The defending champions had to dodge rain on two occasions before finally claiming an unprecedented helmet-trick of wins, this time getting home by11 runs to maintain an unbeaten streak that has resulted in them not losing a match in the series for three years running.
The Twenty20 showdown seemed likely to suffer a similar fate to the original fixture set three weeks ago when only half the match was completed before rain washed out the remainder of play.
Consistent rain on Sunday morning forced a late start that forced the reduction of the overs from 20 to 15, but Guyana maintained its composure despite wet conditions to rattle up 212 runs for eight wickets off their allotted overs.
Jamaica fought valiantly but could not dominate the tight Guyana spin attack and fell short at 110-7 at the 15-over mark.
Being weakened by the absence of big name batsmen Rashard Marshall, Carl Wright, Vinord Woolcock and Dixieth Palmer, Jamaica needed big performances from the replacements which never materialized.
Sudesh Dhaniram once again made his presence felt for Guyana with an entertaining topscore of 34 in the scramble for runs after star batsman and captain Steve Massiah and his opening partner Zaheer Saffie were each bowled without living up to their normal high scores.
Allrounder Neil McGarrell stepped up the pace in the middle with 18 after Massiah’s 14 and 11 by Saffie bolstered the total in the reduced encounter.
E. Gayle found some of his best form to lead Jamaica’s bowling with three wickets for 26 runs and although he got good support from Joe Allen and J. Thomas with two wickets, their batsmen found it hard going against the predominant Guyana spin attack.
Dennis Evans compiled a well made 35 and Glen Hall did well for 28 but no one other Jamaican stood up to the Guyana attack and they were left with too much runs to get at the end.
McGarrell spun his way to figures of 2-8 and paceman Kevin Darlington got into the act with 2-15.
Guyana captain Massiah, who captained the team to all four of its title wins beginning in 2005 when the competition was a 50 overs series, attributed the team’s success this year to unity and team spirit.
“It was a total team effort throughout the competition this year, we had no one man show, everyone contributed what they were asked off,” he stated.
He said Guyana
has developed a mental edge whenever they play Jamaica and it was
evident again Sunday.
He felt Jamaica would’ve been at a disadvantage because of the loss of their top players Sunday, who were unavailable for different reasons, but pointed out that Guyana knows to win whatever the circumstances.
“There were in a good position to win in the rained out first final, but we were not worried, because we have proved ourselves every time.
Guyana was restricted
to 141-9 after 20 overs in the abandoned game three weeks ago.
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