Barbados set to chase 282
Barbados 246 and 7 for 0 need a further 275 runs to beat Guyana (Chattergoon 82, McGarrell 82)
If there were 2 000 spectators at Carlton Club for the third day of the Carib Beer Cup semi-final between Barbados and Guyana yesterday, more than 75 per cent appeared to be vociferously throwing their support behind the visitors.
As Guyana resolutely recovered before going on the rampage, their followers screamed themselves hoarse, jumped up and down and waved their national flag with pride. In contrast, outnumbered Barbados supporters watched in disbelief with the knowledge that the match was gradually slipping away.
From a lunchtime position of 112 for 4, only 77 ahead, Guyana consolidated to reach 192 for 5 at tea, but pressed on the accelerator in the final session to lash 124 runs at better than five runs an over before declaring at 316 for 9 with six overs remaining.
Guyana, facing a first-innings deficit, knew that nothing less than victory will give them a place in the weekend's final against Trinidad and Tobago or Barbados. They reached seven without loss at the close, and will face a stern test of skill and character after being set a target of 282.
For two hours, Barbados wiped away the cream of Guyana's batting and were into the last pair of specialist batsmen. For the next two hours, Sewnarine Chattergoon, who had defiantly survived the first session en route to a solid half-century, continued his resistance by showing immense powers of concentration in an effort that eventually spanned five hours.
His impressive 82 off 219 balls, highlighted by his ability to present a straight, broad bat, followed his 51 in the first innings when he was similarly stubborn. His only mistake was to the ball that caused his downfall - a short, wide offering from Ryan Austin, the offspinner, which he tried his best to connect to and ended up giving a catch to backward point.
Chattergoon led the recovery in a fifth-wicket stand of 75 with Assad Fudadin (33) and it was the first of three successive half-century partnerships. By the time Chattergoon was out, Neil McGarrell was already into a devastating act with the long handle. His 82, the identical score as Chattergoon, came from 98 balls and contained 16 boundaries.
As McGarrell was into his element, the noisy Guyana supporters burst into chants of "Beast! Beast! Beast!" and the allrounder lived up to his nickname with a brutal assault on the hapless Bajans.
His sixth-wicket partnership with Chattergoon was worth 61 and his seventh-wicket stand with Mahendra Nagamootoo was 60, a stand in which Nagamootoo was just as enterprising with a quickfire 28 off 37 balls. They took the attack to a flagging Tino Best, who was punished mainly for trying to hammer the ball in an unresponsive pitch.
For the last two sessions, the Barbados attack, featuring three fast bowlers with Test experience, looked a trifle ordinary and the fielding became slightly ragged. In the circumstances, Dwayne Smith, with his bustling seamers, appeared to pose the biggest threat.
It was a big turnaround from the first session when Barbados got rid of the cream of Guyana's batting. Collins removed Krishna Arjune with a low catch by Patrick Browne, the wicketkeeper, and Steven Jacobs was caught by the diving Best, failing to pick the slower ball from Bradshaw. Narsingh Deonarine batted with Chattergoon for close to an hour before he gave the impression he was unhappy with a leg-before call against him off Smith.
When Barbados removed Travis Dowlin 20 minutes before lunch with a catch at slip, it was advantage to the hosts. The same thing could be said at the close.