Intriguing final on the cards
Today's final of the KFC Cup West Indies limited-overs championship between hosts Guyana and Barbados at Bourda Oval is shaping up to be quite intriguing.
Guyana's strong batting line-up, headed by two of the West Indies' leading batsmen, will have to confront Barbados' feisty attack that can call on no less than four West Indies fast bowlers. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the West Indies captain, and Ramnaresh Sarwan, his deputy, have been at the very heart of Guyana's batting throughout the competition in which their side has played unbeaten. Chanderpaul and Sarwan could have a first-hand look at Corey Collymore, Tino Best, and Fidel Edwards, three of the fast bowlers that will comprise the West Indies' attack in their three-Test series against Australia next month Down Under.
"I think we will have to respect Barbados' bowling line-up, since they have an attack with players that have the experience of playing for the West Indies," Albert Smith, the Guyanese coach told CMC CricketPlus.
"Our strength definitely is our batting, since we have two of the top West Indies batsmen, so it is clear that it will be the ball against the bat in the Final. He added: "Our batsmen will be more comfortable playing against Barbados' fast bowlers at Bourda. Of course, they will not get the same kind of pace and bounce from the pitch that they get in Barbados, and when it comes our time to bowl at them, their batsmen will have to adjust to the lower bounce of the pitch, so I think we will start with a bit of an advantage there."
"Matches between Guyana and Barbados are always competitive," Smith said. "For both teams, it will come down to our planning, and execution of those plans. We have two very experienced captains in this match, both teams are looking forward to winning, and the team that performs better under pressure will do this."
Guyana have appeared in the final of the regional limited-overs competition a dozen times and this will be their fourth appearance in the last five years.
"It all has to do with our preparations, and the competitiveness in our county championship. We want to be consistently doing well in regional cricket, and we try to inculcate this into the younger players in our domestic competitions. It's good that we have been consistent. It's been a lot of hard work, and plenty of commitment. We won in 2001 and 2003, but we lost the final last year with some silly performances that we do not want to happen again this year."
For Barbados, they will be looking to get the monkey of losing to Guyana on a regular basis in the regional limited-overs competition off their backs.
Speaking to the reporters, Courtney Browne, the Barbados captain, said: "It's always a tough ask for us to beat Guyana because they always seem to play the type of cricket that places severe restrictions on our batting a lot. I think if we are to going to beat Guyana, we will have to bat well because I think we have the bowling attack that can limit them. Whether we are setting a target, or chasing runs, we always seem to fall down in our batting against Guyana, particularly against the spin bowlers."
Although Guyana and Barbados have made more appearances in the final of the regional limited-overs competition than the others, they have only met twice in the Championship decider, and on both occasions Guyana won.
Guyana(from): Shivnarine Chanderpaul (capt), Krishna Arjune, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Derwin Christian, Esaun Crandon, Lennox Cush, Narsingh Deonarine, Assad Fudadin, Rayon Griffith, Reon King, Neil McGarrell, Mahendra Nagamootoo, Ryan Ramdass, Ramnaresh Sarwan.
Barbados (from): Courtney Browne (capt), Tino Best, Ian Bradshaw, Shirley Clarke, Corey Collymore, Fidel Edwards, Ryan Hinds, Alcindo Holder, Martin Nurse, Floyd Reifer, Dwayne Smith, Kurt Wilkinson; Dale Richards (injured).