|Related Links:||Articles on cricket|
|Letters Menu||Archival Menu|
Resuming at their overnight 316 for four, 170 runs behind Jamaica’s 486 for seven declared, Guyana were dismissed for 462, 24 runs shy of the visitors’ first innings total.
The first innings lead earned Jamaica a place in the final against Barbados, starting at the Kensington Oval tomorrow and also marked the Jamaicans third consecutive bid to capture the International Shield, the first ending in a successful first innings lead over Guyana who reversed that decision at Sabina Park last year.
Jamaica, batting a second time, were 78 for five when the game was called off at 16:00 hrs with 11 overs plus the 15 mandatory still to be bowled. Fast bowler Rayon Griffith, who claimed four for 49, was allowed to improve his tally of wickets in the tournament in the face of some reckless strokes by the Jamaican top-order.
The day started with Chanderpaul, who resumed on 96, in sight of his second consecutive century in as many matches at the ground and Hooper one away from a half-century.
The enigmatic Hooper reached 50 off the last ball of the first over and celebrated the milestone by flicking fast bowler Jermaine Lawson through backward square leg for four.
Chanderpaul was soon to his 10th regional first class century and the third at Albion with a fluent extra cover boundary off Lawson. He followed this up by spanking fast bowler Darren Powell through wide mid-on.
Jamaica however gained a vital breakthrough when Chanderpaul was trapped lbw by a delivery that kept low from Lawson with the score on 351 for five. His fine knock included 15 fours in 262 minutes off 196 balls. Chanderpaul and Hooper had shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 137 in 152 minutes and the left-hander’s dismissal came with Guyana still needing a further 136 runs to overhaul the Jamaican total.
Hooper, who survived a very confident lbw appeal on 81, offering no stroke to the pacy Jerome Taylor was joined by wicketkeeper Vishal Nagamootoo who stood firm for 44 minutes without scoring a run. Nagamootoo, who registered his maiden first class century against the West Indies B, was eventually adjudged lbw to Taylor who also sent back Neil McGarrell (one) in similar fashion as Guyana slipped to 376 for seven.
Mahendra Nagamootoo promised much with two sweetly timed boundaries, both off Taylor, a straight drive and an on-drive, but then was undone by medium pacer David Bernard (jnr) who replaced the bustling Taylor. Flirting at a wide delivery outside the off-stump, Nagamootoo (eight) offered wicketkeeper Keith Hibbert an easy catch at 392 for eight.
The Jamaicans wasted a chance to get rid of Hooper on 94 when Darren Powell on the long-off boundary juggled the catch as the right-hander skied off-spinner Chris Gayle in his direction.
At lunch, Hooper was three runs short of his 12th regional hundred while Griffith, who was dropped by Robert Samuels before he had scored off Bernard, was on nought not out and Guyana 395 for eight.
Hooper got to the landmark shortly after, courtesy of an overthrow from the Jamaicans, and with Griffith growing in confidence, the Guyanese hopes built with every run scored.
An over-ambitious Griffith (24), in attempting a big drive from a full-length delivery from Gayle was bowled neck and crop after sharing a 49-run ninth-wicket partnership with his captain.
Last man Esuan Crandon joined Hooper with Guyana still needing 46 runs to gain first innings lead.
The left-hander looked quite comfortable in adding 21 with the experienced Hooper but the pace of Lawson proved vital in the end with Crandon edging the tall pacer to Hibbert who took a low diving catch as the Jamaicans celebrated gleefully.
The Jamaican top-order then threw caution to the win and in a reckless display lost five wickets, four to Griffith before play was called off at 16.00 hrs.
Skipper Robert Samuels later berated his batsmen for what he described “as a lot of crap” as they had wanted some practice since they wouldn’t be able to get any today. “We lost five wickets in 17 overs and that was sheer rubbish on our part, but come Thursday (tomorrow) they would be putting their best foot forward and we will ensure that the final is a very good one.”
Samuels was very happy that Jamaica had qualified for their third successive final. He pointed out that Jamaica had wanted to score more than the 486 but time was against them and they also needed enough time to bowl out Guyana.
The long-standing Jamaican captain singled out David Bernard (jnr) for special mention, pointing out that he’s proud of him. Samuels said Bernard had filled the slot of the departed Laurie Williams very well, both with the bat and ball. “He has done tremendously well for Jamaica and for himself.”
Bernard scored 509 runs and took 23 wickets.
Samuels also showered praise on all-rounder Gareth Breese who scored four half-centuries and took 24 wickets.
On the final, Samuels said he expected a good game against the Barbadians, who are yet to be beaten this year. “They are due to be beaten and I am hoping that we could go out there and ensure that it happens.”
Samuels hinted that Jamaica would miss Chris Gayle for the final as the West Indian opener is scheduled to play in this weekend’s World Cup double-wicket tournament in St Lucia.
A disappointed Hooper, who was named man-of-the-match, pointed out that he was eagerly looking forward to playing in the final as he enjoys representing Guyana.
Hooper, who also hinted that the semifinal could very well be his last match for Guyana, said the host team allowed Jamaica to score about 40-50 runs too much and lamented the missed chances.
The former West Indies captain said he was very impressed with the bowling of Griffith but said leg-spinner Mahendra Nagamootoo, who was carrying a back injury, looked tired.
He also disclosed that left-arm spinner Neil McGarrell was carrying a shoulder injury for almost the entire season but still managed to send down marathon spells. McGarrell ended the tournament with 32 wickets.
JAMAICA first innings 486 for seven declared (D.
Bernard 109, M. Samuels 79, G. Breese 79, W. Hinds 58, R. Samuels 55; R. Griffith three for 92, N. McGarrell two for 103)
GUYANA first innings
A. Haniff c M. Samuels b Lawson 15
K. Arjune c sub. Parchment b Breese 56
T. Dowlin run-out 13
N. Deonarine lbw Gayle 55
S. Chanderpaul lbw Lawson 109
C. Hooper not out 130
V. Nagamootoo lbw Taylor 0
N. McGarrell lbw Taylor 1
M. Nagamootoo c wkpr Hibbert b Bernard 8
R. Griffith b Gayle 24
E. Crandon c wkpr Hibbert b Lawson 9
Extras: (b-14, lb-14, w-5, nb-9) 42
Total: (all out, 148 overs) 462
Fall of wickets: 40, 57, 117, 214, 351, 372, 376, 392,
Bowling: Powell 17-3-65-0 (nb-7, w-3), Lawson
26-4-76-3 (nb-1, w-2), Bernard 19-3-57-1 (nb-1),
Breese 26-8-83-1, Taylor 21-3-71-2, Gayle 37-7-67-2, Hinds 3-1-15-0.
JAMAICA second innings
C. Gayle c wkpr Nagamootoo b Griffith 21
L. Garrick lbw Griffith 8
W. Hinds c Deonarine b Griffith 25
M. Samuels c wkpr Nagamootoo b Griffith 5
D. Bernard not out 12
K. Hibbert c Crandon b Griffith 0
G. Breese not out 5
Extras: (b-1, lb-1) 2
Total: (for five wickets, 18 overs) 78
Fall of wickets: 13,48, 55, 65, 66.
Bowling: Griffith 9-2-49-4, Crandon 4-0-19-0,