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Ed Ahmad Caribbean Cricket Cup
Guyana Marches On To 20/20 Final

By John L. Aaron

Guyana continued its winning ways last Saturday, defeating a hapless Pakistani XI to advance to the 2007 Ed Ahmad Caribbean Cricket Cup Twenty20 finals.

Guyana invited by Pakistan to take first strike, did exactly that, scoring 18 runs off the first over, as Andrew Gonsalves and Lennox Cush started an onslaught on the Pakistani bowlers. Gonsalves was the first to go after scoring a scorching 20. Cush and skipper Steve Massiah continued to plunder the bowlers, adding a 37-run partnership before Cush was comprehensively bowled by Afzal for 31 (3x4s, 1x6). Massiah would go on to contribute 49, before he became a victim of Afzal, as well. His 49 include five 4’s.

Sudesh Dhaniram, considered by many to be one of the hardest hitters of the ball was aggressive in his pursuit of runs, piling on a quick-fire 30 off 13 deliveries. Neil McGarrell was equally disrespectful of the Pakistani bowlers hitting 34 off 17 balls. He was followed by Bhim George with 31 off 15 deliveries, as Guyana raced to 213 for 6 off of the allotted 20 overs.

The Guyana wickets fell at 35, 72, 127, 145, 181 and 210. Fahad Sultan and R. Afzal with two wickets each were Pakistani’s best bowlers.

Pakistan’s Inning
With a target of almost 11 runs per over, Pakistan led by the hard-hitting Nadeem Younis had backed themselves into a corner and would have to come out swinging, and that they did, except connecting did not feature as much as in the Guyana innings.

Nadeem Younis and fellow-opening bat M. Adil knew the job ahead of them and made a gallant attempt to set the pace. However, the burly opener was soon separated from his much smaller partner for eight with the score at 28. With the major threat to score and score quickly gone, Pakistan appeared very flustered and frustrated in their ability to move the rate beyond five runs per over. As the number of overs inched to the 20 overs mark, the batsmen were forced to take shots which only resulted in the loss of wickets.

With Adil, 13, S. Ahmad, 19 and R. Afzal, 20, putting up the only real wall of courage, the Pakistan XI crumbled for 93 in 15.3 overs, with the wickets falling at 28, 29, 29, 37, 53, 56, 81, 81, 86 and 93. Lennox Cush with figures of 4-0-17-4 and Neil McGarrell 3.3-0-17-3 were the bowlers who saw Guyana through to the Twenty20 finals.

No doubt Guyana skippered by Steve Massiah would be looking to regain some of the pride and respect it lost during the premier tournament’s 2006 outing, in this year’s tournament.

The Twenty20 final is scheduled for Saturday, September 8 at Idlewild Park, Rosedale, Queens.

Jamaica Flips Trinidad & Tobago
By John L. Aaron

Jamaica, after sputtering and faltering in the early rounds of the 2007 Ed Ahmad tournaments has asserted itself somewhat, defeating Trinidad & Tobago in their Twenty20 encounter at Floyd Bennett Field last weekend.

The match was not without some controversy, as the two very competitive sides had to be separated by more that the twenty-two yards. Trinidad & Tobago was expected to file a protest, claiming that Team Jamaica violated the tournament’s rules when they inserted a twelfth man into the line-up and who did not meet the tournament’s eligibility requirements. On the other hand, the umpires officiating at the game were expected to file a report on the ungentlemanly conduct of at least one Trinidad & Tobago player, who in their opinion violated the “Spirit of the Game” by his on-field behavior.

Batting first Jamaica reached 172 for 6 in their allotted 20 overs. Barrington Bartley top scored with 89, sharing a second-wicket partnership of 74 with his skipper, before being stumped by wicketkeeper Ashok Balley off the bowling of Denzil James. Bartley’s knock included five 6’s and four 4’s. Skipper Richard Staples’ 35 helped set T&T a target of 8.60 per over. Denzil James with 2 for 20 off 4 overs was T&T best bowler. Ritchie Siewchan, Rodney Sooklall and Denis Rampersad each shared in the scalping with one wicket apiece. The Jamaica wickets fell at 17, 91, 139, 165, 165 and 172.

Trinidad & Tobago’s Inning
The calypso boys were off to a disastrous start as Steve Samuel was run out without scoring and his opening partner Denzil James, upon whom a lot must have been expected, was only able to contribute two runs, before being bowled by T. Gordon. The only serious resistance came from the bats of Timothy Surijbally, 33, Ritchie Siewchan, 31, Dave Mohammed, 28 and Denis Rampersad, 26, as T&T ran out of overs with only 159 runs on the tins and seven batsmen making the round-trip.

The T&T wickets fell at 10, 10, 60, 95, 106, 140 and 158. The wickets were shared by T. Gordon, A. Dewar, R. Staples, B. Bartley and G Adams, with two run-outs.

Jamaica will now meet Guyana in the Twenty20 final set for one week from today at Idlewild Park on Saturday, September 8.
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