Sarwan blasts Guyana into final

Guyana 245 for 3 (47.2 overs, Sarwan 113*, Chattergoon 62) beat Leeward Islands 241 for 8 (50 overs, Morton 75, Cornwall 53, McGarrell 3-38) by seven wickets

Ramnaresh Sarwan transported his rich vein of form a few thousands miles south to his homeland to lead Guyana to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Leeward Islands in the first semi-inal of the KFC Cup at Bourda Oval.
Chasing 242 runs to win from 50 overs, Guyana hit the jackpot with 16 balls to spare, when fast bowler Curtis Roberts delivered a long-hop that ballooned over the head of Sarwan and wicketkeeper Alderman Lesmond to the boundary for four byes.

The 25-year-old Sarwan, who recently regained the post of West Indies vice-captain for the three-Test series against Australia next month, was undefeated on 113 - a record third hundred in this year's competition - that earned him the Man-of-the-Match award. This pushed his tally of runs in this year's competition to 457, making him the new holder of the single season record for the highest aggregate in the regional limited-overs competition, ahead of former Leewards allrounder Keith Arthurton, who scored 408 in 1997.

More importantly, Sarwan's innings that included 12 fours and a single six from 122 balls, ensured Guyana's place in the final of the regional limited-overs competition for a third straight year. They will have to wait until tomorrow's second semi-final at Bourda to see whether their opponents on Sunday at the same venue will be either Barbados or Windward Islands.

Half-centuries from Runako Morton and Wilden Cornwall had helped the Leewards post a competitive 241 for eight from their 50 overs. Morton hit seven boundaries in the top score of 75 from 128 balls and added 94 for the fourth wicket with Cornwall, whose 53 from 72 balls contained half-dozen fours.

Neil McGarrell was the most successful Guyana bowler with three wickets for 38 runs from nine overs, and Rayon Griffith weighed in with two early scalps for 37 runs from eight overs.