause for worry in the pace bowling department with Test bowlers Reon King and Colin Stuart bowling disappointingly at Albion, causing an early scare in the Guyana camp and forcing Hooper to revert to his spinners after just four overs.

Whether the selectors will persevere with both of them or include fast medium bowler Kevin Darlington at the expense of one will be known before the start of play.

The Barbadians, led by a robust half-century from burly opener Philo Wallace, were also not extended in their win against Antigua & Barbuda.

Middle-order batsmen Floyd Reifer, Dale Richards and wicketkeeper Courtney Browne all looked set for big scores while captain Sherwin Campbell, who still fancies himself for a West Indies recall, did not get the type of start he was hoping for.

The Barbadian batting also possesses depth with Shell Academy graduate Ryan Hinds and all-rounders Hendy Bryan and Ian Bradshaw all capable of useful scores in the middle and lower order.

The Barbadian bowlers had a dream start against Antigua & Barbuda when the debutants were reeling at 68 for seven. They however let them off the hook as they recovered to 189 for eight in their allotted 50 overs. A similar mistake against Guyana could be detrimental to them.

The Barbadian attack will centre on West Indies fast bowler Corey Collymore, Bradshaw, medium pacer Bryan and left-arm spinners Suleiman Benn and Hinds.