It was inconceivable that another team could bat poorer than Guyana did in their clash against Barbados in the Caribbean Twenty20 Tournament at the Queen’s Park Oval last night. But a hapless Barbados expertly showed how poor could get worse.
Barbados won the toss and asked Guyana to bat on a wicket that offered bowlers a bit of assistance but was far from being the minefield that scores suggested. †
Guyana put in a pathetic batting display to be bowled out for 108 in 19 overs and, in response, Barbados continued the dismal batting that has been a feature of the competition by capitulating to 66 all out in 17.2 overs to lose by 42 runs.
Barbados brought West Indies pacer Fidel Edwards into their line-up in place of Shamarh Brooks who over the past year or so has looked clueless with a bat in hand at the national level, even if rewarded for it with captaincy and vice-captaincy stints.
Edwards sent down a wayward first over to openers Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Trevon Griffith that went for 16 runs with Griffith in particular benefiting from some short bowling.
Best replaced Edwards and soon accounted for Griffith in the innings’ fifth over when he bowled him for 16 to leave Guyana 29 for 1.
Out-of-favour West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan filled the breach but didn’t last long, edging an attempted cut shot off pacer Carlos Brathwaite into his stumps for 1 with the Guyana score on 36 for 2.
Chanderpaul was then involved in a 27-run partnership with fellow West Indies middle-order batsman Narsingh Deonarine but in the 10th over of the innings and his score on 23, Chanderpaul lofted off-spinner Ashley Nurse to long-on where he was comfortable caught by Kyle Mayers with the Guyana total on 63 for 3. That was the prize wicket and Guyana never recovered from the loss of their batting lynchpin.
Captain Dwayne Smith then struck two blows in the next over. First, he trapped Deonarine in front the stumps for 13 and the next ball a full, in-swinging delivery accounted for Royston Crandon, who mysteriously played a One-Day International for the senior regional side in 2009 after even more mysteriously making the team for that 2009 ICC Champions Trophy.
Wickets continued to tumble with Jonathan Foo the next to go when he swiped at a Sulieman Benn delivery and edged to slip where Smith took the catch to place Guyana further in the mire at 85 for 6. Foo made 11. Steven Jacobs went at the same score to a catch at cover by Edwards off Benn without scoring and four runs later another West Indies selectee Christopher Barnwell was caught at long-off by Mayers off left-arm spinner Ryan Hinds for 12.Barbados wrapped up the innings when captain Veerasammy Permaul was run out with the score on 100 and wicketkeeper Derwin Christian was last man out, caught at point by Smith off Edwards for 12. Smith finished with 2 for 14 and Benn 2 for 22 but the pick of the bowlers was Brathwaite who conceded just 15 runs in his four overs while taking Sarwan’s scalp.
What should have been a routine chase then turned into an appalling meltdown.
Without a run on the board Smith was all studious bat and pad to a delivery from off-spinner Jacobs that somehow still found a way through his defence to create quite a bemusing sight as it crashed into his stumps in the first over.
Hinds pushed and prodded around before brainlessly surrendering his wicket going for a second run on an overthrow after the first run, fraught with danger, had been completed. He made 1.
The parade continued when newcomer Justin Brathwaite on 3, chose not to play his natural attacking strokes and patted an indecisive shot back to Jacobs from a ball that seemed to lift more than he anticipated. Barbados at this stage were four for 3.
Barbados’ anxieties were momentarily eased by left-handed batsman Jonathan Carter and wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich who added 38 for the fourth wicket and looked rather secure in doing so. Then Dowrich essayed a sweep at off-spinner Deonarine, missed and was adjudged leg before wicket for 18 in the 10th over. That was the beginning of the end.
Despite the knowledge that the target was a paltry one and there were ten overs available, simple logic deserted Carter who on 17 went for an unnecessary heave at Barnwell bowling his medium pacers and offered an easy catch to Chanderpaul at long-off with Barbados 44 for 5.
Mayers was then run out for one as he failed to reach the striker’s end after colliding with the bowler Barnwell; Nurse was plumb leg before wicket to Barnwell without scoring and Brathwaite who was looking rather assured was run out for 10 after he and Benn twice hesitated over a single.
Benn provided Permaul his first wicket with a swat to Sarwan at cover with his score on nine and Barbados now 66 for 9. That became 66 all out when Best, whether seeing an open window somewhere or frustrated at the ineptness of his fellow batsmen, swung to the high heavens, missed and was stumped by Christian off Permaul for 1.
Barnwell had 2 for 11, Permaul 2 for 14 and Man-of-the-Match Jacobs finished with 2 for 13 from his four overs. (WG)††