Defending champs Guyana defeat Leeward Islands
Stabroek News
June 26, 2002

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Guyana, the defending 2001 USA Red Stripe champions, convincingly beat a strong Leeward Islands team by five wickets last Saturday at Marine Park.

Scores in the match:

Leeward Islands: 239-9 in 50 overs. Guyana: 244-5 from 41.5 overs.

Guyana were indebted to another match winning innings from Marlon Kallicharran to seal the fate of the Leeward Islands who had very high hopes that the 239-9 they posted was going to be well beyond the Guyana batsmen.

Kallicharran, who has traditionally performed with consistency at this level, did not fail his team and his supporters. He thrashed the Islanders for 89 with 10 fours and when he played a tired shot to be caught by R. Joseph off C. Adams, in the 30th over, Guyana were well on the way to victory at 167-5.

This laid the basis for Vishal Nagamootoo 53 not out with two fours and skipper Zamin Amin 35 not out with two sixes to take center stage. This pair continued to score freely and they knocked off the remaining 72 runs in 11.5 overs.

Nagamootoo, again like he did against the Jamaicans, played a mature and steady innings to anchor the innings. First he put on 39 with Kallicharran and then 72 in quick time with his captain.

Nagamootoo has been putting a lot of emphasis on his batting this season as he knows that consistent batting could enhance his chances of a place in the West Indies cricket team as a weeketkeeper-batsman.

He has done his cause much good this year with consistent scores after recovering from a mini-bus accident earlier this year.

Earlier, Kallicharran shared in a blistering opening partnership of 82 in 10 overs with the hard hitting Selwyn Ramphal 35 ( two fours and two sixes. But with the fall of Ramphal's wicket, Guyana lost Steve Massiah for nine, Lennox Cush, 17 and Amar Singh for a duck.

This was due mainly to the introduction of E. Lewis 3-33 who bowled with good control. Lewis was supported by C. Adams 1-53, and L. Liburd 1-52.

The Leeward Islands, batting first upon winning the toss, were off to a reasonable start with D. Gomes 24 with four fours and D. Richards 70 with two fours and one six posting 49 for the first wicket.

However, Steve Massiah, in the new role of opening bowler for Guyana, made the initial break through by having Gomes caught by Garvin Nedd at backward square. The Leewards continued to make steady progress when Lewis 33 joined Richards in a second wicket partnership of 64 in 13 overs.

But it was the introduction of Ron Matthews (son of former Guyana fast bowler later turned leg spinner, Sidney Matthews) in the 28th over at 113-1, that the Leewards innings went into decline.

Matthews, bowling leg spinners and googlies, spun webs around the batters as he started with a maiden wicket, that of Lewis. He took two more as K. Joseph, seven, was followed in quick succession by top scorer D. Richards back to the tent.

At this stage The Leewards were 152-4 in the 38th over and the Guyanese might have harboured thoughts of restricting their opponents for under two hundred runs.

But, if they did, they were not contending with the reputation of the big hitting C. Joseph who proceeded to plunder the Guyanese attack, hitting a quick fire 40 with three fours and three sixes. Joseph got able support from F. Lewis 14 and C. Adams 11. However, their final total of 239-9 proved too small for the rampaging and very youthful Guyanese team.

Bowling for Guyana: K. Darlington 1-31, S Massiah 1-35, Z. Amin 2-53, R. Matthews 3-52 and L. Cush 1-3. H. Poonoo bowled a very good line and length and though he was not rewarded with a wicket.

He did so with such control that he only conceeded 35 from his alloted 10 overs.

Nedd was struck for twenty runs from his three overs and was permanently removed from the attack. At the conclusion of the match the Guyana management presented cash incentives to M. Kallicharran, top scorer, Nagamootoo, good all round performance and R. Matthews for best bowling.

In brief remarks the Guyanese team management and captain encouraged the players to put more emphasis on their fielding preparations and mental approach to these encounters and to take more pride in representing Guyana at this level. The Guyana players were given cricket clothing provided by the sponsors Red Stripe (Guinness) before the start of play.

Guyana play the Windward Islands on July 13th at Van Courtland Park, Bronx.