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The triumphant Guyana team after reclaiming the Ahmad Caribbean Cup.


Massiah Powers Guyana Past Trinidad

By Orin Davidson
With his captaincy under scrutiny, Guyana's captain Steve Massiah took it upon himself to single-handed demolish Trinidad in the final of the Ed Ahmad Caribbean Cup 50 overs competition on Saturday.


Man of the Match Steve Massiah (left) receives his trophy from sponor Ed Ahmad. (Photos by Orin Davidson)

America's most prolific batsman, continued his remarkable scoring streak by smashing a mammoth 151 runs to lead Guyana to a crushing 104-run victory over the defending champions at Floyd Bennett field.

Massiah scored almost half of Guyana's huge score of 320 for six wickets, with a smashing century and came back to bag two vital wickets with his medium pace as Trinidad was scuttled for 216 in 45.3 overs.

"This victory was very special to me, the last time I captained this team against Trinidad we lost in the semi-finals, this time I wanted to set the record straight," Massiah said in reference to Guyana’s elimination in 2005.

Trinidad which won the last three of the four competitions, were no match this time around for a vamped up Guyana side and were pressured into a slew of mistakes especially in fielding.

Massiah won the toss, decided to first and went on to crash 11 fours and three sixes in compiling the competition's highest individual score of 151 off only 155 balls.

Countless times in the past he and Lennox Cush have combined to put up big partnerships and the script remained the same this time around.

They amassed 139 for the third wicket which saw Cush blasting away for 77 in 80 balls including two fours and three sixes.

They hooked up after Trinidad's best period in the match saw them restricting Guyana to two wickets down for 55 runs in the books early on.

That brief hour and a half was all the defending champions was left to remember with any relish in a forgettable final as they crumbled in a heap afterwards, flooring no less than eight catches.

Trinidad employed a predominant slow bowling attack, as has been their norm throughout their unbeaten run to the final, but it was taken apart by Massiah and company who are best against that blend between slow medium and spin.

Vishal Nagamootoo and Andrew Gonsalves though, did not capitalize, falling early to Trinidad captain Glen Lorrick and Denzil James for four and 32 respectively.

Cush survived a chance early at slip, and made Trinidad pay dearly as he launched a vicious attack once the total crossed the 100 mark. In successive overs he carted off- spinner Dennis Rampersaud for sixes and his third maximum was allowed to drop over the boundary line after it was badly mis-judged by Rodney Sooklall at long-on.

After he eventually holed out on the midwicket boundary, Massiah capitalized on two missed chances by taking the Trinidad bowling to the cleaners in the closing stages. Using his feet well, he consistently went over the top for boundaries and carried the scoring rate well over the six -run per over mark.

Massiah's onslaught was only contained after he was struck on the jaw, batting helmet-less, going on his knee for a sweep off James.

Shortly afterwards he was caught on the mid -wicket boundary.

But by then the innings was motoring on and the last 10 overs yielded 129 runs as Sudesh Dhaniram joined in the carnage after offering Lorrick two sitters which the Trinidad captain declined to accept. The former West Indies `B' player chipped in with a 22-ball 32 that contained two sixes and one four.

Sooklall, a former West Indies first class player, emerged from the ruins with the best Trinidad bowling performance with three wickets for 47 runs with his off spin. Gilbert Phillips who started well ended with 1-45.

Psychologically battered by the Guyana batting onslaught, Trinidad's batsmen were defeated even before they took the crease. They had no answer to the combined Guyana pace and spin attack and got off to the worst start possible when Massiah, showing no effects from his 183 minutes, batting epic, opened the bowling and comprehensively bowled their best batsman Rampersaud with a sharp in-swinger, for four.

Later on the perennial veteran Deryck Kallicharran vindicated the selectors' decision to bring him back into the team, by cleaning up the middle and lower order.

He ripped out the last five wickets to end with 5-43 off 9.3 overs in a vintage display of leg spin.

Trinidad's scorecard looked useful, but in reality was a listless sight with Danish Ramsingh's 39, run out topping the list followed by David Mohamed's 30 Ashook Ballie's 27 and 26 each by Jerry Jumadeen and James.

Massiah ended with 2-23 and Cush 1-32 off seven overs. Ex West Indies Test bowlers spinner Neil McGarrell and paceman Reon King had mixed fortunes with the former conceding a stingy 14 runs off seven and the latter 43 off seven.

Trinidad had hoped to triumph with team-play, but on this occasion Guyana's star power was overwhelmingly powerful.

In ripping the cup from Trinidad's hands after three years, Guyana produced their best ever performance in the competition.
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