Inconsistency let Guyana down

By Sean Devers in Barbados
In association with Carib- the beer of the Caribbean, GT&T & NBIC.
Stabroek News
August 1, 1999

By the end of the semi finals, Guyanese names featured prominently in the 1999 Nortel under-19 three-day cricket competition here in Barbados.

Narsingh Deonarine (415) had the most runs and the highest individual score (142 n.o), Orvin Mangru broke a 15 year old overall bowling record by bagging 9-116 and Hemnarine Harrinarine had broken a Guyanese bowling record which stood since 1984, by taking 8-31 in the first round.

Yet, despite all the individual glory, Guyana's proud unbeaten streak in the competition had ended. After seven years Guyana had finally lost a regional under-19 three-day title on the Island where the competition began in 1984.

Inconsistent umpiring, which seemed to favour the home team, inconsistent team batting, inconsistent bowling, captaincy which lacked mental toughness under pressure, and poor fielding, combined to badly let down the former six times defending champions at a time when the standard of the regions' premier youth tournament has dropped tremendously.

"It is disappointing that we have lost the title after dominating since 1992. When you have to depend entirely on a 16 year-old, a 15 year-old and someone who only scored his first half-century in his third year, something has got to be really wrong with the overall team effort". Said Guyana manager Carl Moore.

The manager was referring to the dependence on Deonarine, under-15 player Roopnarine Ramgobin and skipper Sewnarine Chattergoon. While Deonarine reached the 400 mark and Ramgobin (217) and Chattergoon (231) passed 200, none of the other Guyana batsmen except all rounder Khaleem Bux reached 60 runs in the entire tournament.

"No two batsmen scored over 50 runs in the same innings. This showed inconsistency. Harrinarine was not the same after the first round when he had eight wickets while Mangru had 9-116 against Barbados and bowled poorly in the next game against Trinidad. This again showed inconsistency ". Moore opined.

Guyana's 308-9 declared was their only score over 300. However, unpenetrable bowling, poor fielding and at times inept captaincy, allowed Trinidad to reach 396 and take a first innings lead in that vital semi final, and Guyana were out of the competition.

Manager Moore said he was surprised and disappointed that his spin attack, considered Guyana's strength, made very little impression against the Trinidad batsmen in the semi final. " We will now try to salvage something from the one-day competition". Moore promised.

Captain Chattergoon feels that bad catching hurt Guyana badly in the competition. " Catches win matches and we dropped too many. We have two practice sessions before the one-day competition starts and we will try to remedy our faults and look to be more positive in the one-day games".

Chattergoon, one of the best catchers in the side, put down two catches in successive overs to let off Barbados captain Ryan Hinds on 30 and 37. He went on to make 91 not out. Trinidad skipper Zaheer Alli was also dropped twice in his 88 against Guyana.

Two Guyana batsmen stood out. Deonarine looked a class above the others and while his two tons makes him the leading centurion in a series which has seen five centuries, it was his confidence and the way he built his innings that impressed many here. Ramgobin, in his first series, batted with a maturity which belied his age and passed 25 five times. He was the most aggressive of the Guyanese batsmen and timed the ball sweetly.

Chattergoon, who failed to build on solid starts, passed 35 four times and his organized 72 against Barbados was his best innings, but the rest of the batting was poor.

Apart from Bux (87 runs from 6 innings) and fellow Bermine all rounder Damadar Dasrat (58 runs from 5 innings) no other batsmen passed 40.

DCC's Deonauth Baksh (40 runs from 6 inngs.) was a major disappointment and batted in the middle after getting two ducks opening in the first two games. GCC's Sase Narine struggled for form and confidence managing just 35 runs from six innings.

Dasrat, who opened in the last two games, looked correct before giving his wicket away with rash shots, even though he was unlucky to be given out caught off his shoulder against Barbados. His steady medium pace earned him five wickets, but it was another below par performance from the 18-year-old in his second year at this level.

While not living up to expectations, Bux was the best all rounder (87 runs from 6 innings & 3 wkts.) and one of the most committed players in the side.

Sixteen year-old Shivananand Madholall and Shevon Marks, in his final year, both played a solitary game and struggled mentally to overcome nervousness.

Wicket-keeper Imran Hussain and the bowlers all failed to offer support with the bat, and apart from looking most uncomfortable to the pace, generally batted without an apparent plan.

Apart from Mangru (20 wkts.) and Harrinarine (14 wkts) none of the other bowlers reached 10 wickets although 16-year-old off spinner Kevin Bazil (9wkts.) was strangely under bowled and 'rested' against Barbados.

Mangru bowled well but lacked varity under pressure, while Harrinarine, who played last year, lost form after the first game. However, the Albion spin pair, along with Bazil, seem prospects for the future.

Pacer Raule John (1wkt.) found his chances limited and struggled for genuine pace on pitches which surprisingly offered little help to the quickies.

Coach Albert Smith said, on paper, the batting was strong but he felt some of the batsmen put too much pressure on themselves, which affected them psychologically and took the fun out of their cricket.

"I still think we have a good team, but if only a few players do well then it will always be hard to win any team sport" Smith conceded.

Smith felt that although the rain in Guyana allowed only one practice game and one turf practice session, the team left Guyana fairly well prepared. " Maybe the lack of turf practice affected our fielding, but I would say that inconsistency and maybe a lack of a few more experienced players were reasons we lost", Smith concluded.

While the team has talent, it lacked 'fight', mental toughness and the ability to analyze situations in the middle when under pressure. These are key necessities in modern sport and a lot more will have to be done to prepare our talented youths mentally for regional tournaments in the future. This series showed that talent without the ability to use it could easily lead to failure.

While the Guyana management could not comment on the umpiring, reliable sources indicate that most of the managers are dissatisfied with the standard of umpiring, especially in the games involving Barbados and will be writing negative reports on many of the umpires.

The umpires staged a one day strike after president of the Barbados Cricket Association Tony Marshall said on a radio programme that the standard of umpiring in Barbados was not too high. The strike caused the entire Nortel series to be pushed back by one day.

Guyana face the Windwards in the first round of the knock out one-day competition which starts on Wednesday.

A © page from:
Guyana: Land of Six Peoples