Jamaica deny Guyana victory

By Sean Devers in Jamaica
Stabroek News
January 18, 2000

An excellent unbeaten maiden century from Chris Gayle and an aggressive 57 from Tony Powell helped Jamaica hold on for a draw against Guyana in their second round Busta Cup four-day cricket match which ended here at Sabina Park yesterday.

Gayle hit 14 fours and batted for 285 minutes in his 132-ball 121 and along with Powell who struck eight boundaries in his 57 from 92 balls, added 88 for the second wicket.

The left handed pair came together with Jamaica in trouble at 18-1 and set the foundation for a draw after their team was set an improbable 300 to win from 80 overs.

Scores: Guyana 287 and 218-8 declared: Jamaica 206 and 238-6.

Guyana resumed the final day on 185-4 and declared their innings closed after batting for 40 minutes and adding 34 runs on the lightening fast outfield.

Hunting quick runs to take their lead to 300, Mahendra Nagamootoo (11) was brilliantly caught off the day's first ball by a diving Carl Wright at mid wicket as he attempted to loft off spinner Gayle over the infield.

Neil McGarrell (6) then lofted pacer Audley Sanson to deep mid-on at 205-6 while Vishal Nagamootoo (4) steered Gayle to slip at 212-7 before Colin Stuart (2) attempted to clear long on and was caught on the boundary off Sanson.

Kevin Darlington (0 not out) faced one delivery before the declaration came leaving Travis Dowlin, who scored a well compiled 102 in the first innings, unbeaten on a confident 38 from 76 balls aided with two fours and a six.

Gayle had 3-73 and got good support from Sanson who took 2-58.

Set 300 runs to win from 64 overs plus the mandatory 15 from the final hour, the home team began their reply watched by not more than 25 people in the stands.

The impressive Stuart soon had Carl Wright (2) well caught low at first slip by Keith Semple with the score on 18.

However, Gayle who struck four fours in his unbeaten 25 and Powell, whose 27 not out included five boundaries, three of them in one over form spinner Garvin Nedd, batted positively to see their team to 55-1 by lunch, 245 runs away from an improbable victory.

With the 50 coming up in even time from 12 overs, Jamaica were above the required run rate of 3.75 they needed to win and a keen contest was anticipated after lunch.

After the break the Jamaicans continued their aggressive approach with Powell punishing anything loose.

He brought up his 50 from 66 balls, 70 minutes with seven fours before he lofted Nagamootoo to long on where Nicholas de Groot took the catch to end the attractive second wicket stand.

Skipper Robert Samuels pushed tentatively forward and was bowled for a duck without addition to the score while Gareth Breese (3) was taken at silly point by Sarwan three runs later to give Nagamootoo his second wicket and sink the hopes of an improbable win by the home tea.

The 21-year-old Gayle was joined by the experienced Delroy Morgan with Jamaica in deep trouble. But while Gayle reached his third fifty at this level with a classic cover driven boundary off McGarrell, Morgan, with three centuries and 11 fifties at this level, looked totally at sea against the spin of MaGarrell and Nagamootoo.

Gayle reached his half-century in 130 minutes from 87 balls with his seventh boundary as Jamaica struggled to save the game on a pitch offering some turn for the spinners.

Gayle, survived a difficult chance off Nedd at 68 when substitute Zaheer Haniff, on the field for his brother, failed to hold on to a powerful drive at wide mid wicket with the score on 136-4.

Gayle capitalized on his good fortune and by tea was unbeaten on 79 with Jamaica on 150-4. Morgan, looking a shadow of himself, was on eight and Jamaica's final mission was to bat out the last session to hold on to their four points.

After tea, Morgan pulled a short ball from Nedd straight to Nagamootoo at Square-leg after labouring for 82 minutes and 86 balls for his 19 runs and Guyana had made an important break through at 165-5.

Laurie Williams, put down by a diving McGarrell at short cover off Nagamootoo on four, and Gayle carried their team to 216 before Williams was bowled off the inside edge by McGarrell for 22.

Gayle, dropped on 103 by Semple at slip off McGarrell, then reached his century with a magnificent straight drive off Stuart. His well deserved ton came from 202 balls, 255 minutes and was decorated with 14 fours.

By then Jamaica were well on their way to saving the game and in the end Gayle and Brian Murphy eight not out with two boundaries saw their team to safety.

Guyana, with 12 points, now play Trinidad and Tobago at Guaracara Park in South Trinidad from Thursday in the third round. Guyana's coach Clyde Butts said that Gayle's excellent batting enabled Jamaica to hold on for a draw. He added that he did not think the decision to bat 40 minutes yesterday cost his team victory.

" We batted on to make sure we could not lose. If you look at the score you will see that Jamaica fell short by 68 runs so we had to ensure we did not lose first of all"

" We are going to Trinidad not to play Lara, but to play Trinidad and we are playing good cricket and we are confident" Butts disclosed.

Guyana are expected to be strengthened by the inclusion of Test players Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Reon King.

King, Chanderpaul to boost Guyana

West Indies players Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Reon King are scheduled to leave Guyana today for Trinidad for the third match of the current Busta Cup regional four-day cricket competition.

The two players missed Guyana's two away matches against Barbados and Jamaica because of West Indies duty and only returned home last week from the unsuccessful tour of New Zealand where they lost the two tests and the five one-day international matches.

It is understood that two players from the 13-man team that played in the first two matches will fly home. The remaining members of the team will fly to Trinidad.

Two players, batsmen Zaheer Haniff and Andre Percival, have not played in any of the matches so far, while off-spinner Garvin Nedd has been disappointing in the matches against Barbados and Jamaica which ended yesterday.

The national selectors were yesterday scheduled to name the players who will return home.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples