Trinidad & Tobago water down Guyana's title hopes

CANE GARDEN, Barbados (CMC) – Defending champions Guyana have virtually given up their chance of retaining the TCL Group West Indies Under-19 Challenge title, after a below-par performance against Trinidad and Tobago on Friday.

Trinidad & Tobago captain Adrian Barath scored 96, as his side, replying to Guyana’s first innings total of 227, reached 336 for nine when stumps were drawn on the second day of their fifth and final round match at the Lester Vaughan School.

Trinidad & Tobago have established an important lead going into Saturday’s final day, and have enhanced their chances of copping the championship, with maximum points from Guyana, as leaders Barbados are in a tangle against Jamaica.

Barath batted for 143 minutes, faced 107 balls, and lashed 15 fours and two sixes in his well composed innings.

The hard-hitting Mitchell hit a quick-fire unbeaten 62 fro 48 balls in just over an hour which was adorned with eight fours and two sixes.

Pacer Keon Joseph was the top bowler for Guyana with three wickets for 74 runs from 16 overs.

Earlier, Trinidad & Tobago resuming from their overnight position at 22 without loss, galloped to 143 for two by lunch.

They lost Elvin Lewis when he was caught behind off left-arm orthodox spinner Eugene LaFleur for 30.

Nearing lunch, the Guyanese struck again when Nicholas Alexis went in identical fashion this time to medium pacer Dilon Heyliger for 13.

Notwithstanding the mixed morning session, the boys from the two-island republic had, Barath stole the spotlight in the penultimate session as he unleashed a volley of cover drives while he punished all the Guyanese bowlers with a degree of confidence.

He found the gaps to perfection bringing up his 50 from his 59th ball and probably inspired by the presence of former West Indies opening batsman Desmond Haynes.

Barath, who scored a commanding 92 against Guyana last year in St. Kitts, seemed to have taken a liking for the opposition's bowling attack, but as he approached what would have been his second century in this year’s competition, he was adjudged lbw to Joseph just after lunch.

Barath’s dismissal never discouraged his batsmen on his side, but Guyana fought back to remove Akeil Cooper, and more success came when Aaron Alfred was also dismissed to leave his side on 150 for four.

But Kjorn Ottley and his younger brother Yannic, who was brought into the side as a one of the six replacements made by the Trinidad & Tobago management team following the suspension of the players due to disciplinary reasons, transformed the complexion of the match.

They posted an impressive and calculated 68-run, sixth-wicket stand that drained out the enthusiasm of the Guyanese fielders. 

Yannick, a tidy right-hander, began his innings in a disciplined manner and spent 2-1/4 hours at the crease for 45, and Kjorn made a watchful 42 in two hours as they put Trinidad & Tobago back on track.