Katchay inspires Canada to victory over Guyana (From Frederick Halley in Toronto)
Guyana Chronicle
June 22, 2004

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AN inspired spell of fast bowling by Eion Katchay, which jolted the top order of the Guyana XI, saw a Canadian-based Guyana side registering a comfortable 26-run victory over the visitors in the annual Western Union Independence Celebrity 40-over Festival match, played at the L'Amoreaux Community Centre ground, Scarborough, Toronto, on Sunday.

Set a challenging 207 for victory after the Canadian XI had reached 206 for nine, in their allotted 40 overs, Guyana were 180 for eight when their overs expired.

Using the newly acquired artificial turf to telling effect, Katchay, who is currently playing in the Toronto and District Association (T&DCA) League, caused an early scare in the Guyana camp when he sent back opener Derwin Christian (one) and Troy Cornelius (eight) with just 20 runs on the tins.

Christian, of whom much was expected, was dismissed caught at midwicket by Abdool Samad, attempting to hook a short delivery while the left-handed Cornelius offered wicketkeeper Aftab Shamshudeen a regulation catch.

Guyana were never really in the hunt after despite knocks of 41 from skipper and opener Sewnarine Chattergoon, 27 from Lalchand Persaud, 24 from Under-19 captain Zamal Khan and a brisk unbeaten 23 from Khan's vice-captain Zaheer Mohamed.

Leading Guyana for the first time, Chattergoon found a useful partner in Damodar Daesrath (18) following the loss of Christian and Cornelius but although adding a useful 43 for the third wicket, the run rate always lagged behind the home team's. Daesrath's dismissal, caught by wicketkeeper Shamshudeen off former Guyana Under-19 leg-spinner Arjune Nandu, saw Chattergoon and Khan upping the tempo somewhat, before the former became Nadu's second victim, caught and bowled, his 41 including a solitary boundary and made off 56 deliveries.

Khan, who was joined by Lalchand Persaud, was eventually outfoxed by the wily left-arm spin of 57-year-old Francis Waithe and was easily stumped by Shamshudeen, his 24 coming off 25 balls with one four.

Skipper Sunil Dhaniram then accounted for Persaud and Rajendra Singh (13) and although Zaheer Mohamed had some sparkle towards the end of the innings, the Guyana cause was already lost before a sold-out crowd, which included Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo, Public Service Minister Dr Jennifer Westford and Consul General in Toronto, Danny Doobay.

Katchay later returned for a second spell to shatter the stumps of new West Indies selector Clyde Butts (one), the only player to be bowled in either innings while Mohamed and Imran Jafferally (seven) were the not-out batsmen.

Katchay finished with the impressive figures of three for 28 from his eight overs, Dhaniram two for 30 from seven and Nandu two for 31 from five while Waithe had one for 33 from eight.

Earlier Nandu, in the role of opener, had steadied the Canadian XI with a hard-fought 31 from 59 balls after skipper Dhaniram had won the toss and elected to take first strike. The left-hander shared a third-wicket partnership of 42 with Paul Prashad (32) following the dismissal of Shamshudeen (11), brilliantly run-out by Cornelius at cover, and Rovindra Mandolall (eight), caught by wicketkeeper Christian off Daesrath.

Prashad slammed two sixes in his innings off 40 balls before he was stumped off Persaud while Nandu's 31 came off 59 deliveries.

At 111 for five, Guyana had fought their way back into contention but were in for a rude awakening with the arrival of the big-hitting Ricky Hunte who proceeded to blast five sixes in a robust knock of 37 off a mere 21 balls while sharing a sixth wicket stand of 47 with Samad who was run-out for 25.

Towards the end, Naresh Roopnarine and Bhawan Singh chipped in with 13 and 18 not out respectively as the homesters got to 206, a total which seemed enough under the conditions and so it proved.

Daesrath finished with two for 38 from eight overs, Persaud two for 42 from six, fast bowler Quacy Maltay one for 37 from six and Butts one for 37 from four.

Guyana, who were down to 10 players following the non-arrival of wicketkeeper Vishal Nagamootoo from New York and the absence of opener Krishna Arjune, who was not released by the Toronto Cricket Club, were forced to call on the services of Butts and Essequibian-born Rajendra Singh who resides in Toronto.

At the presentation ceremony that followed, Dhaniram collected the winners' trophy while each member of the Canadian side was awarded a plaque and a Western Union T-shirt.

Hunte received a trophy for being the MVP of the match while Katchay and Chattergoon also got trophies for the best performances on the Canadian and Guyanese teams respectively. Members of the Guyana team, as well as umpires Ashook Brijcoomar and Azad Khan, were also presented with plaques and T-shirts.

The two captains were also recipients of token gold bats from Ken's Jewellery.

The match climaxed a month of activities to commemorate Guyana's 38th Independence anniversary, which was organised by the Guyana Independence Festival Committee in conjunction with the Guyana Consulate in Toronto and was being held for the ninth consecutive year.

This year however saw a first with ABC Indo-Caribbean Radio carrying ball-by-ball commentary.