T&T chase 3rd straight Super50 win
PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD - The finish to their Regional Four-Day fixture was engaging and entertaining, and similar type entertainment is in prospect at the Queen's Park Oval this afternoon when Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana go at it again , this time in Regional Super50 action.
Thanks in the main to a century from Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the Guyanese made a spirited pursuit of 376 in the four-day match on Saturday before losing by 45 runs. But there will be no Chanderpaul or captain Veerasammy Permaul in this day/night fixture.
Chanderpaul and Permaul are on Test match duty with the West Indies team in Barbados as is T&T captain Denesh Ramdin and fast bowler Shannon Gabriel.
The Guyanese are likely to feel their losses a great deal more than their hosts however.
T&T, second in the standings to Jamaica by virtue of net run rate after their two matches, will be boosted by the presence of their West Indian trio of Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine.
"With these guys, Dwayne and Pollard in our squad, they are professionals, they are very good 50-overs players and they will just add value to the team. We have a very strong team in all formats and we are just hoping that we will play a very good game on Monday," said coach David Williams on Saturday.
Bravo, who skippered the West Indies to a 3-0 sweep in the just-concluded one-day series against Zimbabwe, will captain the team. And he, Pollard and Narine come into a side with a 100 per cent record after wins on the road by three wickets and 14 runs against the Leeward and Windward Islands respectively.
In contrast, Guyana are one-from-bottom with one win from three games. They will have the experience of Ramnaresh Sarwan in their middle order but could find T&T's all-round strength too much to overcome.
The slight concern the T&T camp could have are some slight injuries.
Seamer Rayad Emrit had to leave the field on the final day of the four-day fixture because of cramp but is expected to be fit for selection.
"Rayad pulled up with a little bit of cramp (in the four-day match) and you can always deal with that," Williams said. However, he said , "there are one or two niggles here and there but when you play a hard-fought game like this (four-day match), you will find a few niggles. Our physiotherapist is working hard on those injuries to get the guys up to speed come Monday."
The Guyanese also had problems in the four-day fixture. Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo suffered bruising on his right middle figure while batting in the second innings after being struck by Shannon Gabriel, while pacer Paul Wintz bowled just one ball in the T&T second innings because of what was later diagnosed as a pinched nerve in the area of his left heel.
Guyana manager Alvin Johnson said Wintz should be fit to play today, but a decision on Bishoo will be taken shortly before the match.
Despite their injuries, both Bishoo and Wintz showed great fighting spirit, hitting 47 not out and 50 respectively in the gallant Guyanese run chase on Saturday.
And it is that collective grit which Guyana will be counting on this afternoon.
"We took heart," manager Johnson said of his side's performance on the final day of the four-day match. Everybody was satisfied with the effort."
He noted too, that the lead of 124 that Guyana conceded on first innings was "very decisive."
That lead was due in large measure to Man-of-the-Match Sunil Narine's six-wicket haul which swept away the middle order.
Narine, surprisingly omitted from the West Indies Test team, will be up against the Guyanese again today, playing before what is expected to be a good crowd. This time however, there will be no Chanderpaul for the visitors to rally around.
Starting time is 2pm.
T&T Super 50 squad:
T&T: Dwayne Bravo (Captain), Adrian Barath, Lendl Simmons, Justin Guillen, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Yannic Cariah, Yannick Ottley, Sunil Narine, Rayad Emrit, Evin Lewis, Samuel Badree, Kevon Cooper.
Guyana: Christopher Barnwell (Captain) Trevon Griffith, Asad Fudadin, Leon Johnson, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Derwin Christian, Devendra Bishoo, Steven Jacobs, Paul Wintz, Ronsford Beaton, Ricardo Adams, Zaheer Shadir, Rajiv Ivan.