Guyana crowned Busta champs
Stabroek News
April 8, 2002

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC Guyana unseated Jamaica as Busta International Shield champions when their four day final ended in a draw at Sabina Park yesterday.

Jamaica, behind a shot filled half century from captain Robert Samuels, gave themselves a hint of hope when they speedily scored 269 all out and set Guyana 193 runs to win in a session and a half. The visitors never challenged the target and coasted to the title on first innings advantage.

The Guyanese, after assuming full control of the game on Saturday when man of the match Carl Hooper hit 149 not out to steer them to 354 all out in response to Jamaica's 277, ended the game on 99 for three.

Topped by Jamaica in the 2001 Busta International Shield final and beaten again by the Jamaicans in the Busta Cup second round in February, Guyana proclaimed sweet revenge to celebrate their first regional four day title since sharing the President's Cup with the Leeward Islands in 1998. "It was very important to put up a good show.

Following recent results against Jamaica, we were pretty pumped up going into the game," Hooper said after collecting the Shield and US$10,000 winning cheque. Guyana, with Shivnarine Chanderpaul acting as captain because Hooper (injured) was off the field, wasted little time at the start of play and quickly removed night watchman Ryan Cunningham with just seven runs added to Jamaica's overnight position of 103 for two. The left hander, going for a lofted on drive, was bowled by left arm spinner Neil McGarrell, as the ball turned sharply from outside the off stump. Cup champions Jamaica, needing to score briskly to maintain their outside chance for a win, lost Wavell Hinds for 28 caught on the long off boundary by substitute fielder Andre Percival as he attacked leg spinner Mahendra Nagamootoo at 153 for four. Samuels made a smashing start to his innings, lofting huge successive sixes off McGarrell the first, a strong wristy swing over mid wicket, followed by another big hit over the long off boundary as he raced to 18 off just nine balls.

But Jamaica lost more momentum when Ricardo Powell, trying to accelerate the scoring, struck a flicked on drive off Nagamootoo to deep mid wicket where McGarrell took a comfortable catch at 189 for five. Powell, who had been dropped on 10 by wicket keeper Azib Haniff off Nagamootoo and posted 43 runs for the fourth wicket with Hinds, made 39 off 54 balls with two boundaries. It became 231 for six when Gareth Breese (15) gloved a rising delivery from fast bowler Reon King to wicket keeper Haniff, ending a 42 run sixth wicket stand with his captain. Samuels moved to 50 with a perfectly placed cut shot to the third man boundary for four his breezy half century coming off a mere 36 balls in 65 minutes with two fours and three sixes. Laurie Williams (3) was bowled last ball before lunch by King, playing late at a delivery that cut back into him from outside the off stump. Jamaica scored a healthy 139 runs in 27.4 overs in the morning session and surprisingly batted on 35 minutes after lunch, even after Keith Hibbert and Samuels were dislodged. King retrieved and turned quickly to beat Hibbert with a direct hit to the bowlers' end, after the non striker had set off for a single. And in the following over, Samuels after pushing pacer Colin Stuart to the on side, was run out attempting a sharp single as Lennox Cush threw to Stuart at the bowlers' end. Samuels' entertaining knock of 61 came off only 51 balls The Jamaica innings folded when Darren Powell tried to force a delivery from King through the on side and lobbed a simple catch off the leading edge to Chanderpaul at short extra. King (3 52), and McGarrell (3 93) were the chief wicket takers for Guyana, while Nagamootoo (2 71) closed the season with a new record 50 wickets, erasing the 1996 mark of 48 by Trinidad and Tobago's Rajindra Dhanraj. "I am very pleased with my season and happy having the record," Nagamootoo said on the CMC CricketPlus broadcast. Guyana, given the 193 target got a steady half century opening stand but lost quick wickets at 53 and 56. Azeemul Haniff tried to recover after setting off for a single when he played the ball out to cover, but Leon Garrick darted from silly point to retrieve the ball and the third umpire (TV Replay) confirmed his throw narrowly beat Haniff's rush back to the crease. Chattergoon (20) departed just before tea, when he pushed forward against left arm spinner Ryan Cunningham, and edged to slip where Chris Gayle snatched a smart boot high catch, falling to his left. From a tea time position of 56 for two, Guyana slipped stumbled to 63 for three 15 minutes after the restart when Cunningham bowled Ramnaresh Sarwan for six. Sarwan stretched forward with too much face down angle on the bat to a flighted delivery and the ball crept off and under his bat, onto his stumps. Chanderpaul, batting 105 minutes for 30, and Nagamootoo getting seven in 96 minutes, then played patiently to the close, denying a diligent Jamaican bowling attack, led by Cunningham with two for 18 off 16 overs. Off spinners Breese, none for 11 off 11 overs, and Ricardo Powell, none for eight off eight, also produced tight figures. "Guyana had the better of the four days (and) we have to settle with the Cup," said Samuels, who received the Busta Cup and its prize of US$7,000 for Jamaica's table topping 75 points in the Cup standings last month. Hooper did not take the field on the final day because of a badly bruised finger he suffered attempting to take a slip catch against Gayle late Saturday afternoon. The injury is not serious and does not threaten his participation in the first Cable and Wireless test match against India next week in Guyana. Also at the presentation ceremony, Nagamootoo received the Clyde Butts award for the top wicket taker in the Busta Series, Breese took the Ranjie Nanan prize for the top all rounder, and Stuart Williams of the Leeward Islands, with his record 974 runs was named for the Clayton Lambert batting award.