Atlantis Guyana Tour 2012
By John L. Aaron
Georgetown, Guyana – July 22: Continuing its cricket tour to the South American nation, Atlantis experienced a mixed bag of T20 fortunes; losing one and winning one in a rain affected tournament.
Atlantis vs. DCC
A barnstorming welcome for visitors
On Friday Atlantis engaged its host Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) in a rain-shortened match reduced to 15 overs as a result of incessant rainfall in Guyana. The DCC ground located on Lance Gibbs Street in the nation’s capital is known for being water-logged when it rains and this past week was no exception as several parts of the bowlers run up and outfield had an inch or more of water. However, credit to the grounds crew and several of the DCC players for doing their best to make a match out of a bad situation, by applying several buckets of sand in the immediate outfield.
Atlantis won the toss and eager to get in some batting practice opted to take first strike – in hindsight it was probably not the best thing, as the batsmen encountered a lot of heat from the DCC fast bowlers in a hostile spell from P. Whitz capturing the first two Atlantis wickets with only 14 runs on the tins. Opener Henderson Blades was back in the hallowed pavilion of DCC after facing five deliveries without scoring, he was soon joined by Jason Greaves, lbw Whitz for 6, in the building that has seen so many cricketing legends climb the 12 stairs of the pavilion.
It was a steady procession of Atlantis batsmen returning to the pavilion, as the tourists lost wickets at regular intervals. It would take a focused effort from Ron Andrew, 17 and Atlantis’ wicketkeepers Ryan Sukhdeo, 14 not out, and Clifford Hamilton, 18 not out to avoid a complete collapse, as Atlantis reached 83 for the loss of six wickets in the allotted 15 overs.
It was Hamilton’s innings that was the highlight of the Atlantis inning as the diminutive batsman struck two massive sixes and a glorious four delighting the spectators crowded on the lower and ground levels of the club, including the legendary Clive Lloyd and Roger Harper, both members of DCC and former Guyana and Wes Indies Test players. Lloyd would later quip, “This young man hit the ball very hard. I don’t think I could hit the ball that hard (at his age).” Andrew, Greaves and Sukhdeo also struck huge sixes as the wet outfield dictated that the batmen’s need to put ticks on the tins, if they were to amass any defendable total.
The Atlantis wickets fell at 5, 14, 21, 32, 35, and 56. Bowling for DCC: P. Whitz 2 for 15, D. George 1 for 5, T. Scipio 2 for 14.
DCC in response opened with Christopher Barnwell and Andrew Lyght, Jr. However, it would be Barnwell who effected a shellacking of the Atlantis bowlers, hitting 7x6s and 1×4 I a quick fire 57 not out. Lyght was run out when on 4 and the score on 33, and all DCC needed was a contribution of 10 from his replacement J. Hinckson, along with 15 extras to end the misery at 86 for 1 in just seven over’s.
Saturday, July 21
Atlantis Regroups against Police Sports Club
Having effectively arrested their superior officers on Thursday with a convincing seven-wicket win, Atlantis faced a Police Sports Club 1st Division XI looking to avenge the defeat of their superiors. Again, rain delayed the start of the scheduled 11:00 am T20 fixture as grounds crew and several players sought to repair the wicket and outfield affected by rainfall. All involved did a fantastic job of making the pitch playable for a 2:00 pm start. Clive Lloyd and Mark Harper were in attendance at the Eve Leary, Kingston ground.
The Police Sports Club, the cricketing entity of the Guyana Police Force won the toss and as expected opted to field, offering their visitors a “sticky dog” on which to take strike. Unfortunate for opener Henderson Blades once more, he departed without scoring receiving a second-ball duck on this occasion. As the Police officers celebrated an early victory, Nicholas Standford strode to the center and immediately sough to correct that, striking 26 (2x6s, 1×4) before being caught off the bowling R. Haynes. He had earlier seen the departure of Shawn Mason who contributed four ticks. Alex Amsterdam contributed five and allowed Jason Greaves, 28, and Standford to excite the pavilion with some glorious strokeplay. Greaves’ knock of 28 included 3x6s and 1×4.
Kavishwar Bridgepaul and Ron Andrew delighted the crowd including several New York supporters who traveled to Guyana to help the Demerara Cricket Club celebrate its 100th anniversary. Bridgepaul would hit 3x6s and 2x4s in his 33 and Andrew who struck 72 at the same ground two days earlier, had 3x6s and 3x4s in his knock of 36. Ryan Sukhdeo chipped in with 12 and Extras tagged along with 15 to help Atlantis post 160 for 7 in 20 overs.
The Atlantis wickets fell at 0, 17, 24, 71, 79, 141 and 157. F. Culley was the Police Sports Club’s best bowler with figures of 4-0-18-4. Rawle Haynes had 2 for 19 and K. Leitch 1 for 20.
The Police Sports Club’s XI chasing 161 for victory and seeking to give their visitors their second loss on the tour, hoped that the pitch and the outfield would have dried out enough to favor a victory on their part, but Atlantis quickly put doubt to that idea by striking early and striking often. The New York based team sent the first five batsmen back to the beautiful Police pavilion with only 65 runs on the board. The Atlantis effort was temporarily interrupted by a swashbuckling inning of 65 from Police’s opening bowler and Guyana national selector Trevor Benn who showed no respect for the Atlantis bowlers hitting 4x6s and 3x4s, before being caught off the bowling of Hugh Craig.
The other notable contribution to the Police’s tally of 145 all out came from the bat of the number nine batsman Rawle Haynes who scored 22 including three sixes. It was the tail that avoided a complete demolition of the Police XI by the Atlantis bowlers, as Fitzroy Culley and V. Saigobin, each contributed 10 runs each.
The Police wickets fell at 10, 23, 23, 45, 65 and rapidly after that. No further details were available. It was the magnificent bowling spell of Jason Greaves that created havoc for the Police as the right-arm off break bowler spun webs around the batsmen, capturing the first four wickets for 24 off his four overs. Hugh Craig grabbed the next three wickets for 24 off his four overs and Alex Amsterdam grabbed one wicket and keeper Sukhdeo stumped the final at bat.
It was a thrilling 15-run win for the visitors as the match neared its end, with the Police needing 19 off the final over and the last pair at bat. The Atlantis players enjoyed the victory and it must have been reassuring to be able to visit Guyana and defeat a first division team, having lost to another one the day before.
Prior to the match Clive Lloyd, the winningest captain in West Indies cricket history addressed the players, particularly on the subject of attitude and how the concept affects the performance of players on the field and in their everyday lives and employment. The Atlantis XI demonstrated enormous positive attitude and energy on the field yesterday. Hopefully they can have the same attitude when the come up against host DCC on Tuesday at DCC, but for now the tourists are 2-1 and feeling great.