March 6, 2001

Jamaica on top in war of attrition

A grim struggle for first innings superiority at Sabina Park, Kingston, saw Jamaica with the upper hand over Guyana with one day to play in the 2001 Busta International Shield Final.

Guyana have batted for more than a day and a half in reply to Jamaica's first innings score of 375, and at stumps on the third day Monday are 258 for 8, a scoring rate of about 1.85 runs per over.

With one day's play remaining, an outright result appears unlikely, in which case the final would be decided on first innings lead.

The follow-on seemed a realistic prospect for Guyana at one stage of Monday's play, when they were eight wickets down for 201. Neil McGarrell (40*) and Colin Stuart (15*) combined to take Guyana past the follow-on threshold, however both they and number eleven batsman Reon King will have much to do on Tuesday morning if they are to prevent Jamaica from taking the Shield.

Courtney Walsh, Franklyn Rose and Gareth Breese have taken two wickets apiece for Jamaica, Nehemiah Perry and captain Jimmy Adams claiming one each. Walsh, a former West Indian captain, removed the new West Indian captain, Carl Hooper, for 65 yesterday. Hooper was adjudged leg before wicket by umpire Steve Bucknor, although reports today suggest that the Guyana captain was unlikely to be given out.

Hooper faced 150 balls, hitting six fours and a six, and took his season's total in the Busta Cup/Shield to 954 runs. In the unlikely event that he gets to bat a second time in this match, he needs another 46 runs to claim a $US50,000 prize for reaching one thousand runs in the tournament.

Azeem Haniff (39) and Mahendra Nagamootoo (33) both made starts for Guyana, however Test men Shivanrine Chanderpaul (8) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (9) both failed.

On Sunday, Wavell Hinds scored his second century in three Busta Cup/Shield appearances this season, making an even 100 for Jamaica in their total of 375, following Chris Gayle's 125. Reon King took 3/67 for Guyana and has forced his way into the West Indian squad of thirteen for the First Test against South Africa, however Mahendra Nagamootoo's 4/126 was not enough to prevent Trinidad & Tobago's Dinanath Ramnarine from claiming his Test spinner's place.

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