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Dhaniram Blasts Guyana To Title With Historic Ton

By Orin Davidson
If age was anything other than a number in New York cricket, Sudesh Dhaniram blasted every such theory out the window in leading Guyana to an unprecedented double title haul in the Ahmad Caribbean Cup series last weekend.

Sudesh Dhaniram

Displaying power, poise and a quick eye, Dhaniram pummeled Jamaica’s attack for a pulsating 68-ball century to sweep his team to a comprehensive 115-run victory in the final of the Twenty20 version at Idlewild Park.

The 40-year-old right-hander crashed seven sixes and nine fours in a memorable 113 that carried Guyana to 196 runs for four wickets in the allotted 20 overs. He later returned with the ball to pick up two wickets in a dream all-round performance.

A weakened Jamaica batting lineup, lacking the appetite and quality , crashed to 81 all out in 16.4 overs as Guyana completed the double after defeating Trinidad for the 50 overs crown one week prior.

The pumped up Guyana bowling attack spearheaded by ex West Indies Test players Neil McGarrell and Reon King, aided and abetted by Dhariam’s medium pace, swiftly dismantled the Jamaica batting lineup missing all of their top performers.

McGarrell bagged three wickets for 11 runs, Dhaniram 2-12 and King 2-1.

Paceman King recovered from a shaky start , characterized by wides and poor control that yielded eight runs from his first over.

But once he got rid of his nemesis opener, caught at the wicket, he settled down and soon had ex United States captain Richard Staple well caught at point by Zamin Amin.

Dhaniram rode his form plucking out his two scalps while McGarrell cleaned up the lower order as Jamaica failed to negotiate the spot -on control of the Guyanese.

Earlier Dhaniram borrowed a page from the book of his captain Steve Massiah by initially solidifying the top order then launching a full scale attack that earned him the first ever Twenty20 century in New York.

It was the said script Massiah used to blast Trinidad out of the 50 overs final where he struck a ton and also bagged two wickets.

This time around Massiah was stopped in his tracks by a fine run out, through sharp fielding and a direct hit through by junior player S. Dewar. The captain had struck four blistering fours in reaching 16 at that stage. And when star batsman Lennox Cush was lbw to George Adams for eight after the said bowler had gotten rid of opener Andrew Gonsalves for one, Guyana was courting trouble at 29-3

But Dhaniram called on his vast experience and was soon collaring the bowlers to all parts of the ground. His scoring rubbed off on McGarrell who hit a valuable 43 that was the perfect foil for Dhaniram who made full use of a dropped catch he enjoyed at 15. They went on to share in a whirlwind fourth wicket partnership of 152.

Adams ended with excellent figures of 2-16 off his four overs, in the circumstances.

Afterwards Dhaniram said he had played one of his most memorable centuries ever, and surely gave his team supporters much reason to celebrate, notching a well deserved Man-of-the Match award..

Massiah took the opportunity to take a jab at his critics of his captaincy, stating that he hoped he made a statement by leading Guyana to a sweep of both of the competition’s titles.

In the end it was a one-sided affair that might’ve been avoided had the likes of big name batsmen Carl Wright, Orlando Baker, Vinord Woolcock and O’Neil Powell showed up for Jamaica.

Team manager Lloyd Dickson told Cricket International the four players gave their preference to their club teams in the Washington League which had playoff games on the said Saturday.

He pointed out that the clubs pay the players, but Jamaica was unable to so do because their sponsorship for the Ahmad Caribbean Cup did not materialize. Dixon said the other teams including Guyana and Trinidad were fully supported with sponsorship.

Hopefully, the situation would be resolved next season to provide Guyana with some measure of opposition in both segments of the Cup.
Orin Davidson Column Homepage

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