Guyana hold out for draw
- Barbados settle for 8 points

By Sean Devers in Barbados
Stabroek News
January 11, 2000

An important 64-run fourth wicket stand between the experienced Keith Semple and Travis Dowlin ensured Guyana narrowly held on for a draw against Barbados in their opening round Busta Cup four-day cricket encounter which ended here at the Kensington Oval in fading light yesterday. Semple, who hit four fours and a six from 168 minutes and 137 balls in his 45, and Dowlin, whose 39 lasted 125 minutes and 105 balls with five fours, joined forces with their team on 77-3 after Ramnaresh Sarwan departed for 25, and took the score to 141-4.

Semple fell just before tea, but by then the hard work had already been completed and Guyana were out of real danger of losing the game after being set an improbable 327 to win on the last day. A useful rearguard 30 from Mahendra Nagamootoo from 47 balls also helped Guyana in their second innings even though pacer Dayne Maynard (19-4-51-4) and Hendy Bryan (18-5-43-2) threatened to snatch a last minute victory for Barbados.

Scores: Barbados 272 & 252-6 declared. Guyana 198 & 210-8.

Guyana began their second innings after the home team declared on their overnight score of 252-6 and lost their first wicket with the score on 32 when Nicholas de Groot fended a lifter from Dayne Maynard to forward short leg.

De Groot was put down at third slip by Floyd Reifer on 13 while Azeemul Haniff was dropped on eight and ten by Kerry Lucas at third slip, all off the unlucky but hostile Maynard, who had earlier hit de Groot on his helmet with a wicked bouncer.

Maynard eventually struck again when Haniff was brilliantly caught by wicket keeper Courtney Brown for 13 to leave the score on 35-2.

Sarwan and Semple joined forces on the extremely slow and heavy outfield and saw Guyana to 63-2 by lunch after the 50 was posted in 96 minutes.

Semple, who started his innings in uncertain manner, was on nine while Sarwan, who again looked well organized, was unbeaten on 19 at the interval.

After lunch, Sarwan, who struck two boundaries in his 25, which lasted 38 balls and 62 minutes, played an impetuous hook shot to left arm pacer Ian Bradshaw and gloved a catch to Browne.

The talented Sarwan had once again wasted a good start and Guyana were in discomfort at 77-3.

Semple, playing at this level since 1990, grew in confidence as his 55th innings progressed on a track that offered very little assistance for the bowlers.

The DCC pair of Semple and Travis Dowlin, who looked quite positive, saw the 100 up in 181 minutes as the Bajans searched for the breakthrough in bright sunshine.

The Guyanese looked totally at ease after the initial short pitched bombardment from the pacers. Semple and Dowlin batted intelligently to frustrate the Bajans before Maynard struck just before tea.

Semple was trapped LBW as he played across a ball which cut back, to leave the score on 141-4.

Mahendra Nagamootoo (0), promoted in the order, and Dowlin (35), saw their team to a great position of holding on for a draw by taking Guyana to 143-4 at tea.

Guyana began the final session needing to bat a minimum of 21 overs plus the mandatory 15 to draw the game and an improbable 184-run victory target.

Dowlin was trapped LBW to Hendy Bryan just after tea, much to the delight of the very small crowd.

But captain Neil McGarrell played with the type of responsibility he lacked in the first innings and along with Nagamootoo saw Guyana to safety as the Bajans appeared frustrated and void of motivation.

However, three quick wickets lifted the spirit of the entire Barbados team and left the visitors in real trouble at 199-8.

Mahendra Nagamootoo was bowled off the inside edge by Bradshaw, McGarrell (6) was caught at gully off Maynard after facing 69 balls and Vishal Nagamootoo (2) was caught behind off Bryan.

Three wickets had tumbled for nine runs, as excitement returned to a game which at that point seemed to be heading for a tame draw.

Kevin Darlington joined Colin Stuart with 11 overs remaining and, with last man Garvin Nedd nervously watching from the dressing room, survived to the end with all the fielders huddled around the bat.

The Guyana team leaves Barbados this morning for Jamaica where they oppose Jamaica in their second round encounter with just four points under their belt.

A © page from:
Guyana: Land of Six Peoples