Bonner hoping ton will lead to WI pick

Trinidad Express article.

Port of Spain, Trinidad - Jamaica have finished the Nagico Super50 Group A with a perfect record, but captain Dave Bernard Jr is not satisfied with Saturday’s confidence-boosting ten-run win over Guyana at Queen’s Park Oval.

After the match, Bernard Jr said Jamaica’s total of 243—following a sluggish start that led them to 72 for three after 25 overs—could easily have been chased by Guyana.

“We were a little bit tentative in our approach at first, and we were slow to show our intentions. After we showed that we wanted to get on top of the Guyanese bowling I think it was a different game. We got to 243 with a lot better approach,” he said.

“…But we let the Guyanese bowl at us for most of the innings and I think that curtailed the flow…we were fortunate enough to win the game, but if our approach was better we could have compiled a lot bigger innings and put the bowling under a lot less pressure.”

Player of the Match Nkrumah Bonner, who was the difference of the two innings when no other Jamaican got past 27, was also elated to get his second regional ton.

Said Bonner: “I was determined to make a hundred in this competition. It was very important for me as a young player to make a hundred to knock on the door for a West Indies (pick). In the process of making a hundred I know my team was still struggling so I had to bat to the end and I did that and I’m happy that we got the victory.”

With two crucial cogs missing from their batting lineup in Ramnaresh Sarwan and Narsingh Deonarine—both out with the flu—Guyana would have recognised the value of a good start, especially given the poor record of teams batting second.

They got one, with Trevon Griffith and veteran Shiv Chanderpaul opening with an 88-run stand. They batted with patience, although Chanderpaul showed himself willing and able to dispatch bad balls with almost nonchalant sixes off pacers Sheldon Cottrell and Bernard Jr.

But Griffith gave away his start, cutting Andre Russell to third man after using up 75 balls for 37. It was a quick pair of strikes from the all-rounder that brought Jamaica back into the contest, as he also had Robin Bacchus edge behind.

That started the slide, as Leon Johnson tried to step up the scoring before Lambert got him lbw, while Bernard’s gamble of bringing on part-timer John Campbell worked, as he bowled hard-hitting Christopher Barnwell in his one expensive over. But the prized scalp of Chanderpaul belonged to Cottrell, the soldier saluting with gusto after the usually ever-patient batsman whipped a ball to short fine leg after a 101-ball 65 (two fours, three sixes).

That knocked the wind out of Guyana, who had to bank on Assad Fudadin (21 off 33) and all-rounder Royston Crandon to take them home.

That duo departed in the space three overs, Crandon punished for a suicidal run attempt, and Fudadin, for taking the aerial route off Cottrell. Guyana still got within earshot Veerasammy Permaul (17 not out; 13 balls, one four, one six) edging them close, but the equation was too much with the pressure from Jamaica as they folded for 233.

That Jamaica had enough to defend was due to the enterprise of Bonner, who saw himself at the crease soon after Jamaica won the toss and chose to bat. The No.3 batsman and Andre Mc Carthy tried to revive the innings with a 52-run partnership after they lost the top three, including Tamar Lambert (seven).

When McCarthy succumbed to Permaul, Bonner kept going, his one chance offering a catch that Devendra Bishoo put down at mid-on.

Despite little help from Carlton Baugh and skipper Dave Bernard (both eight), Bonner, encouraged by cameos from Andre Russell (14, one four, one six) and Nikita Miller (20 not out, two fours) battled on.

Miller and Bonner took the momentum away from Guyana with 73 runs in the last 5.5 overs—the latter launching sixes straight and to midwicket. In the end, the runs proved just enough to leave the Jamaicans unbeaten and atop Group A. They will play the Group B runners-up on Wednesday, which will be decided by today’s encounter between Barbados and Leeward Islands.

First Published In The Trinidad Express.

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 08:29