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January 29, 2006
A virus as virulent as bird flu spread around Shaw Park yesterday. It afflicted the Trinidad and Tobago fielders so badly that they dropped eight catches in all. Their collective sloppiness allowed the Windward Islands to reach 218 in their first innings.
Later, the T&T batsmen encountered an equally potent enemy- Rawl Lewis, the Windward Islands captain. Spinning the ball sharply and getting it to bounce as if on concrete, Lewis removed three of Windward's top four batsmen to leave T&T struggling on 36 for 4 at the close of the second day of this Carib Beer Series fixture.
Lewis removed Tishan Maraj, Dwayne Bravo and Daren Ganga within the space of eight runs to shift the balance of power in this game firmly to the side of his team. And seamer Daren Sammy added to T&T's woes by dismissing the first batsman, Lendl Simmons, with the score on 17. Earlier, Dave Mohammed was the only T&T bowler not to suffer or to cause his own frustration because of the drop-catch virus. He needed the help of no one yesterday in bagging the remaining four of his six deserving wickets (26.4-8-72-6).
Outside of the clumsy catching of their opponents, the Windwards also owed their final total to the courageous effort of middle-order batsman Hyron Shallow. He fought through stomach cramps, which forced him to retire twice, to make a top-score of 63 with five fours and a one six. Before he was forced to retire on the first occasion on 37, he had already been dropped three times by Bravo at first slip, Rayad Emrit at mid-off and Amit Jaggernauth, who did not accept a return catch. Amazingly, Jaggernauth dropped a second return chance to give Shallow his fourth life.
Shallow put on 60 for the third wicket with his overnight partner Craig Emmanuel (31), who also benefited from a chance, though a difficult return one to Sherwin Ganga in his first over of the day. Emmanuel was also responsible for the considerable discomfort suffered by close-in fielder Gregory Mahabir, who spent the rest of the innings off the field and required a precautionary X-ray after being struck just below the left ear by a full-blooded sweep. Mahabir suffered no serious injury, however.
Not for the first time this season, the underestimated Emrit again did a job for his captain. He paved the way for Mohammed by removing both returning batsmen Sammy and the tormented Junior Murray. Flighting the ball beautifully when he chose, left-armer Mohammed befuddled the batsmen. Liam Sebastien was bowled by a temptingly-flighted googly and, after being struck for a six to midwicket out of the ground by Shallow, he responded by bowling the batsman with the chinaman. To dismiss Kenroy Peters and last man Dennis George, he produced more well tossed up balls which won him lbw verdicts.
The only men who escaped were Lewis, who was run out going for a second run by Emrit's throw to keeper Ramdin, and the undefeated Deighton Butler, whose robust 35 (three fours, one six) complemented the effort of Shallow.
© Trinidad & Tobago Express
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