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Guyana Poised For Historic Double Over Jamaica

By Orin Davidson
If last week's 50 overs showdown was considered the highlight of the season, today's (Saturday September 7) battle between Guyana and Jamaica should be the ideal sendoff of for New York cricket season.

And should Guyana turn back Jamaica's challenge for the Ahmad Caribbean Cup Twenty20 title at 223rd Street Idlewild Park, they will go a long way towards making up for coming away empty handed in 2003, 2005 and with only one half of the spoils at stake in 2006.

With one title in the bag, after bashing Trinidad for the 50 overs crown last Saturday, it would require an epic performance by Jamaica to prevent Guyana making a clean sweep of the 2007 series.

For one thing the 50 overs champs will go into the deciding game with the psychological advantage of putting away Jamaica in both games in the preliminary competition.

And the betting men would be loathe to feel that anything but overconfidence could lead to an upset of the 2006 Twenty20 champs.

Throughout the series Guyana has been displaying strength in every aspect of the game, from batting, bowling, fielding, down to selection decisions.

The batting order is long and powerful and you get the impression many batsmen will not get a chance at the crease because only 20 overs are available.

It is so because openers Vishal Nagamootoo and Andrew Gonsalves are due big scores after not setting the Floyd Bennett Field on fire against Trinidad last weekend.

Captain Steve Massiah, never ceases his hunger for runs, whether its domestic or at international level. Though he might not get the chance to record another century today, given the nature of the Twenty20 game, you can be assured a half century is more likely than not, is set for the books.

Lennox Cush can score heavily when he wants to, and with the West Indies limited overs season beckoning, he has a desire to hit the ground running in Guyana, with another commanding performance.

If they are not enough, Sudesh Dhaniram, Neil McGarrell and Deryck Kallicharran can all be lethal when necessary, thus one can appreciate the intensity of pressure the Jamaica bowling attack will face when they take the field.

Twenty 20 competition does not require great bowling penetration, yet the Guyana attack has been good enough to dismiss most of their opposing lineups so far.

Reon King did not do well in his previous stint against Trinidad and might be the only one likely lacking some confidence of the lot comprising Massiah, Kallicharran, Dhaniram and McGarrell.

Jamaica, ought not be written off entirely though, as they have enough quality players that can push Guyana all the way like they did in the preliminary Twenty 20 game or even over the top.

Carl Wright is as dangerous an opening batsman you could find in all of New York. Oneil "Popeye" Powell is another ball beater, Vinord Woolcock has outscored everyone in domestic competitions this season, and if Richard Staple can find the luck of form that good players are apt to discover once they continue playing, you can have some fireworks. Moreso, should Orlando Baker show up Jamaica will fancy their chances of matching Guyana for quality.

But, if you compare the bowling of the two teams, Guyana has the bigger chance of exercising their superiority because of Jamaica’s lesser depth.

Baker, Barrington Barthley and Staples will be the spearheads and should Steve Pitter be available, it will help. But it is doubtful his presence will be enough to stop the defending champions.

Be prepared for another Guyana celebration after the final ball.
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