Chopra slams big hundred as India 'A'/ Guyana draw
By Sean Devers
March 11, 2003
India 'A' batted all day to reach 402-3 in their second innings as their sixth round Carib Beer regional cricket match against Guyana ended in a boring draw before empty stands at Bourda yesterday.
Akash Chopra stroked 14 boundaries from 405 balls and 491 minutes in his 174 to become the first Indian to score a century in a West Indies first class competition.
India 'A's total was aided by the strange Guyanese tactics which deteriorated so badly that fast bowler Reon Griffith opted to bowl off-spin in the final session.
Connor Williams followed up his first innings 54 with 61 with five fours from 120 minutes and 151 balls and added 134 for the second wicket with Gautam Gambhir.
Hemang Bandani recorded arguable his easiest first class fifty to finish on 57 not out (from 81 balls, 88 minutes with four fours) by the time play was eventually called off with 8.4 of the mandatory overs remaining.
Scores: India 'A' 249 & 402-3, Guyana 375.
Guyana struck early on the final day when the dangerous Gambhir was run out in the day's fifth over without adding to his overnight 78 to leave the visitors on 146-1.
But that was to be the last success until after tea for the impotent Guyanese bowling attack which was badly let down by a sloppy display of fielding by most of the team in hot conditions.
Williams joined Chopra after 18 minutes were lost due to rain and together they saw the score to 195 -1 by lunch with Chopra on 70 and Williams on 30 and the Indians leading by 69 runs.
After lunch, Chopra who was dropped before the interval by Vishal Nagamootoo off his brother's bowling when on 58, continued to play well on the flat track. His ton came from 294 balls, 341 minutes and was decorated with nine boundaries.
Skipper Neil McGarrell, off the field for most of the afternoon nursing an injury, was joined on the 'injured list' by Vishal Nagamootoo who was struck on his left foot from a ball which kept low from Griffith, at that stage bowling pace.
Vishal's injury resulted in Andre Percival being asked to keep wicket and Travis Dowlin who was off the field injured, returning to ensure Guyana had eleven men on the field.
Williams capitalized on a situation which looked more like the last day of a trial match with the team already selected than a regional first class game to record his second fifty in the game. His half-century came from 198 minutes, 135 balls with three fours as Guyana struggled to find eleven fully fit men to field.
By tea, the game had only academic interest with India 'A' on 266-1 with Chopra on 111 and Williams on 51 and another run out being the most likely way of separating the pair.
the field and Jamal Hinkson, a 16-year-old DCC player, got his dream opportunity to don 'whites' for his country in a first class match on the nation's lone test venue.
With the part time spin bowlers of Sewnarine Chattergoon and Lennox Cush in operation after the break, Guyana eventually broke the 134 run second wicket stand between Chopra and Williams. Cush had Williams LBW for 61 from 210 minutes, 151 balls with five fours to leave the score on 280-2. Bandani and Chopra carried their team pass the 400 mark before Chattergoon ended Chopra's innings at which point the game was called off.
Fast bowler Avishkar Salvi was named Man-of-the- Match by former Guyana pacer Robert 'Pacer' Adonis for his five wicket haul in Guyana's innings.
Guyana collected six points from the first innings points to take them to 36 points while India 'A' gained three points for the draw to move to 21 points.
Guyana now face Windward Islands from Friday at the Albion ground in Berbice in the final preliminary round of the competition and should be strengthened by the inclusion of test players Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan.