There was a refreshing win for Barbados Pride over Guyana Jaguars in the second round of the regional first-class Championship.
A seven-wicket success at Kensington Oval on the fourth and final day last Sunday marked the first time Barbados had triumphed against Guyana since a memorable come-from-behind two-run victory at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence in late 2014 (November 28 – December 1) under the captaincy of Carlos Brathwaite.
After being asked to follow-on, Barbados had set Guyana a meagre 69 to win and sensationally dismissed them for 66 in 29.1 overs.
Earlier that year (March), Barbados also won by 136 runs at the same venue in a day/night match, with Kraigg Brathwaite as the skipper.
But the last occasion Barbados had overcome Guyana at Kensington was seven years ago (February 2013) by 93 runs with Kirk Edwards at the helm. (See teams and summarised scores below).
For the past five seasons Guyana have been champions with Barbados, the most decorated four-day territory since 1966, finishing second.
No doubt hurt by a three-wicket defeat against Windward Islands Volcanoes at Arnos Vale in St. Vincent in the opening round, there was a determination by Kraigg Brathwaite’s team to quickly rebound with a win.
And to do so against Guyana, who crushed Leeward Islands Hurricanes by ten wickets in the first round in Antigua would have meant so much in light of the tough battles they encountered over the last five seasons during which Guyana won five times – by four wickets at Kensington (February 2015); by nine wickets at Guyana National Stadium (November 2015); by eight wickets at Guyana National Stadium (November-December 2017); by six wickets at Kensington (January 2019) and by seven wickets at Guyana National Stadium (February-March, 2019).
Now, inspired by aggressive fast bowling from the experienced West Indies Test player Kemar Roach, Barbados put Guyana under early pressure after the luck of the toss on a hard, well-grassed pitch.
It was Roach’s first match of the season and he bowled an excellent line and length with good pace. In a move to manage his workload ahead of the next Test series in England in June, Cricket West Indies has mandated that he plays at least six matches in this season’s first-class Championship, including all (five) at home.
Operating from the Malcolm Marshall end, Roach grabbed the first four wickets. Left-handers Chandrapaul Hemraj (four) and captain Leon Johnson (nought) both edged lifting deliveries in succession to wicket-keeper Shane Dowrich in the third over of the match and in the ninth, Vishaul Singh, another left-hander, was squared up and caught at wide mid-off for six to leave the score 14 for three.
A recovery was led by the obdurate Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Christopher Barnwell, who added 53 before Roach, in a second spell, had Barnwell caught at mid-off for 32.
Yet, one felt sorry for pacer Chemar Holder, who was impressive and should have removed both Chanderpaul and Barnwell in the same over. Chanderpaul was dropped on ten at second slip by Jonathan Carter and Barnwell was missed on 24 at first slip by Brathwaite.
Medium-pacer Carter accounted for Raymon Reifer (20) and Anthony Bramble (eight) in quick succession after Chanderpaul and Reifer put on 33 for the fifth wicket and at 108 for six by the 42nd over, Guyana were under pressure again.
As Chanderpaul kept a cool head, debutant Kevin Sinclair played intelligently with the pair adding 81 for the seventh wicket before Sinclair was caught just inside the long-on boundary off left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican for 43.
Warrican also removed Veerasammy Permaul, caught at forward short-leg two balls later before Guyana rallied to 209 for eight off 87 overs at the close.
The innings was wrapped up without addition after 13 balls on the second day with Chanderpaul having the pleasure of carrying his bat for 66 not out in 404 minutes off 280 balls including eight fours, as Holder took both wickets – Nial Smith (17) and Keon Joseph (nought).
Roach was the leading wicket-taker with four for 28 off 18 overs.
Barbados were given a fairly solid start by Brathwaite and Shayne Moseley. who added 69 in 24.3 overs for the first wicket and after reaching 239 for three off 85 overs by stumps on the second day, they were eventually bowled out for 389 in 122.2 overs.
The in-form Kyle Mayers hit the topscore of 75 off 100 balls with 11 fours and two sixes, while fellow left-hander Carter made 73 including nine fours.
Moseley scored 46, Brathwaite (40), Roach (35), Dowrich (25), Warrican (24) and Keon Harding (21).
Pacer Joseph took four for 75 off 22.2 overs.
Guyana fell for 258 in the second innings, losing their last five wickets for 27 runs in 13.4 overs.
Singh topscored with 79 containing 14 boundaries.
It was encouraging to see the effort by the two young fast bowlers in Holder and Harding.
Harding took four for 77 off 16 overs and Holder, three for 63 off 16.3 overs.
Holder, in particular, shook up a few of the batsmen with sharply lifting deliveries and looks a good prospect for the West Indies tour to England this summer.
Psychologically, he disconcerted Reifer by hitting him on the helmet with a bouncer and then a couple balls later lured him into a big drive as he edged a catch to the ‘keeper.
Reifer, a Barbadian, had battled two hours for 31 in putting on 68 for the fourth wicket with Singh – the best partnership of the innings.
Barbados duly reached their target of 79 half-an-hour after tea with Shamarh Brooks scoring 44 not out.
The teams for the just concluded match were:
Barbados – Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Shayne Moseley, Shamarh Brooks, Jonathan Carter, Shane Dowrich, Kyle Mayers, Kevin Stoute, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican, Keon Harding, Chemar Holder.
Guyana – Leon Johnson (captain), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Vishaul Singh, Christopher Barnwell, Raymon Reifer, Anthony Bramble, Kevin Sinclair, Veerasammy Permaul, Nial Smith, Keon Joseph.
Teams and summarised scores of matches, which Barbados won against Guyana at Kensington Oval (February, 2013) and the Guyana National Stadium (November 28-December 1, 2014).
Barbados – Kirk Edwards (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, Rashidi Boucher, Kyle Hope, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Christopher Jordan, Ashley Nurse, Javon Searles, Miguel Cummins.
Guyana – Veerasammy Permaul (captain), Rajendra Chandrika, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Leon Johnson, Steven Jacobs, Assad Fudadin, Christopher Barnwell, Derwin Christian, Devendra Bishoo, Ronsford Beaton, Keon Joseph. NB: Zaheer Mohamed later replaced Permaul.
At Kensington Oval, February 15-18: Barbados won by 93 runs.
Barbados 367 all out (105.2 overs) (Kirk Edwards 120, Jonathan Carter 85, Shane Dowrich 39, Rashidi Boucher 28, Roston Chase 28, Christopher Jordan 23, Ashley Nurse 19, Kyle Hope 16; Veerasammy Permaul 3-82, Steven Jacobs 2-61, Devendra Bishoo 2-84) and 235-7 declared (71.5 overs) (Rashidi Boucher 81, Roston Chase 49, Kraigg Brathwaite 27, Jonathan Carter 25, Shane Dowrich 24, Christopher Jordan 13 not out; Steven Jacobs 2-49).
Guyana 225 all out (60 overs) (Leon Johnson 46, Derwin Christian 37, Veerasammy Permaul 34, Ronsford Beaton 30 not out, Christopher Barnwell 23, Assad Fudadin 14, Rajendra Chandrika 11; Miguel Cummins 4-42, Ashley Nurse 4-74) and 284 all out (80.4 overs) (Zaheer Mohamed 58 not out, Steven Jacobs 51, Rajindra Chandrika 40, Leon Johnson 40, Derwin Christian 37, Keon Joseph 13; Miguel Cummins 3-55, Ashley Nurse 3-59, Christopher Jordan 3-68).
Barbados – Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Kyle Corbin, Omar Phillips, Shai Hope, Jonathan Carter, Dwayne Smith, Ryan Hinds, Shane Dowrich, Ashley Nurse, Jomel Warrican, Miguel Cummins.
Guyana – Vishaul Singh (captain), Trevon Griffith, Rajendra Chandrika, Shimron Hetmyer, Narsingh Deonarine, Raymon Reifer, Christopher Barnwell, Anthony Bramble, Veerasammy Permaul, Devendra Bishoo, Ronsford Beaton.
At Guyana National Stadium. November 28-December 1. Barbados won by 2 runs.
Guyana 261 all out (91 overs) (Anthony Bramble 73, Shimron Hetmyer 47, Rajendra Chandrika 34, Christopher Barnwell 24, Vishaul Singh 22, Trevon Griffith 15, Devendra Bishoo 15, Raymon Reifer 13; Ryan Hinds 4-50, Dwayne Smith 2-20, Jomel Warrican 2-52) and 66 all out (29.1 overs) (Rajendra Chandrika 30, Christopher Barnwell 12, Raymon Reifer 11; Dwayne Smith 5-17, Jonathan Carter 2-13, Ryan Hinds 2-21).
Barbados 101 all out (42.2 overs) (Dwayne Smith 32, Carlos Brathwaite 18, Jonathan Carter 16, Shai Hope 10; Veerasammy Permaul 8-26) and 228 all out (74.5 overs) (Ryan Hinds 68, Shane Dowrich 50, Kyle Corbin 35, Carlos Brathwaite 14, Ashley Nurse 12, Omar Phillips 11, Dwayne Smith 10; Devendra Bishoo 4-65, Veerasammy Permaul 4-75, Christopher Barnwell 2-21).
Keith Holder is a veteran, award-winning freelance sports journalist, who has been covering local, regional and International cricket since 1980 as a writer and commentator. He has compiled statistics on the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Division 1 (now Elite) Championship for over three-and-a-half decades and is responsible for editing the BCA website (www.bcacricket.org).
Email: [email protected]