Photo credit: Peter Della Penna
Christopher Barnwell's onslaught of seven fours and four sixes, including this one off Timil Patel, formed the bulk of his crucial 80 off 63 balls to lift Guyana to a defendable total as they held off USA by 13 runs at Queen's Park Oval.
By Peter Della Penna in Port of Spain (Twitter @PeterDellaPenna
A fantastic opening spell from USA captain Saurabh Netravalkar was backed up by 3 for 38 from Karima Gore, but USA’s batting unit could not capitalize on the manageable target of 227 set up by their bowlers as a middle-overs stall crippled USA’s reply in Guyana’s 13-run victory on Monday night at Queen’s Park Oval. Raymon Reifer took 5 for 35, including a well-set Monank Patel on a low return catch for 43, to stymie USA’s reply.
After rain had interrupted warm-ups on multiple occasions, USA won the toss and elected to field first. Netravalkar began with a maiden before rain halted play for the first of two times in the Guyana innings. When play resumed, Netravalkar struck in the third over getting Chandrapaul Hemraj leg before for 1 with one that nipped back in after having set him up with a series of outswinging deliveries. Kemol Savory was bowled in the sixth over by USA debutant Cameron Stevenson with one that swung back just a touch to clip the top of off stump.
Netravalkar continued to heap pressure on the Guyana order with an immaculate length as he ended the Powerplay with figures of 5-4-1-1. He continued to bowl himself while in rhythm in an eight-over opening spell that was interrupted once more by rain at the 14.2 over mark with the score 28 for 2. When play finally resumed, Tagenerine Chanderpaul and captain Leon Johnson calmly set about rebuilding the innings through a 61-run stand. While Chanderpaul grinded away at one end, Johnson served as the aggressor, pulling his former club mate Stevenson for six over midwicket before heaving Stevenson’s fellow debutant Ian Holland for six more in the 18th
The stand was finally broken by Steven Taylor’s offspin as he deceived Johnson in flight to produce an edge to Holland at slip for 43. With Chanderpaul on 18 off 79 balls at the other end, Christopher Barnwell took it open himself to ramp up the scoring rate, getting off the mark by slog sweeping Taylor over wide long-on for six. The right-hander continued to race along, striking boundaries in five of his first seven overs at the crease.
Chanderpaul finally fell for 40 in the 35th
for Karima Gore’s first wicket of the day, given leg before on an attempted sweep. Reifer fell for 10 in Gore’s next over, bowled missing a drive just one ball after he had smashed Gore into the sightscreen for six.
Barnwell continued to profit off Timil Patel’s legspin at the opposite end of Gore though, striking a four and a single to bring up 50 off 38 balls in the 36th
before slogging him twice over cow corner for six as part of a 16-run over in the 38th
that sent Timil out of the attack for the day. Barnwell reached 80 before Holland finally dislodged him with a slower ball chipped to Taylor at extra cover in the 44th
From 190 for 5 with seven overs left, Holland helped spark a late stumble that saw Guyana add just 36 runs over their final 42 balls. Holland took his second in the 46th
when Ramaal Lewis skied a heave that was taken by Nosthush Kenjige at short third man for 3. Veerasammy Permaul was then runout on an alert piece of fielding from wicketkeeper Akshay Homraj who hustled to the stumps to deny a leg bye. Ronsford Beaton was bowled by a full delivery from Gore slogging across the line for the left-arm spinner’s third wicket. Jonathan Foo then fell on the final ball of the innings skying a drive over extra cover that Taylor claimed with a superb one-handed dive running back to the edge of the ring for Netravalkar’s second wicket.
Gore ended with 3 for 38, but curiously had two overs left unused in what appeared to be a strategic blunder. Netravalkar took 2 for 20 in 10 while Holland bowled a very respectable containing spell of medium pace in the middle overs before his two late wickets to end with 2 for 35. Stevenson ended with 1 for 55 in his 10 while Taylor claimed 1 for 19 in five overs. Timil returned 0 for 35 in his five overs while Kenjige struggled badly in his only two overs, conceding 20 runs.
USA’s reply got off to a very conservative start behind Monank and Sagar Patel. Only two boundaries came off the first eight overs, one of them courtesy of overthrows from Guyana in the field. Sagar’s timid display was finally ended by Reifer in the eighth as the right-hander played inside the line of a delivery angled in from around the stumps by the left-arm quick.
Taylor’s arrival sparked USA’s innings to life as he drove Reifer for three boundaries in the space of four balls in the 10th
over. Having gotten a solid start on 23 off 28 balls, he was then given out lbw on his 29th
delivery to Lewis’ offspin though replays showed a clear inside edge onto his pads. USA went 13 overs without a boundary before Monank used his feet to drive Lewis back over his head for six in the 24th
but the generally conservative approach continued to play into Guyana’s hands as Aaron Jones was bowled for the second match in a row playing back to a full delivery from a left-arm spinner, this time by Veerasammy Permaul for 9.
Holland arrived at No. 5 and counterattacked Permaul in the 29th
, hitting him out of the attack with a cut and a sweep for a pair of fours. But that brief bit of momentum was stunted when Monank fell one over later, pushing back a low drive that Reifer clung onto low in his follow-through for 43. USA’s lack of firepower continued to be exposed as they went another eight overs without a boundary leading into the dismissal of Holland in the 38th
, stumped for 28 after a failed charge to Hemraj’s left-arm spin.
Homraj has survived two dropped chances on 4 and 8 at deep fine leg before hooking Nial Smith over the same region for six in the 39th
to break USA’s boundary drought. Gore produced his first four in the 40th
and with 10 overs left, USA needed a very achievable 68 runs off 60 balls. But Permaul returned and in tandem with Hemraj the two left-arm spinners kept on producing dot balls to hold USA in check as USA’s inability to rotate the strike was highlighted by a whopping 167 dot balls on the night. Hemraj finally gifted Homraj a full toss in the 44th
but USA’s wicketkeeper couldn’t clear Beaton at deep fine leg and was caught on the rope for 32.
By the start of the 47th
, the required run rate had climbed to 11 per over as USA continued to be starved of boundaries. Reifer returned and was on a hat-trick after claiming Stevenson at long-on followed by a skied drive from Gore to Beaton at cover sweeper. A slower ball yorker to Timil in the 49th
completed his five-wicket haul as USA entered the final over needing 23 to win. Nine runs came off the frame by Beaton, including a six from Netravalkar but it wound up being too little too late.
Aside from Reifer’s five-wicket haul, Lewis took 1 for 30 with eight overs of offspin while the left-arm spin duo of Permaul and Hemraj took 1 for 39 in 10 and 2 for 31 in seven overs respectively.
USA’s next fixture is at Brian Lara Academy on Wednesday when they take on the winless Windward Islands at 1:30 pm local time.